Res Dev Med Educ. 2021;10(1): 6.
doi: 10.34172/rdme.2021.006
  Abstract View: 196
  PDF Download: 197

Original Research

Providing a model of a hidden curriculum in medical majors with an emphasis on medical ethics

Amir Nahavandi Takab 1* ORCID logo, Eskandar Fathi Azar 2 ORCID logo, Zarrin Daneshvar Heris 1 ORCID logo, Hossein Baghaei 3 ORCID logo

1 Department of Humanities Sciences, Tabriz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz, Iran
2 ِDepartment of Psychology and Educational sciences, Tabriz University, Tabriz, Iran
3 Department of Educational Sciences, Kaleybar Branch, Islamic Azad University,Kaleybar, Iran


Background: The “hidden” curriculum, alongside official education, can transfer ethical and
professional values and principles to medical students and show them the importance of
medical ethics. Ethical issues are essential factors influenced by the hidden curriculum in the
medical educational system; these issues are also instruments for medical students as they
develop their professionalism and idealism. The current study aims to provide an empirical
study model of this hidden curriculum and its role in transferring knowledge of medical ethics.
Methods: The current research is qualitative in the phenomenological type. The statistical
population consisted of professors along with students in their fourth and upper years of
various medical disciplines at the Tabriz University of Medical Sciences during 2019-2020. The
sample group, according to the qualitative nature of the research, was compiled to a theoretical
saturation to be 36 professors and students. The data were collected through semi-structured
interviews. Analysis was done using thematic coding and Smith`s method. To maintain quality
and accuracy, interview content was analyzed by two authors to reconstruct the reality. The
data and their interpretation were then provided to the professors to confirm their accuracy.
To ensure stability of the data, the interviews were conducted in a suitable atmosphere and in
compliance with the interview conditions and isolated from bias and personal opinion.
Results:A total of 67 concepts were extracted that were consequently categorized into five main
themes: 1. Objectives and Curriculum; 2. Physical Space; 3. Backgrounds and Perspectives; 4.
Laws and regulations; and, 5. Relationships. A model for studying students’ experiences of the
hidden curriculum and medical ethics was presented.
Conclusion: Since medical professors and senior students are dealing with patient health, it is
essential to acknowledge the concept of medical ethics as a “hidden” curriculum alongside
scientific and professional issues in designing medical curriculum.
Keywords: Hidden curriculum, Medical ethics, Medical training
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Submitted: 16 Jan 2021
Revision: 13 Apr 2021
Accepted: 17 Apr 2021
ePublished: 05 May 2021
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