Ethics as the Core of the Curriculum:
Innovations In Interprofessional Ethics Education

A Conference on Ethics in Interprofessional Education
June 2-3, 2013
Houston, Texas

If there is a universal subject that we would all like to teach effectively to students in the health professions, it is ethics. Certainly ethical questions arise in the classrooms where we educate doctors, nurses, scientists and public health workers. But do we talk about these issues across disciplinary lines? Do we prepare our students to have these conversations and to work together effectively in teams providing care to people and populations?

The McGovern Center at UTHealth is excited to announce the inaugural Ethics in Interprofessional Education Conference, to be held in Houston’s renowned Texas Medical Center in June 2013, featuring presentations on the teaching of ethics through the humanities and across healthcare fields, with emphasis on nursing and medicine.

In addition to presentations by leaders in the field of interprofessional ethics, sessions will include interactive opportunities to address the questions “Are your ethics my ethics?” and  “How well do questions of right and wrong translate across professional lines?” The Ethics in IPE conference offers a prime opportunity to begin the discussion and to foster the process of developing an innovative curriculum in ethics education and interprofessional education on your campus.

We encourage you to consider sending representatives from more than one discipline at your institution to the conference.

Identifying common goals is the most important step in achieving a functional interprofessional team and creating an interdisciplinary curriculum.

There is no better starting point than ethics and the natural set of team goals it provides for collaboration across the disciplines, a richer curriculum and, for our students, a grounding in the issues that they will face in their professional lives.

We look forward to seeing you in Houston.


The McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics

The McGovern Center examines the moral, spiritual, and cultural aspects of biomedical science and the health care professions. Our faculty is trained in a range of disciplines from history, medical humanities, philosophy, ethics, religious studies to law.

"To be properly educated to practice his or her art, it is essential that a knowledge of science be supplemented by familiarity with the humanities." ~ John P. McGovern, M.D.


The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth)

Located in the world renowned Texas Medical Center, UTHealth brings together the School of Dentistry, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the Medical School, the School of Public Health, the School of Nursing, the School of Biomedical Informatics, and the UT Harris County Psychiatric Center in an outstanding academic health center.

Marriott Texas Medical Center

6580 Fannin Street · Houston, Texas 77030 USA
Phone: 1-713-796-0080 or Toll Free: 1 888 236 2427

The Houston Marriott at the Texas Medical Center is located in the heart of the Texas Medical Center. Just steps from Houston's MetroRail, the Texas Medical Center hotel is convenient to Reliant Stadium (Home of the Houston Texans), the Houston Museum District, Hermann Park, Midtown, Downtown, and Rice University.

We have negotiated a very low sleeping room rate of $109.00 for our conference participants. If you need sleeping accommodations, please refer to the group reservation link located in your registration confirmation email. Use this weblink to receive the negotiated rate when you make your reservation online. You must make your hotel reservation before May 12, 2013 in order to secure the discounted rate of $109. After May 12, you will be subject to current market rates.

Marriott Houston at the Texas Medical Center

Houston - Things To Do

Houston, America's fourth-largest city, is a cosmopolitan destination with world-class dining, arts, hotels, shopping and vibrant nightlife. Enjoy a day or two before of after the conference discovering our wonderful city.

With the Museum District within walking distance of the hotel, premier sporting venues offering entertainment year round, and many award winning restaurants nearby, there is always something to do in this city where Southwestern hospitality meets urban chic.

Please follow this link to learn more about things to do in your free time outside the conference:

Getting Here

Houston is served by two major international airports with thousands of flights arriving and departing daily.

Houston Intercontinental Airport – approximately 26 miles and a 45-minute taxi ride depending on traffic
Houston Hobby Airport – approximately 12 miles and a 20-minute taxi ride depending on traffic


Sunday, June 2, 2013:

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Preliminary Registration
4:00 pm
Showing of movie Wit
6:00 pm – 7:00
Welcome Reception - Remarks from Tom Cole, Director of the McGovern Center, UTH
7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Guest Speaker: Maggie Edson
"Ordinarily Yes, But in Her Case No"
8:30-9:00 pm
Final Remarks on the ethical and interprofessional issues in “Wit” - Jeffrey Spike, Director of Campus-wide Ethics, UTH

Monday: June 3, 2013

7:30-8:30 am
Breakfast and Registration
8:30 am -9:30 am
Plenary Session - Mark Earnest: “Teamwork and Interprofessional Professionalism - Harnessing the Intelligence of Teams”
9:30 am - 10:00 am
Sarah Shannon and Jeffrey Spike: “Ethics as the Core of an IPE Program”
10 am -10:15 am
10:15 am -10:45
Tess Jones: “'Oh, the Humanit(ies)!': Danger and Democracy in IPE”
10:45 am -11:30 am
Mark Earnest and Tess Jones: “Escaping Your Ethics Jail: Inter-Professional Ethics Education”
11:30 am -12:30 pm
Lunch and Keynote Speaker - Joe Greer: “Why Academic Medicine Plays Such a Small Role in Health Outcomes and a Big One in the Mess We Are In: Giving New Curricula a Chance to Save the World.”
12:30 pm -1:00pm
Poster Session and Business Break
1:00 pm -1:45 pm
Joe Greer and Marin Gillis:  "What is Ethics Competency? Dispatches from the Front Line of a New Integrated Curriculum"
1:45 pm-3:00 pm
Ethics IPE - Sarah Shannon: “Simulation in Disclosing Errors as a Health Care Team:  A Litmus Test for Interprofessional Skills  (Active learning for 500)"
3:00 pm -3:45pm
Ethics IPE Continued - Karen McDonough: “Team-Based Clinical Problem Solving:  Choosing Cases that Embed Ethics for Interprofessional Students to Simultaneously Learn Ethics and Critical Thinking”
3:45 pm -4:00 pm
Closing Comments and Evaluations


Conference Registration

Registration pricing is as follows:

Registration fees include light dinner on Sunday and a hot breakfast and lunch on Monday during the conference.
For those applying for the CME / CE credits, there is no cost for you to receive the credit.

Continuing Education Units

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the essential areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through the joint sponsorship of The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) and The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston designates this live activity for a maximum of 6.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

UTMB designates this educational activity for up to 6.5 hours in ethics/professional responsibility.

This activity provides 6.5 contact hours of nursing continuing education. UTHealth at Houston School of Nursing is an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the Texas Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.


If you have any questions regarding the conference in general, please contact Jeffrey Spike at or 713-500-6698.

Should you have questions regarding the registration process, please contact Erin Kellar at or 713-500-3137