Education – College of Medicine

CBHX 2400 Clinical Bioethics and Communication

The goal of this required bioethics course is to improve the student's ability to identify and analyze common ethical issues in health care. Using a case-based approach and presented concurrently with the clinical clerkships, this course focuses on identifying and addressing ethical conflicts, and developing understanding of the legal consensus and moral arguments about common bioethical issues.

Group Schedules:

For individual group schedules, click on your group number: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight

Course Description 2013-2014

Course Title: Clinical Bioethics and Communications (CBHX 2400)

Type of Course: Concurrent, required course for MSIIIs; 1 credit
Course Director: Gregory Eastwood, MD
Phone: 315.464.8454
Instructors: Jay Brenner, MD
Phone: 315.530.5817
  Thomas Curran, MD
Phone: 315.464.8457
  Robert Dunton, MD
Phone: 315.425.2643
  James Dwyer, PhD
Phone: 315.464.8455
  Gregory Eastwood, MD
Phone: 315.464.8454
  Kathy Faber-Langendoen, MD
Phone: 315.464.8464


This course in Clinical Bioethics and Communications is comprised of twelve 1.5 hour sessions in Clinical Bioethics and four 1 hour sessions in Communications over the third year of the medical school curriculum. The Clinical Bioethics sessions are conducted as seminars in small groups, at 2-5 week intervals. Individual group assignments and schedules are posted on Blackboard. At the beginning of each session, your instructor will ask you to discuss ethical aspects of your recent clinical experience. Then the group will focus on the topic for the session.

The Communications sessions with a standardized patient will occur during the fall 2013.

Time: Tuesdays, 4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Course Objectives:

The Clinical Bioethics portion of the course is intended to help you:

(1) develop the knowledge, skills, and habits that will enable you to recognize, analyze, understand, and act on ethical issues in clinical medicine,
(2) behave as a good physician,
(3) understand your obligations as a member of the medical profession, and
(4) understand the fundamental elements of the health care system in the United States.

The Communications portion of the course is intended to help you:

(1) learn how to communicate effectively and establish rapport with patients with diverse backgrounds,
(2) learn the four E’s of patient-centered communication: Engage, Empathize, Educate, Enlist,
(3) learn how to provide information to and practice shared decision-making and behavioral change techniques with patients and their families.
(4) The course also will standardize the communications experience for all students.

This course supports the following Medical Program Objectives of the College of Medicine.

  1. The patient first: the clinical experience and respecting patients while learning on them
  2. Speaking up
  3. Telling the truth and keeping secrets
  4. Ethics consultations and how to analyze and deal with ethical dilemmas
  5. Cultural, religious, and personal practices
  6. Discussion of Ethics Case Analysis Papers
  7. Advance directives, surrogate decision-making, and the NY Family Health Care Decision Act
  8. Futility, palliative care, and physician-assisted suicide
  9. The limits of altruism: difficult patients and professional conscience
  10. The U.S. health care "system"
  11. Self-regulation of the profession
  12. Reflections on the graduating oath and the good physician

Blackboard Website:

(13FA_CBHX2400-MRG:Clinical Bioethics & Comm)

All course content, readings and assignments can be found here.


Attendance is required at all sessions. Your group assignment and schedule are posted on Blackboard. If you cannot attend a session, you must contact your small group leader in advance.

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