Brazil gets its first Medical Student Code of Ethics, to be enforced nationwide

In August 2018, the Federal Council of Medicine [Conselho Federal de Medicina – CFM] issued the Medical Student Code of Ethics [Código de Ética do Estudante de Medicina – CEEM], which sets out principles for defining relationships within and outside classrooms. The publication seeks to guide students' good practice and also prevent bad medical practices after graduation, through 45 articles organized in six axes: student relationship with educational and health institutions; student relationship with the corpse; student interpersonal relationships; student responsibility towards the course and/or the training; student relationship with society; and student relationship with multiprofessional teams.

The document was elaborated by CFM counselors in conjunction with medical students' representative entities in Brazil, in a process that took two years to complete. According to counselor Leonardo Sérvio Luz, a member of CFM's Young Physician Integration Committee, the Code of Ethics was conceived from the need to govern medical schools in unifying the overall guidance provided to medical students on good practices of conduct. "University students, who are the country's future doctors, represented a gap in which the Regional and Federal Councils of Medicine could not act", he says.

The new Code comes to bridge this student/doctor very gap, from CFM’s standpoint. "It is a modern code that addresses issues such as hazing, social media, and prevention of bullying and abusive relationships in schools, among others. It is a way of intervening during student training years so as to guide schools in applying possible sanctions, for instance", the counselor explains.

Universities have already been provided the document, also available for download at (in Portuguese).

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