A study of a class of Quebec medical students has prompted researchers to ask whether a hidden curriculum exists in the structure of medical education that inhibits rather than facilitates moral reasoning. The study appears in the April 1 edition of the Canadian Association Medical Journal (CMAJ 2003;168:840-4).

Using a french-varient of the Kohlberg moral reasoning scale…

The authors say that in the results they did not observe the increase in the development of moral reasoning that was expected with maturation and involvement in university studies: “We found a significant decrease in weighted average scores after three years of medical education.”

I’d love to see the appropriate controls for all other kinds of further education. Reminds me a bit of the anecdata about selfish (aka ‘rational’) behaviour increasing as economics students progress in their studies