During the second half of the twentieth century, medicine turned its attention to the ethics of practice. A large and important literature has developed that clarifies the problems generated in the treatment of illness. The same focused attention now should be given to ethical issues and relationships connected with teaching and learning in medicine and to elaborating an ethics of education. Pedagogic relationships anticipate professional relationships. The associations that medical students form with teachers, patients, school, and each other, and the values that shape them have a great influence in determining the sort of physicians students will be. This article examines ethical principles and their application to the relationships and pedagogic problems encountered in studying and teaching medicine. It shows how the introduction of ethics into these areas can not only help students and teachers but also enhance the standing of teaching itself.
(C) 1994 Association of American Medical Colleges