Bioethics/Medical Ethics

Overview of Bioethics/Medical Ethics Postsecondary Programs

Bioethics/Medical Ethics college and university programs educate students seeking to work in the medical industry about ethical issues and responsibilities inherent in medical scientific advances as well as in patient care and medical practices. Changes impacting the health care industry, the development of bioethics over time, philosophical questions around bioethics, medical ethics and the fundamentals of clinical ethics are some of the topics covered in the postsecondary programs. Whether students plan to work for established healthcare organizations (e.g. hospitals, pharmaceutical companies) or open their private medical practices, Bioethics/Medical Ethics courses can help them stay on the cutting edge of modern changes that impact medical ethics, helping students avoid costly legal cases after they start working.

Furthermore, organizations that offer networking, continual training, and career advancement support to professionals working in the bioethics and medical ethics fields include the American Academic of Medical Ethics, the World Medical Association and the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities. Information provided through these and other professional organizations help to keep students current on trends, technological advances and legal policies impacting the field.

Working in Bioethics/Medical Ethics

Having undergraduate and graduate degrees in subjects like medicine, nursing or other life sciences can help students grasp a firm understanding and appreciation of Bioethics/Medical Ethics postsecondary programs. Types of jobs students graduating with Bioethics/Medical Ethics degrees can work include physical therapists, psychologists, counselor, pharmaceutical director, embryonic stem cell researcher or social services specialist. Ethics topics these professionals may deal with as they complete their jobs are therapeutic cloning, gene therapy, genetic counseling and Hospice care.

Curriculum for Bioethics/Medical Ethics Postsecondary Programs

Courses students are required to take to graduate from Bioethics/Medical Ethics postsecondary programs are established by individual schools. However, core courses generally associated with the degree programs include:

  • Medical Ethics and Humanities
  • Spirituality and Medicine
  • Health and Social Justice
  • Biotechnology and Bioethics
  • Law and Policy
  • Social Science Methods
  • History of Bioethics
  • Clinical Ethics
  • Global Bioethics
  • Research Ethics
  • Philosophy of Bioethics
  • Foundations of Medical Anthropology
  • Bioethics in Contemporary Society

Bioethics/Medical Ethics Degrees

Students can get undergraduate and/or graduate degrees as a Bioethics/Medical Ethics major. Some of the undergraduate degrees and credentials students can get are Certificate in Clinical Ethics Consultation, Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy with a concentration in Bioethics, Bachelor of Arts in Bioethics or a Bachelor of Science in Medical Ethics. If college students already have undergraduate degrees and are pursuing graduate degrees, they can enroll in accredited colleges and universities and obtain degrees like the Master of Science in Bioethics, Master of Arts in Bioethics and the Master of Arts in Bioethics and Medical Humanities. Before some colleges and universities allow students to enroll in their Bioethics and Medical Ethics graduate programs students must have a Bachelor’s degree. They also might need at least a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) in their undergraduate studies.

Skills Gained From Bioethics/Medical Ethics Programs

Communications and greater understanding of the human system are skills gained from taking Bioethics/Medical Ethics programs. Additional skills students may gain when they complete Bioethics/Medical Ethics postsecondary programs include critical thinking, ethical reasoning, decision making and legal interpretation skills. Familiarity with patient rights, issues in microbiology and bioorganic and organic medicine are types of knowledge students gain from taking the courses.

Job Opportunities for Bioethics/Medical Ethics Students

From 2008 through 2018, jobs for medical scientists are expected to grow by 40 percent according to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This growth rate is significantly higher than the job growth expected for other occupations. Medical scientists who have graduate degrees are expected to experience higher amounts of job growth. Additionally, as of May 2008 the median annual income medical scientists earned was $72,590.

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