Advanced Training in Healthcare Ethics (ATHE)

Overview 

The UW School of Medicine, Department of Bioethics & Humanities, offers an online program to provide advanced training in healthcare ethics (ATHE). ATHE students gain foundational knowledge and skills to broaden their competency in clinical ethics and ethics consultation. The program consists of three online courses in ethical theory, clinical & organizational ethics consultation, and ethics consultation methods (for 18 Continuing Medical Education credits) and one week-long Summer Seminar in Healthcare Ethics* (approximately 30 CME credits). Students are welcome to take individual courses for unofficial transcripts. The ATHE program is awarded by the department and does not result in UW transcripted credits. 

 

The American Society for Bioethics and Humanities offers a Healthcare Ethics Consulting Certification (HEC-C). The Advanced Training in Healthcare Ethics (ATHE) curriculum can help students prepare for the HEC-C exam. Our instructors are not only faculty at the University of Washington School of Medicine, two are practicing clinical ethicists at the University of Washington Medical Center and Harborview Medical Center. Case discussion combined with strong grounding in ethical principles and methods, forms the foundation of our curriculum. Our program will give you rigorous practical instruction in ethics consultation.  

 

Book an Advising Appointment

 

2021-22 Calendar

August 2-3, 2021: Summer Seminar in Healthcare Ethics: Clinical Ethics Meets Covid-19
August 29, 2021: Application deadline
September 22, 2021: course one payment due
September 29, 2021 - December 10: course one, ATHE 590: Ethical Theory
December 27, 2021: course two payment due
January 3 - March 11, 2022: course two, ATHE 591: Clinical & Organizational Ethics Consultation
March 21, 2022: course three payment due
March 28, 2022 - June 3: course three, ATHE 592: Healthcare Ethics: Methods
June 15, 2022: Summer Seminar* payment due
August 1 - 5, 2022 (TBC): Summer Seminar in Healthcare Ethics

 

 

University of Washington Continuing Medical Education  

The University of Washington School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

 

Online Courses in ATHE Ethical Theory; Clinical & Organizational Ethics Consultation; and Healthcare Ethics: Methods

 

 

*Summer Seminar

The University of Washington School of Medicine designates this other activity for a maximum of 30 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.  UPDATE: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2019 and 2020 cohorts will receive two certificates: one upon the completion of the three online courses and another upon the completion of the courses plus Summer Seminar.  In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a 2-day virtual offering in lieu of the 5-day in-person course is planned for 2021.  If you have already completed participation in a past Summer Seminar, you will have already earned that certificate, and you are not required to repeat it as part of ATHE.

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:
    • Ethical Theory: Moral theories used to solve the toughest clinical cases (3 CME credits) 
      September 29 - December 10, 2021
    • Clinical & Organizational Ethics Consultation: Key legal and ethical issues in healthcare ethics (5 CME credits) 
      January 3 - March 11, 2022
    • Methods: Methods for case analysis and writing effective chart notes (10 CME credits) 
      March 28 - June 3, 2022

       

  • Summer Seminar in Healthcare EthicsA five-day continuing medical education (CME) course in Seattle, is held in-person annually in late July/early August. (appx 30 CME credits).  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2019 and 2020 cohorts will receive two certificates: one upon the completion of the three online courses and another upon the completion of the courses plus Summer Seminar.  In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a 2-day virtual offering in lieu of the 5-day in-person course is planned for 2021. If you have already completed participation in a past Summer Seminar, you will have already earned that certificate, and you are not required to repeat it as part of ATHE.

The curriculum includes three online courses (18 CME credits) and one week-long Summer Seminar in Healthcare Ethics* (appx 30 CME credits). 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. Students may take individual courses for an unofficial transcript; the ATHE program and Summer Seminar* do not result in transcripted UW credits. 

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 and 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 www.uwcme.org. Registration opens annually in the spring.

