Study of the influence of veterinary medical education on the moral development of veterinary students

Donnie J. Self From the Departments of Humanities in Medicine, Philosophy, and Pediatrics, College of Medicine (Self), and College of Veterinary Medicine (Shadduck), Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-1114, the Department of Education, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 (Schrader), the Division of Medical Education Research and Information, American Medical Association, Chicago, IL 60610 (Baldwin), the Department of Pediatrics, University of Utah Medical Center, Salt Lake City, UT 84109 (Root) and the Department of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN 46202 (Wolinsky).

Search for other papers by Donnie J. Self in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
 PhD
,
Dawn E. Schrader From the Departments of Humanities in Medicine, Philosophy, and Pediatrics, College of Medicine (Self), and College of Veterinary Medicine (Shadduck), Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-1114, the Department of Education, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 (Schrader), the Division of Medical Education Research and Information, American Medical Association, Chicago, IL 60610 (Baldwin), the Department of Pediatrics, University of Utah Medical Center, Salt Lake City, UT 84109 (Root) and the Department of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN 46202 (Wolinsky).

Search for other papers by Dawn E. Schrader in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
 EdD
,
DeWitt C. Baldwin Jr. From the Departments of Humanities in Medicine, Philosophy, and Pediatrics, College of Medicine (Self), and College of Veterinary Medicine (Shadduck), Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-1114, the Department of Education, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 (Schrader), the Division of Medical Education Research and Information, American Medical Association, Chicago, IL 60610 (Baldwin), the Department of Pediatrics, University of Utah Medical Center, Salt Lake City, UT 84109 (Root) and the Department of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN 46202 (Wolinsky).

Search for other papers by DeWitt C. Baldwin Jr. in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
 MD
,
Susan K. Root From the Departments of Humanities in Medicine, Philosophy, and Pediatrics, College of Medicine (Self), and College of Veterinary Medicine (Shadduck), Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-1114, the Department of Education, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 (Schrader), the Division of Medical Education Research and Information, American Medical Association, Chicago, IL 60610 (Baldwin), the Department of Pediatrics, University of Utah Medical Center, Salt Lake City, UT 84109 (Root) and the Department of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN 46202 (Wolinsky).

Search for other papers by Susan K. Root in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
 MD
,
Fredric D. Wolinsky From the Departments of Humanities in Medicine, Philosophy, and Pediatrics, College of Medicine (Self), and College of Veterinary Medicine (Shadduck), Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-1114, the Department of Education, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 (Schrader), the Division of Medical Education Research and Information, American Medical Association, Chicago, IL 60610 (Baldwin), the Department of Pediatrics, University of Utah Medical Center, Salt Lake City, UT 84109 (Root) and the Department of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN 46202 (Wolinsky).

Search for other papers by Fredric D. Wolinsky in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
 PhD
, and
John A. Shadduck From the Departments of Humanities in Medicine, Philosophy, and Pediatrics, College of Medicine (Self), and College of Veterinary Medicine (Shadduck), Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-1114, the Department of Education, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 (Schrader), the Division of Medical Education Research and Information, American Medical Association, Chicago, IL 60610 (Baldwin), the Department of Pediatrics, University of Utah Medical Center, Salt Lake City, UT 84109 (Root) and the Department of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN 46202 (Wolinsky).

Search for other papers by John A. Shadduck in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
 DVM, PhD

Click on author name to view affiliation information

Summary

Although veterinary medicine endorses high moral character and adherence to a code of ethics, to our knowledge, virtually no studies have examined the influence of veterinary medical education on the moral development of its students. Using the Kohlberg standard moral judgment interview, this study examined that relationship in a sample of 20 veterinary medical students (16.0% of the veterinary college's student body). The students were tested at the beginning and at the end of their veterinary medical education to determine whether their moral reasoning scores had increased to the same extent as those of other postgraduate students. It was found that normally expected increases in moral reasoning did not occur over the four years of veterinary medical education for these students, suggesting that their veterinary medical educational experience somehow inhibited their moral reasoning ability rather than facilitated it. With a range of moral reasoning scores between 313 and 436, the mean increase from first year to fourth year of 12.5 points was not statistically significant. Statistical analysis revealed no significant correlations between the moral reasoning scores on age or gender, although there were significant correlations with Medical College Admissions Test scores and grade point average scores.

Summary

Although veterinary medicine endorses high moral character and adherence to a code of ethics, to our knowledge, virtually no studies have examined the influence of veterinary medical education on the moral development of its students. Using the Kohlberg standard moral judgment interview, this study examined that relationship in a sample of 20 veterinary medical students (16.0% of the veterinary college's student body). The students were tested at the beginning and at the end of their veterinary medical education to determine whether their moral reasoning scores had increased to the same extent as those of other postgraduate students. It was found that normally expected increases in moral reasoning did not occur over the four years of veterinary medical education for these students, suggesting that their veterinary medical educational experience somehow inhibited their moral reasoning ability rather than facilitated it. With a range of moral reasoning scores between 313 and 436, the mean increase from first year to fourth year of 12.5 points was not statistically significant. Statistical analysis revealed no significant correlations between the moral reasoning scores on age or gender, although there were significant correlations with Medical College Admissions Test scores and grade point average scores.

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 543 543 163
PDF Downloads 61 61 7
Advertisement