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University of Alabama students win 2014 CEBJA Dental Students Ethics Video Contest

November 03, 2014

by Jean Williams

image of Mr. Vaughn
Mr. Vaughn
After cutting their teeth making videos together for recreational dental school projects, University of Alabama School of Dentistry students Joseph Vaughn and Ben Woolnough decided to enter the 2014 ADA Council on Ethics, Bylaws and Judicial Affairs Dental Students Ethics Video Contest.

The pair ultimately landed the $2,000 grand prize for their entry “A Higher Calling,” but it took a couple of tries.

“Winning the grand prize is obviously an honor,” Mr. Vaughn said. “We submitted a
image of Mr. Woolnough
Mr. Woolnough
video last year as well, but didn’t win. We almost didn’t submit this year due to our workload surrounding the deadline. But we had a last second mental rally and put together a product we were proud of. We are not only very grateful for the ADA and the opportunity this contest creates, but we are also grateful of the local Alabama dentists and all the warmth and support they have shown us.”

Mr. Vaughn wrote the script for “A Higher Calling” and completed the video with a team that included Mr. Woolnough, who did camera work, and actors A. J. Fennell and Caroline Beitel — also fourth-year dental students.

“It talks about the gray areas in dentistry, where you may not have black or white right answers for a situation, but where there’s a need for reliance on known ethical standards,” Mr. Woolnough said.

As a hobby, Mr. Vaughn and Mr. Woolnough have made humorous videos together for a talent revue held at the dental school. “Joe is kind of a video mastermind,” Mr. Woolnough said. “He always has something in the pipeline.”

Mr. Woolnough has his own expertise in video, having been a college TV station manager at Auburn University in Alabama as an undergraduate student before pursuing dental school. They shot “A Higher Calling” on a Canon DSLR camera and edited it in Final Cut Pro.

image of Ms. Ge
Ms. Ge
The honorable mention award winner is “Confidentiality for a Pregnant Minor” by Jie Ge, a student at University of Maryland School of Dentistry. Ms. Ge received a $1,000 cash prize.

Ms. Ge initially completed her video for a class assignment. The assignment required showcasing a section of the ADA Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct, she said.

“At the time, I didn’t think I was going to be submitting this to any contest,” she said. “I thought this was just for class, and we kind of just rolled with it.”

In Ms. Ge’s video, a teen girl needs an X-ray ahead of a wisdom tooth extraction and ends up having to tell her dentist that she is pregnant.

“She hadn’t told her parents yet,” Ms. Ge said. “So then the dentist tries to help her cope with her situation in the best way she can, using the ADA principles.”

The goal of the annual CEBJA Dental Students Ethics Video Contest is to create greater awareness of the ethical dilemmas that dental students and professionals encounter and provide a forum for dental students to illustrate how those dilemmas should be addressed using the ADA Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct.

The 2014 winners portray the application of one or more principle, code or advisory opinion contained in the ADA Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct. The winning films were showcased last month in the Member Center at ADA 2014 — America’s Dental Meeting in San Antonio.