Emory Surgery Resident Awarded Ethics Grant

August 2010

Dr. Timothy Love, a PGY-2 resident in Emory's general surgery residency program, received a 2010 Kamangar Ethics Award for Surgical Resident Training in Medical Ethics from the American College of Surgeons and Washington University School of Medicine. In his application for the grant, Dr. Love wrote, "Surgical residents currently training in the modern era have benefited tremendously from the explosion of medical knowledge over the past century. Unfortunately, this has led to a more narrow focus in medical education that has, in some instances, excluded the substantial teaching of medical ethics that trainees received in generations past." Dr. Love then cited a recent report which described the volume and diversity of ethics issues encountered by the Ethics Committee of Grady Memorial Hospital, and that the highest incidence of consultation by service was in the Trauma ICU, a service on which every Emory surgical resident rotates. For Dr. Love, this situation exemplifies the need for specialized attention and training in ethical issues to replace the assumption that surgeons, residents, and fellows will learn about ethics in their day-to-day interactions with patients.

Dr. Love plans on initiating the ethics curriculum at the weekly resident teaching conference held on Wednesday afternoons, with at least one Wednesday per month dedicated to the topic. Award winners are provided with copies of the Ethical Issues in Clinical Surgery textbook; copies of the Instructor's Companion to Ethical Issues in Clinical Surgery for each faculty instructor; funds to cover all expenses for one member of the program to attend the Kamangar Ethics Award Winners Workshop and Director's Meeting at Washington University School of Medicine on December 9, 2010; ongoing consultation through the Center for the Study of Ethics and Human Values at Washington University; and additional supporting funds of up to $2,000 per year for conducting regular surgery ethics meetings with residents.