  6. You will need a Gmail account to participate. Accounts can be obtained here: https://mail.google.com

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 (6 CME credits)
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 (6 CME credits)
Clinical & Organizational Ethics Consultation
This course examines the relationship between clinical and organizational ethics. Analysis of clinical ethics cases that have policy implications. Instruction on methods for ethics consultation. January – March. 
Instructor: Denise Dudzinski, PhD, HEC-C 

SPRING Course in Healthcare Ethics (6 CME credits)
Healthcare Ethics: 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, HEC-C

*SUMMER SEMINAR in AUGUST (appx. 30 CME credits; appx. $1000)
The Summer Seminar in Healthcare Ethics is a week-long, 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 www.uwcme.orgUPDATE: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2019 and 2020 cohorts will receive two certificates: one upon the completion of the three online courses and another upon the completion of the courses plus Summer Seminar.  In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a 2-day virtual offering in lieu of the 5-day in-person course is planned for 2021.  If you have already completed participation in a past Summer Seminar, you will have already earned that certificate, and you are not required to repeat it as part of ATHE.

Apply now for the 2021-22 program! Applications are reviewed on a continual basis. The deadline for an Autumn 2021 start is August 29, 2021.

 

Application Form 

 

You will recieve an admissions decision within three weeks; you may choose to defer your start date. 

Typically, to receive the ATHE certificate, you must complete three online courses and a five-day residential Summer Seminar in Health Care Ethics. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2019 and 2020 cohorts will receive two certificates: one upon the completion of the three online courses and another upon the completion of the courses plus Summer Seminar. 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. 

UPDATE: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a virtual offering in lieu of the in-person Summer Seminar CME course is being planned for 2021.  Details will be posted when finalized.  If you have already completed participation in a past Summer Seminar, you will have already earned that certificate, and you are not required to repeat it as part of ATHE.

Payment deadlines 

  • September 21, 2021: course one payment ($4000 / UW discount: $3600) 
  • December 30, 2021: course two payment ($4000 / UW discount: $3600) 
  • March 20, 2022: course three payment ($4000 / UW discount: $3600)  

We are not offering scholarships at this time. 

Fees: Three Online Courses (12 Credits)

All fees are subject to change without prior notification. The amounts shown here represent, for planning purposes, estimates of fees for the ATHE certificate. Final costs are subject to change without notice and may differ from the amounts posted.

Payment Fee/Course Fee/Credit Hour Total for 3 Courses Payment Method
UW Discount $3600 $900 $10,800 UW budget number
2021 Fee $4000 $1000 $12,000 Credit or check

**If you completed the in-person Summer Seminar in Healthcare Ethics between 2015-2019, you are eligible for a 2021 discount.  Please indicate in your application materials if you have already completed Summer Seminar in Healthcare Ethics, and provide your certificate of completion.

    University of Washington Continuing Medical Education  

    The University of Washington School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

    Online Courses in ATHE Ethical Theory; Clinical & Organizational Ethics Consultation; and Consultation Methods: The University of Washington School of Medicine designates this other activity for a maximum of 18 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

    *Summer SeminarThe University of Washington School of Medicine designates this other activity for a maximum of 30 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. UPDATE: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2019 and 2020 cohorts will receive two certificates: one upon the completion of the three online courses and another upon the completion of the courses plus Summer Seminar.  In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a 2-day virtual offering in lieu of the 5-day in-person course is being planned for 2021.  If you have already completed participation in a past Summer Seminar, you will have already earned that certificate, and you are not required to repeat it as part of ATHE.

    We understand that some students would like CME credits in addition to the certificate they receive after completion of the three online courses. Based on CME rules, however, a fraction of the hours spent in our courses qualify for CME credits. The amount of CME credit awarded is based on the amount of enduring material, in this case, hours of recorded lectures by faculty members for each course. You are welcome to claim the CME credits if you wish. 

    CME credits may be awarded upon request after successful completion of each online course: 

    • ATHE: Ethical Theory – 3 CME credit hours
    • ATHE: Clinical & Organizational Ethics Consultation– 5 CME credit hours
    • ATHE: Consultation Methods – 10 CME credit hours

    The instructor will determine whether the student has successfully completed each course, evidenced by weekly written assignments. 

    Who should apply for this program?

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

    • Clinicians who need Continuing Medical Education credits. 

    • 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? 

    • For information about ATHE, please contact Melissa Cox, Education Programs Specialist, at mdcox@uw.edu and/or Book an Advising Appointment. 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 mdcox@uw.edu and/or Book an Advising Appointment

    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.