Development of an institutional curriculum in ethics and public health

  • Roberto Cañete Centre of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Microbiology, Matanzas City
  • Ada Prior Regional Office of the Cuban Ministry of Health, Matanzas City
  • Katia Brito Samuel Fernández Policlinics, Matanzas City
  • Dirce Guilhem Faculty of Health Sciences, Laboratory of Bioethics and Ethics in Research, University of Brasilia
  • Maria R. Novaes School of Medicine, Institute of Health Science- ESCS, University of Brasilia
  • Kenneth W. Goodman University of Miami, Bioethics Program, WHO Collaborating Center in Ethics and Global Health Policy, Florida


Bioethics teaching has traditionally focused on classroom activities, but there is a widely recognized need for professional development opportunities for people with active scientific, clinical or administrative duties. Moreover, there is a shortage of evaluations of ethics programs and curricula. In this cross-sectional study, we surveyed hygiene, epidemiology and microbiology professionals who attended 7 ethics courses in Matanzas province, Cuba. The curriculum consisted of 2 main themes: research ethics and public health ethics. The survey comprised pre- and post-test assessments and in-depth interviews of all participants 3 months after the end of each course. Most attendees (i) appeared to demonstrate increased of knowledge in research and public health ethics, including international guidelines, (ii) gave positive assessments of the courses and (iii) affirmed the importance and pertinence of such training activities. This small study is suggestive of the kinds of professional development opportunities available in limited resource settings. 

Keywords training program, bioethics, public health, postgraduate education
How to Cite
Cañete, R., Prior, A., Brito, K., Guilhem, D., Novaes, M., & Goodman, K. (2013). Development of an institutional curriculum in ethics and public health. Acta Bioethica, 19(2). Retrieved from