Healthcare changes are not the only issues facing the healthcare industry; the issue of medical ethics is also an important issue.

To address the issues of ethics in the medical field, the University’s Premed Association will be holding an ethics conference tomorrow, Saturday, March 2, from 9 a.m. to noon.

Dr. Mike Gray, a PMA faculty advisor and head of the department of biology, said teaching ethical standards to undergraduate students is vital. “The ethical landscape is changing,” he said.

According to Gray, there are ethical challenges for Christians that are commonplace activities in today’s medical profession. “Medical schools don’t teach you medical ethics,” he said.

The ethics conference will focus on issues such as maintaining a Christian testimony and being aware that there are physicians willing to cross an ethical line and make unethical decisions.

According to the PMA secretary Grace Denton, a junior biology major, this year’s conference will focus on the importance of establishing a Christian worldview. Forum attendees will be guided through case studies that will allow them to think through ethical principles and then implement a biblical worldview in those situations.

This year’s conference speakers are Dr. Joy Roach Smith and Dr. Nathan Smith, who are both BJU graduates. Dr. Joy Smith is currently the Med-Peds chief resident for the Greenville Hospital System and received the 2010 Lily M. and G.D. Jackson Award for most outstanding intern in the Greenville Hospital System. Dr. Nathan Smith is serving his first year as a surgical resident in the Greenville Hospital System. While attending medical school at Wake Forest University, he wrote for the medical school newsletter with a Christian viewpoint.

There is at least one PMA activity or event each month. Activities include forums featuring special speakers in the medical field, volunteering in the community, an annual banquet and a volleyball tournament against the University Nursing Association.

According to PMA president Jonathan Fryml, a senior premed major, the PMA exists to bridge the gap between the academic side and the medical side of the major. “What the PMA tries to do is to equip students with tools needed to get into med school,” Fryml said.

The PMA helps students get connected so they can shadow professionals and get into med school, dental school, etc.

The association also focuses on guiding freshmen through general biology class. “We review concepts that they’ve covered in gen bio, we review their tests, give them advice on how to study and just basically tutor the different students,” Fryml said.

Currently, there are nearly 100 members of the Premed Association. Members pay dues to help cover costs including paying for forum speaker travel expenses. Students who are interested in joining can contact any of the PMA officers.