Medical Ethics & Professionalism Course Overview

This Medical Ethics CME course is accepted by the California Medical Board and is designed for clinicians who would like to improve their ethical knowledge and practices. Attendees will learn best practices that will ensure that their ethical knowledge and behaviors meet applicable standards, laws, and regulations. 

This course covers topics such as boundary violations, unprofessionalism, over-reaching, defensiveness, fraud and dishonesty, medical staff ethics, and clinician bias. For a complete list of this program’s content, see below.

These skills will help improve medical care and help ensure that attendees’ practice conforms to ethical requirements. This intensive two day long course with enduring materials fills a huge gap in clinician training, and is critical for clinicians who have been found deficient in their ethical behaviors by hospitals, medical groups, or regulatory agencies. The California Medical Board accepts this ethics course as meeting the coursework requirements of physician probation.

23 CME Hours – 2 Day Program

This course meets the requirements of California Medical Board licensee probation.

12 attendee limit per course by Licensing Board regulation.

At the conclusion of the course, attendees should be able to:

1. Understand the fundamental principles that distinguish ethical from unethical conduct.
2. Identify and manage the conduct that may be perceived by others as unethical.
3. Distinguish ethical from legal responsibilities of medical practice.
4. Recognize and manage factors that predispose physicians to boundary violations with
5. Maintain high standards of professionalism in all medical practice-related conduct.
6. Alter current practices not previously recognized as being ethically questionable.

8:00 AM – 12:30 PM and 1:30 PM – 6:15 PM PST.

This Ethics course meets the requirements of Title 16, California Code of Regulations (CCR) Section 1358.1.

WILM Ed is a California Medical Board approved provider for Ethics and Professionalism

Until further notice, this course will be held online via Zoom. Attendees will be expected to have access to a camera and microphone.

1. Introduction to ethics.
2. Distinguishing ethics from law.
3. Possible repercussions of unethical conduct.
4. Disciplinary actions by peer review bodies for ethics violations.
5. Boundary violation behaviors.
6. Boundary violation consequences.
7. Boundary violation risk factors and triggers.
8. Boundary violation prevention.
9. Unprofessional comments to patients or their families.
10. Improper disclosure of confidential patient information.
11. Attempting care beyond the clinician’s level of competence.
12. Informal experimentation.
13. Gatekeeper roles and managed care relationships.
14. Excessive patient load.
15. Properly terminating care of a patient.
16. Supervision, delegation of responsibilities and unlicensed practice.
17. Ethics of collaborative (split) treatment.
18. Defensive medicine.
19. Agreeing to inappropriate demands by patient or family.
20. Life-sustaining measures.
21. Fraudulent misrepresentations to patients, including excessive diagnostic procedures and excessive treatment.
22. Insurance fraud.
23. Miscoding, over-billing and Medicare/Medi-Cal fraud.
24. False documents for disability, competence, employment or hospital staff privileges.
25. Referral fees and financially profitable referrals for medical services.
26. Other forms of dishonesty comprising unethical conduct.
27. Interactions with pharmaceutical and device manufacturers.
28. Defamation and undermining patient confidence in other clinicians.
29. False advertising or misrepresenting qualifications.
30. Solicitation of patients.
31. Physical and mental impairment of the clinician that interferes with safe practice.
32. Temporary impairments that interfere with safe practice.
33. Substance use disorder that impairs clinicians.
34. Prescribing for self, family members or friends.
35. Reporting clinicians for substance use disorder, improper prescribing or incompetence.
36. Medical staff peer review, conflicts of interest and abuse of authority.
37. Disruptive clinicians and corrective actions in hospitals or group practices.
38. Effects on clinicians and their practices due to substance use disorder.
39. Identifying and minimizing clinician bias.

1. Medically ethical conduct defined and explained.
2. Utilizing placebo effect.
3. Ethical conduct expected of clinicians when interacting with attorneys in legal matters involving their patients.
4. Ethical conduct expected of a medical witness or expected of a medical consultant to an attorney or the court.
5. Ethical challenges arising from business competition with other clinicians.
6. Ethical conduct in relations between clinicians and their present and former partners, employers, and employees.
7. Ethical conduct by occupational clinicians pressured by patients’ employers to protect the employers’ interests.
8. Protecting a hospital’s income at the patient’s expense.
9. Protecting the clinician’s managed care participation at the patient’s expense.
10. Ethical risks of giving pharmaceutical company-sponsored lectures.
11. Failure to accommodate to differences in cultural/ethnic background, race, language, religion, or socio-economic status of patients.
12. Lack of an effective continuous quality improvement program.
13. Inadequate warnings to patients regarding drug-related risks from concomitant use of other substances.
14. Inadequate measurement of clinical findings.
15. Failure to prepare adequate printed handouts for patients.
16. Delayed and anticipatory record keeping.
17. Jousting in the medical records.
18. Misleading record keeping by patient labeling.
19. Defensive record keeping.
20. Inadequate review of prior patient records.
21. Inaccurate and disparaging comments about alternative medicine.
22. Overuse of alternative medicine practitioners.

$1849. Organizations sponsoring multiple registrants should call (650) 212-4904 to discuss reduced tuition fees that may apply.

Register for Practical Medical Ethics

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through the join provider-ship of the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine and the Western Institute of Legal Medicine. The University of California, Irvine School of Medicine is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The University of California, Irvine School of Medicine designates this live and enduring materials activity for a maximum of 23 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits.  Physicians should claim only credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The University of California, Irvine School of Medicine Continuing Medical Education Department has reviewed this activity’s speaker and planner disclosures and resolved all identified conflicts of interest, if applicable.

The statements and opinions contained in this program are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the WILM Programs. The appearance of the advertisements is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The content of this presentation and publication may contain discussion of off-label uses of some of the agents mentioned. Please consult the prescribing information for full disclosure of approved uses. The WILM Programs disclaims responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas or products referred to in the presentation or advertisements.


Record Submission Instructions


1700 South El Camino Real Suite 408
San Mateo, CA 94402


© 2020 Western Institute of Legal Medicine