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Table 1 Case Studies for Weekly Online Discussion

From: Ethical learning on international medical electives: a case-based analysis of medical student learning experiences

Ethical Theme Case Study
1. Uncertainty about how best to help I am working at a TB clinic in West Africa. Yesterday the clinic ran out of gloves. I have brought some of my own with me, but not enough to share with the entire local staff working at the clinic. The local staff must continue to attend the clinic even without gloves. I am not sure what I should do in this situation?
2. Perceptions of Western medical students A patient asked to see the ‘western doctor’ (me), rather than the local doctor. I explained that I was a medical student, not a doctor, but the patient still insisted on being examined by me.
3. Moving beyond one’s scope of practice I am on an elective in South Africa. The registrar asked me to assist with an emergency C-section as there was no one else available to help. I have never done this type of procedure before, and remembered that the medical school advised us not to assist with a C-section as it is a high-risk exposure prone procedure.
4. Navigating different cultures of medicine I am on elective in a busy rural hospital. On the labour ward, the midwives often shout at the patients, and even slap them on the face if they are making too much noise. Should I intervene?
5: One sided benefits I am working in an outpatient gynaecological clinic. I am getting lots of practice doing examinations. I always ask for permission to do an examination, but my language skills are not very good. I think the patients may think that I am a doctor (not a medical student), which is why they let me examine them. I ask the nurse to come and explain in the local language and although she is very busy attending to patients, she obliges.