Ethics Simulation in Global Health Training (ESIGHT)

Publication ID Published Volume
10590 June 7, 2017 13

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Introduction: Many health care trainees and providers have reported feeling unprepared for the ethical dilemmas they faced while practicing in global health. Simulation is an effective teaching modality in the training of health care professionals. This resource describes the development, implementation, and assessment of an innovative simulation training program for global health ethics. Methods: We conducted simulation training with trainees and professionals from various health care disciplines. After a didactic component in which general ethical principles were introduced, participants acted as either lead or observer in four simulations representing different ethical challenges. Participants interacted with simulated patients within a set designed to resemble a resource-constrained environment. Data on the participants’ experiences and evaluations of the program’s effectiveness were collected through pre-/postsession surveys and focus groups. Results: All 53 participants (100%) agreed that the simulations “effectively highlighted ethical dilemmas I could face abroad,” and 98% agreed that the content “was useful in my preparation for an international elective.” Responses from surveys and focus groups stressed the importance of the realistic and emotional nature of the simulation in increasing confidence and preparedness, as well as a preference for simulation as the modality for teaching global health ethics. Discussion: Simulation for global health ethics training can help to raise awareness of the complex ethical challenges one may face abroad. Incorporating simulation training within broader global health curricula can improve trainee preparedness and confidence in appropriately and effectively identifying, strategizing, and navigating through ethical dilemmas in the field.


Asao S, Lewis B, Harrison JD, et al. Ethics simulation in global health training (ESIGHT). MedEdPORTAL Publications. 2017;13:10590.

Educational Objectives

By the end of the session, participants should be able to:

  1. Have a heightened awareness of complex ethical issues in global health.
  2. Feel more predeparture preparedness and confidence about working through ethical dilemmas that they may encounter in the field.
  3. Critically analyze the potential consequences of ethical choices on different stakeholders.
  4. Develop a strategy for approaching ethical issues related to scope of practice, voluntary informed consent, privacy and confidentiality, professional ethics, harm and benefit, and corruption.
  5. Identify someone as a resource for discussion and advice regarding various ethical dilemmas.


  • Global Health, Ethics, Simulation Training, Medical Ethics


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