Development of an institutional curriculum in ethics and public health


  • Roberto Cañete Centre of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Microbiology
  • Ada Prior Regional Office of the Cuban Ministry of Health
  • Katia Brito Samuel Fernández Policlinics
  • Dirce Guilhem University of Brasilia
  • Maria R. Novaes University of Brasilia
  • Kenneth W. Goodman University of Miami


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.


training program, bioethics, public health, postgraduate education