Purpose Limited information exists regarding students' routine educational needs in support of ethics and professionalism practices faced in real clinical practice. As such the authors aimed to explore medical students learning needs and preferences for informed consent and relevant ethical issues in the clerkship environments. Materials and methods A cross-sectional study using a self-administered, printed survey distributed to final year clinical clerks. Results 84% completed the survey. Students indicated the need for more attention to all topics related to informed consent (mean = 7.1 on a scale of 0 to 9; ±1.2). Most additional instructional attention was requested for topics raised in discussions with patients concerning the risks, benefits and alternatives to recommended treatments (7.3 ±1.4). The cohort expressed the need for education in the care of vulnerable patients (7.2 ±1.2) with a maximum score for the care of abused children. Women perceived greater need for education concerning informed consent than male respondents (p>0.05). There were significant differences between students who scored high or low on the item being treated in professional manner and endorsement of educational needs for care of adolescents (p = 0.05). Conclusion There was heightened perception among final year medical students of the need for greater attention to be paid to informed consent education.
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