• Junaid Sarfraz Khan Department of Examinations, University of Health Sciences, Lahore
  • Osama Mukhtar Department of Examinations, University of Health Sciences, Lahore
  • Saima Tabasum Department of Examinations, University of Health Sciences, Lahore


Background: The association of medical ethics with teaching and training and health profession has been informal, largely dependent on role modelling and the social contract of the physicians with the community that they abide by. This study was conducted to examine the effect, if any, of introducing the subject of Behavioural Sciences on students’ performance in the clinical years’ ‘viva voce’ and ‘patient interactions’ components of the examinations.  Methods: A prospective study on four cohorts of students at UHS from 2007 to 2012 (8,155 candidates). Reliability was calculated through Cronbach’s Alpha. Linear Regression Analysis was applied to determine the relationship between the scores of Basic Medical Sciences, Behavioural Sciences and Forensic medicine with the viva voce and Structured Stations marks of the Clinical Sciences in OSCE. Gender and demographics analysis was also done.  Results: Cronbach’s Alpha was 0.47, 0.63, 0.67 and 0.53 for the Papers of Behavioural Sciences from 2007 to 2010 respectively. Poor predictive value of Behavioural Sciences for performance in the clinical years’ viva voce and OSCE was identified. Basic Medical Sciences and Forensic Medicine were statistically significant predictors for the performance of female candidates in all four cohorts of the study (p<0.05). In Central Punjab, Behavioural Sciences statistically significantly predicted for better performance in all four cohorts of the study (p<0.05). Conclusion: It is premature to understand the results of Behavioural Sciences teaching at University of Health Sciences (UHS). We can still safely conclude that it can only have a positive sustained effect on the healthcare delivery systems and patient care in Pakistan if it is integrated within each subject and taught and learned not as a theoretical construct but rather an evaluation of one’s values within the code of conduct of medical professionalism in the larger context of the societal and cultural norms.


Mattick K, Bligh J. Undergraduate ethics teaching: revisiting the Consensus Statement. Med Educ 2006;40(4):329–32.

Hasday LR. The Hippocratic Oath as Literacy Text: A Dialogue Between Law and Medicine. Yale J Health Policy Law Ethics 2002;2(2):299–324.

Boyd K M, ed. Report of a working party on the teaching of medical ethics - Chairman Sir Desmond Pond (The Pond report). London: IME Publications, 1987.

General Medical Council. Tomorrow’s Doctors: Recommendations on Undergraduate Medical Education. London: GMC 1993.

Teaching medical ethics and law within medical education: a model for the UK core curriculum. J Med Ethics 1998;24(3):188–92.

Doyal L, Gillon R. Medical ethics and law as a core subject in medical education. A core curriculum offers flexibility in how it is taught-but not that it is taught. BMJ 1998;316(7145):1623–4.

Ewan C. Teaching Ethics in Medical School. Med Teach 1986;8(2):103–10.

Goldie J. Review of ethics curricula in undergraduate medical education. Med Educ 2000;34(2):108–19.

Brockett M, Geddes EL, Westmorland M, Salvatori P. Moral development or moral decline? A discussion of ethics education for the health care professions. Med Teach 1997;19(4):301–9.

Chung EK, Rhee JA, Baik YH, A OS. The effect of team-based learning in medical ethics education. Med Teach 2009;31(11):1013–7.

Arawi T. Using medical drama to teach biomedical ethics to medical students. Med Teach 2010;32(5):e205–10.

Goldie J, Schwartz L, McConnachie A, Morrison J. The impact of three years’ ethics teaching, in an integrated medical curriculum, on students’ proposed behaviour on meeting ethical dilemmas. Med Educ 2002;36(5):489–97.

Goldie J, Schwartz L, McConnachie A, Morrison J. The impact of a modern medical curriculum on students’ proposed behaviour on meeting ethical dilemmas. Med Educ 2004;38(9):942–9.

Goldie J, Schwartz L, McConnachie A, Morrison J. Students’ attitudes and potential behaviour with regard to whistle blowing as they pass through a modern medical curriculum. Med Educ 2003;37(4):368–75.

Yamey G. Protecting whistleblowers. Employers should respond to the message, not shoot the messenger. BMJ 2000;320(7227):70–1.

Southgate L, Cox J, David T, Hatch D, Howes A, Johnson N, Jolly B, Macdonald E, McAvoy P, McCrorie P, Turner J. The assessment of poorly performing doctors: the development of the assessment programmes for the General Medical Council’s Performance Procedures. Med Edu. 2001 Dec 1;35(s1):2–8.

Moore AR. Medical humanities: an aid to ethical discussions. J Med Ethics 1977;3(1):26–32.

Kahn L. Philosophers prime physicians for ethical dilemmas. Hospitals 1982;56(18):162–6.

Daboval T, Moore GP, Ferretti E. How we teach ethics and communication during a Canadian neonatal perinatal medicine residency: An interactive experience. Med teach 2013;35(3):194–200.

Smith KL, Meah Y, Reininger B, Farr M, Zeiman J, Thomas DC. Integrating service learning into the curriculum: Lessons from the field. Med Teach 2013;35(5):e1139–48.

Haidet P. Jazz and the ‘art’ of medicine: Improvisation in the medical encounter. Ann Fam Med 2007;5(2):164–9.



Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 > >>