Teaching AI Ethics in Medical Education: A Scoping Review of Current Literature and Practices

Lukas Weidener
Michael Fischer
Soort article
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Introduction: The increasing use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in medicine has raised ethical concerns, such as patient autonomy, bias, and transparency. Recent studies suggest a need for teaching AI ethics as part of medical curricula. This scoping review aimed to represent and synthesize the literature on teaching AI ethics as part of medical education.

Methods: The PRISMA-SCR guidelines and JBI methodology guided a literature search in four databases (PubMed, Embase, Scopus, and Web of Science) for the past 22 years (2000–2022). To account for the release of AI-based chat applications, such as ChatGPT, the literature search was updated to include publications until the end of June 2023.

Results: 1384 publications were originally identified and, after screening titles and abstracts, the full text of 87 publications was assessed. Following the assessment of the full text, 10 publications were included for further analysis. The updated literature search identified two additional relevant publications from 2023 were identified and included in the analysis. All 12 publications recommended teaching AI ethics in medical curricula due to the potential implications of AI in medicine. Anticipated ethical challenges such as bias were identified as the recommended basis for teaching content in addition to basic principles of medical ethics. Case-based teaching using real-world examples in interactive seminars and small groups was recommended as a teaching modality.

Conclusion: This scoping review reveals a scarcity of literature on teaching AI ethics in medical education, with most of the available literature being recent and theoretical. These findings emphasize the importance of more empirical studies and foundational definitions of AI ethics to guide the development of teaching content and modalities. Recognizing AI’s significant impact of AI on medicine, additional research on the teaching of AI ethics in medical education is needed to best prepare medical students for future ethical challenges.


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