Advanced Training in Healthcare Ethics




The UW School of Medicine Department of Bioethics & Humanities offers a fee-based flexible distance learning program to provide advanced training in healthcare ethics. The Advanced Training in Healthcare Ethics (ATHE) program provides students with foundational knowledge and skills to broaden their competency in patient care, clinical ethics, and ethics consultation.


2020-21 Program Deadlines 

September 7, 2020: applications due
September 22, 2020: payment due
September 20, 2020: autumn quarter begins

More Information

  • Program Director: Denise Dudzinski, PhD, MTS, Professor and Chair; Chief, UW Medicine Ethics Consultation Service
  • Guided by the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities’ Core Competencies for Healthcare Ethics Consultation
  • Convenient for clinicians and full-time professionals
  • Three online distance learning courses in healthcare ethics:
    • Theory:  Moral theories used to solve the toughest clinical cases
    • Law:  Key legal and ethical issues in healthcare ethics
    • Methods:  Methods for case analysis and writing effective chart notes
  • Summer Seminar in Healthcare EthicsA five-day continuing medical education (CME) course in Seattle, held annually in late July/early August.

The curriculum includes three distance-learning courses (12 credit hours) and a one-week CME course, the Summer Seminar in Healthcare Ethics. Courses are designed to develop clinical ethics and ethical reasoning skills. Training can be completed in one academic year, plus the one-week Summer Seminar.  Each distance learning course is 10 weeks. Each course requires several hours of online instruction and several hours of independent preparation and study/week.

Our online courses are flexible:

  1. Courses are asynchronous, meaning the class does not “meet” in real time. Weekly online coursework can be completed when it's convenient for you.

  2. You can complete the assigned material any time during the week, according to your schedule. On rare occasions, we may try to have everyone online at the same time. If/when this happens we will work with students to find a time that works with everyone’s schedules.

  3. You may take just one or two one of the online courses if you do not want to complete the full program.  Please fill out the application form and indicate which course you want to take and why.  Upon admission, pay non-refundable application fee & tuition.

  4. You may take online courses over a period of several years, if that works better for you. Likewise Summer Seminar can be taken before or after the online coursework, even a year or two later if that works best for you.

  5. To see if you’d like to purse ATHE, you are invited to take the Summer Seminar in Healthcare Ethics in Seattle. Reserve a spot at Registration opens annually in the spring.

  6. You will need a Gmail account to participate. Accounts can be obtained here:

Tuition payments are due 1 week in advance of the first day of the course, and upon payment of tuition, you will receive the link to the course website.

AUTUMN Course in Healthcare Ethics (equivalent of 4 credit hours; $1,000/credit hour)
Ethical Theory
This course studies important historical theoretical frameworks that are the foundation of modern medical ethics, as well as contemporary commentary. September – December. 
Instructor: Nancy Jecker, PhD

WINTER Course in Healthcare Ethics (equivalent of 4 credit hours; $1,000/credit hour)
This course examines the relationship between bioethics and law. Analysis of paradigm legal and ethics cases and statutes related to informed consent, foregoing life support, confidentiality, and allocation of health care resources. January – March. 
Instructors: Denise Dudzinski, PhD, MTS, and Patricia Kuszler, MD, JD 

SPRING Course in Healthcare Ethics (equivalent of 4 credit hours; $1,000/credit hour)
Consultation Methods
This course offers case-based practice in clinical ethics including methods of ethical analysis and writing ethics consultation chart notes. March – June. 
Instructor: Georgina Campelia, PhD

SUMMER SEMINAR in AUGUST (30+ Continuing Education credits; approx. $1000)
The Summer Seminar in Healthcare Ethics is a one-week in-person course held annually at the University of Washington in Seattle.  The seminar provides an intensive, interactive introduction to the analysis of ethical problems in clinical care.  This is a CME course and is not eligible for tuition exemption. For more information on CME credits, please visit

Apply now for the 2020-21 program!


Deadline: September 7, 2020 


  1. Application Form 
    If you do not want to complete all three courses, please indicate which courses you’d like to take. If you later decide to take more courses, you will not need to apply again.

  2. Two References
    Ask two people who are familiar with your professional accomplishments and potential to complete the Reference Form. Please ask your referees to review the information about the certificate program on this webpage. 

To receive the ATHE certificate, you must complete three online courses and a five-day Summer Seminar in Health Care Ethics. The department verifies completion of the three-course series and satisfactory completion of all certificate requirements. You may take individual courses and/or the Summer Seminar if you wish. If you are a UW employee and your department will pay your fees with a UW budget number, you will receive a discount. 

Payment Due: September 22, 2020

Fees: Three Online Courses (12 Credits)

The UW Office of Continuing Medical Education does not grant CME credits for ATHE. 

Payment Fee / Course Fee / Credit Hour Total for Three Courses
Standard $4000 $1000 $12,000
UW Discount  $3,200 $800 $9,600




Fees: Summer Seminar in Health Care Ethics*
*pricing subject to change 

The UW Office of Continuing Medical Education grants appx 30 CME credits for Summer Seminar, the amount may vary. 

Credentials Seminar Fees before 6/15 Seminar Fees after 6/15   
MD/DO/JD/PhD $1,049* $1,099*  
All others $949* $999*  

Who should apply for this program?

  • Participants who possess strong writing, critical thinking and verbal communication skills. GRE scores are not required.

  • Professionals in healthcare, including physicians, nurses, clergy, social workers, clinical ethics consultants, and members of ethics committees.

I’m interested in learning more. How will I know whether this program is right for me? 

  • Contact us at We’ll be happy to talk to you about Advanced Training in Healthcare Ethics.

I just finished college and want to apply to medical school. Is this program right for me?

  • Not yet. While we encourage you to pursue your interest in Bioethics during medical school, this program is not intended as an introduction to bioethics. This training is better suited to professionals already working in healthcare.

I am a UW employee or trainee. May I use UW’s Tuition Exemption to cover the fees?

  • No, this program is not tuition-based and therefore not eligible for tuition exemption.

What are the technology requirments for participation? 

For information about ATHE, please contact Melissa Cox, Education Programs Specialist, at

For more information about healthcare ethics and certification, visit The American Society for Bioethics and Humanities.  The Healthcare Ethics Consultant-Certified (HEC-C) program is the first-ever certification program that identifies and assesses a national standard for the professional practice of clinical healthcare ethics consulting. Established by the HCEC Certification Commission, the HEC-C credential endorses your knowledge of key concepts in healthcare ethics and affirms your expertise, competence, and skillset.