Journal of Medical Ethics 45 (12):839-842 (2019)

Sandra Lopez
Universidad del Norte
Mario J. Pérez
Universidad de Sevilla
IntroductionRheumatologists are the primary healthcare professionals responsible for patients with rheumatic diseases and should acquire medical ethical competencies, such as the informed consent process. The objective clinical structured examination is a valuable tool for assessing clinical competencies. We report the performance of 90 rheumatologist trainees participating in a station designed to evaluate the ICP during the 2018 and 2019 national accreditations.MethodsThe station was validated and represented a medical encounter in which the rheumatologist informed a patient with systemic lupus erythematosus with clinically active nephritis about renal biopsy. A trained patient–actor and an evaluator were instructed to assess ICP skills in obtaining formal informed consent, delivering bad news and overall communication with patients. The evaluator used a tailored checklist and form.ResultsCandidate performance varied with ICP content and was superior for potential benefit information but significantly reduced for potential complications and biopsy description. Only 17.8% of the candidates mentioned the legal perspective of ICP. Death was omitted by the majority of the candidates ; after the patient–actor challenged candidates, only 57.1% of them gave a clear and positive answer. Evaluators frequently rated candidate communications skills as superior, but ≥1 negative aspect was identified in 69% of the candidates.ConclusionsEthical competencies are mandatory for professional rheumatologists. It seems necessary to include an ethics competency framework in the curriculum throughout the rheumatology residency.
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DOI 10.1136/medethics-2019-105717
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