Advanced Competency in Pediatric Bioethics

Mission Statement

The Advanced Competency in Pediatric Bioethics for pediatric residents provides training, experience, and skills necessary to become a physician leader in improving the ethical care of children, including one-on-one case-based tutorials with expert faculty educators, reading seminars, experience in teaching bioethics to peers and medical students, observational experience on an ethics committee, scholarship, and mentoring.


  • Develop advanced knowledge and experience in pediatric ethical theory, case analysis, teaching skills, and exposure to medical ethics scholarship
  • A publishable paper in bioethics in a peer-reviewed, indexed journal
  • Experience in observing ethics committee deliberation
  • Teaching bioethics to learners as a small or large group facilitator, with faculty mentorship


Through participation in this program, residents will be able to:

  • Demonstrate fundamental knowledge of basic and advanced principles of pediatric bioethics
  • Develop teaching skills specific to medical ethics, professional behavior, or humanism.
  • Practice direct teaching skills with medical students and residents in small and large group formats
  • Observe and prepare for an ethics committee case/deliberation (quarterly)
  • Present an oral presentation at a local, regional, or national meeting
  • Prepare a written manuscript for publication in a bioethics journal


  • Written assessments (2 per year) by faculty of a case analysis, book review, and/or bioethics film summary
  • Direct assessment of teaching skills by faculty mentors (semi-annual evaluation of progress)
  • Direct assessment of ethical case analysis skills by faculty mentors
  • Presentation of ethics topic to residents and faculty
  • Manuscript ready for submission to peer-reviewed, indexed journal

Learning Methods

  • One-on-one case-based tutorials with faculty mentors
  • Observation of ethics committee at Nationwide Children’s (adult ethics committees at OSU and in geriatrics may also be available)
  • Teaching in one or more of the following:
    • Participation (as a teacher) in NCH’s ongoing ethics curriculum for residents
    • Participation in monthly “Ethics Rounds” for medical students
    • Participation in ethics education for Hospital Pediatrics Fellows
  • Additional meetings and/or dinners devoted to career development
  • Regular meetings with mentor(s)
  • Experiential learning through teaching opportunities and completion of scholarly projects

Program Requirements


  • Must complete formal commitment to the program
  • Begin with at least 18 months remaining in training program


  • Establish a mentor within 3 months of commitment to the program
  • Mentors should have record of accomplishment in pediatric bioethics or medical ethics and mentor designation must be approved by Advanced Competency Program Director
  • Conduct a semi-annual review with mentor

Teaching Skills Practice

  • Conduct approved teaching activity with OSU or OU medical students and/or junior resident teaching activity under direction of faculty adviser

Ethics Committee Practice

  • Residents in the program must attend at least 1 ethics committee meeting every 3-4 months. They will be added to the ethics committee email list.

Scholarly Work Products

  • Written manuscript proposal, must be approved by mentor
  • Submission of original research or paper to a regional or national conference is encouraged
  • Presentation
    • Local (E.g., NCH Ethics Committee, OSU Bioethics conference, resident teaching conference/noon conference)
    • Regional/National Conference (if accepted and feasible from time perspective)
    • Oral presentation to residents and faculty in Advanced Competency Course

Program Faculty

  • Ashley K Fernandes, MD, PhD (Philosophy), (Ambulatory Pediatrics) Director of Advanced Competency, Associate Director, Center for Bioethics at OSU [Interests: philosophical ethics, religion and ethics, end of life care, bioethics education, poverty and health, medicine and the Holocaust]
  • Sheria Wilson, MD, MA (Bioethics), Co-Director of Advanced Competency [Interests: neonatal/perinatal ethics, teaching and scholarship]
  • Pedro Weisleder, MD, MA (Bioethics), Chair of NCH Ethics Committee and Director of the Center for Pediatric Bioethics, Faculty [Interests: ethics committee chair, neurology/ethics, medicine/research and the Holocaust]
  • Stephanie Lauden, MD, CTropMed (Hospital Pediatrics), Faculty [Interests: hospital ethics, systems ethics, cultural competency, global health ethics, religion and ethics, teaching and scholarship]

Email Ashley Fernandes with questions or for more information at