Month/Year of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)



First Advisor

Dr. Brigette Ryalls


The burden of ethical decision-making is a significant contributor to compassion fatigue in healthcare professionals. Due to the impact of moral conflicts, it may be beneficial to reassess the effectiveness of current ethics education and training. While previous studies have surveyed a range of medical professionals and students, it remains unclear if exposure to ethics topics during undergraduate education could better prepare future healthcare workers. Thus, there is a need to identify the necessity of introducing ethics courses into the required pre-health curriculum. The following study took the first step to gauge this by surveying undergraduate pre-health students on their self-perceived preparedness to face issues related to medical ethics. Over half of respondents indicated that they have not taken an ethics course but do recognize the importance of medical ethics. This was reflected by responses that also revealed that there are varying opinions on whether an ethics course during undergraduate studies would improve their sense of preparedness for post-graduation education or career. Further research questioning the reasons for discrepancies between values and actions as well as evaluating the methods and efficacy of ethics education are necessary to determine if ethics coursework at the undergraduate level would benefit aspiring healthcare professionals.