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Table 2 Responses to questions on the perception of general ethical conflicts

From: Perception of and attitude toward ethical issues among Korean occupational physicians

Item All subjects P value Specialist P value Resident P value
Specialist Resident 〉10 years ≤10 years 3rd & 4th-year 1st & 2nd-year
(N = 80) (N = 71) (N = 35) (N = 45) (N = 30) (N = 41)
n (%) n (%) n (%) n (%) n (%) n (%)
Have you ever struggled with ethical problems during work?    0.000    0.693*    0.322
 Yes 73 (91.3) 45 (63.4)   31 (88.6) 42 (93.3)   21 (70.0) 24 (58.5)  
 No 7 (8.7) 26 (36.6)   4 (11.4) 3 (6.7)   9 (30.0) 17 (41.5)  
Have you ever felt the necessity of systematic education and training regarding ethical decision-making during work?    0.016    0.5*    0.065
 Yes 70 (87.5) 51 (71.8)   32 (91.4) 38 (84.4)   25 (83.3) 26 (63.4)  
 No 10 (12.5) 20 (28.2)   3 (8.6) 7 (15.6)   5 (16.7) 15 (36.6)  
Do you think that an occupational physician has to have a higher sense of ethics than any other doctor?    0.024    0.487    0.271
 Yes 61 (76.3) 42 (59.2)   28 (80.0) 33 (73.3)   20 (66.7) 22 (53.7)  
 No 19 (23.7) 29 (40.8)   7 (20.0) 12 (26.7)   10 (33.3) 19 (46.3)  
Do you think it is necessary to have an ethical code for occupational physicians? a    0.459    0.745    0.918
 Yes 64 (81.0) 54 (76.1)   29 (82.9) 35 (80.0)   23 (76.7) 31 (75.6)  
 No 15 (19.0) 17 (23.9)   6 (17.1) 9 (20.0)   7 (23.3) 10 (24.4)  
What is the area with the most frequent ethical conflict on your work? b
 Decision of general health examination 0 (0) 4 (5.6)   0 (0) 0 (0)   0 (0) 4 (9.8)  
 Decision of occupational health examination 34 (43.6) 27 (38.0)   17 (50.0) 17 (38.6)   12 (40.0) 15 (36.5)  
 Evaluation for work relatedness 21 (27.0) 33 (46.5)   9 (26.4) 12 (27.3)   15 (50.0) 18 (43.9)  
 Industrial healthcare management 12 (15.4) 2 (2.9)   4 (11.8) 8 (18.2)   2 (6.7) 0 (0)  
 Etc. 11 (14.0) 5 (7.0)   4 (11.8) 7 (15.9)   1 (3.3) 4 (9.8)  
What is the most frequent object of ethical conflict on your work?
 Employee 32 (40.0) 34 (47.9)   13 (37.1) 19 (42.2)   16 (53.3) 18 (43.9)  
 Employer 31 (38.8) 18 (25.4)   15 (42.9) 16 (35.6)   12 (40.1) 6 (14.6)  
 Government 1 (1.1) 2 (2.7)   1 (2.9) 0 (0)   0 (0) 2 (4.9)  
 Doctor colleague 4 (5.0) 6 (8.5)   1 (2.9) 3 (6.7)   1 (3.3) 5 (12.2)  
 Paramedics 3 (3.8) 3 (4.2)   1 (2.9) 2 (4.4)   1 (3.3) 2 (4.9)  
 Etc. 9 (11.3) 8 (11.3)   4 (11.3) 5 (11.1)   0 (0) 8 (19.5)  
How do you resolve an ethical conflict that occurs at work? c
 Consult with other doctor colleagues 29 (40.3) 39 (54.9)   8 (25.8) 21 (51.2)   12 (40.0) 27 (65.9)  
 Resolve with personal belief 34 (47.2) 19 (26.8)   17 (54.8) 17 (41.5)   8 (26.7) 11 (26.8)  
 Consult with healthcare specialist 3 (4.2) 5 (7.0)   3 (9.7) 0 (0)   4 (13.3) 1 (2.4)  
 Consult with the chief of the related department 0 (0) 6 (8.5)   0 (0) 0 (0)   6 (20.0) 0 (0)  
 Refer to the ethical code 2 (2.7) 2 (2.8)   2 (6.4) 0 (0)   0 (0) 2 (4.9)  
 Etc. 4 (5.6) 0 (0)   1 (3.3) 3 (7.3)   0 (0) 0 (0)  
  1. *P-values by Fisher’s exact test (other p-values were calculated by chi-squared test)
  2. aOne non-responding specialist with ≤10 years’ experience was excluded from the analysis
  3. bOne multiple-responding specialist with ≤10 years’ experience and one multiple-responding specialist with >10 years’ experience were excluded from the analysis
  4. cFour non-responding specialists with ≤10 years’ experience, three non-responding specialists >10 years’ experience, and one multiple-responding specialist with >10 years’ experience were excluded from the analysis