The largest discrepancy detected by Goold and Stern (2006) in their study of resident and nonresident physicians’ attitudes towards areas of improved focus in residency ethics curriculum lay in the need to understand the ethical implications involved in healthcare resource allocation. The fact that residents failed to recognize the importance of this pervasive issue may appear ironic, but it should not be surprising. Residents are routinely faced with the burdens of practicing medicine in a world of limited resources. Their failure to recognize the ethical implications of their practice, however, stems from a general unwillingness among attending physicians to confront this problem. Unfortunately, traditional medical ethics has hampered rather than fostered such discussion.

Elmer D. Abbo & Angelo E. Volandes