MED661G.01 (Reno)
Clinical Ethics

Office of Medical Education

  • Course Name: Clinical Ethics
  • Short Name: Clinical Ethics
  • Course Number: MED661G.01
  • Location: Reno
  • Department: Office of Medical Education: Reno
  • Type: Non-Clinical
  • Length: Available in Fall (2 non clinical credits) or Spring (2 non-clinical credits). It may also be taken for Scholarly Concentration in Clinical Ethics (both Spring & Fall/longitudinal (4 non-clinical credits).
  • Preceptor: Kimiko Ishibashi, M.D.

Please contact the Office of Medical Education: Reno to verify elective availability.


  • Demonstrate competence in creating an ethics case write-up/report.
  • Gain familiarity with the operation of a hospital ethics committee.
  • Understand the process of a hospital clinical ethics consult and when they are necessary.
  • Analysis and synthesis of ethical concepts towards determination of a clinical ethics case in the form of a consult note.
  • Completion of a scholarly project centered around clinical ethics, of the student’s choosing - Scholarly Concentration only.

Description of Rotation

Clinical Medical ethics is filled with cases that infuse your day with perplexing questions and sometimes may keep you up at night. This rotation will expand and enhance basic knowledge of clinical ethics in order to give the tools needed to begin to think about and analyze these ethically or professionally difficult situations, evaluate the pertinent information related to the case in order to best help to guide patients through these dilemmas, and to develop confidence in decision-making. We will follow the method developed by Jonsen, Siegler and Winslade, to create a stepwise approach to cases posing ethical questions, and then work to write up the case with recommendations for a course of action as would be done in an ethics consult. After all, when the philosophic debates are over, a decision must be made and a physician must act.

The student will also become familiar with the operations of a hospital ethics committee by attending two ethics meetings as well as an ethics consultation if one is available for attendance and participation.

For those also doing the Scholarly Concentration in Clinical Ethics, the rotation will culminate with a final scholarly project centered around clinical ethics.


  • Jerome Groopman, How Doctors Think
  • Albert Jonsen, Mark Siegler and William J. Winsade, Clinical Ethics: A Practical Approach to Ethical Decisions in Clinical Medicine
  • Other selected readings

Evaluation Method

Students are required to complete all reading, writing, meeting, and presentation assignments. Students will be evaluated on the standard UNR Med Elective Clinical Performance form.


  • Honors: An exceptional performance which exceeds all course objectives
  • High Pass: A performance which exceeds most course objectives
  • Pass: A performance which meets the course objectives
  • Fail: A performance which does not meet the course objectives

Special Notes

Can be applied to the Scholarly Concentration in Clinical Ethics.
160 hours, flexible over the year