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Range of activities addressing ethics comes into focus

San Antonio—In an informational report of the Board of Trustees to the 2008 ADA House of Delegates, the Joint Subcommittee on Ethics and Integrity in Dental Education describes key activities and recommendations. As outlined in the report, the subcommittee plans to:
  • Present to ASDA and ADEA a model personal pledge of adherence to the student's dental school honor code. The pledge contains a commitment by the academic institution to uniformly enforce its honor or ethics code when it becomes aware of an alleged violation. Accompanying the pledge is a request that ASDA and ADEA urge schools to adopt the model, or modify it as appropriate, as a standard of dental education ethical conduct.
  • Urge the 2008 House to adopt the amendment to the ADA Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct submitted by CEBJA which adds an aspirational statement on the ADA's expectations regarding student integrity. Resolution 7 calling for a revised Preamble to the Code will be considered by the House of Delegates this month.
  • Urge the Council on ADA Sessions to continue to offer ethics and professionalism CE courses at every ADA annual session for members and student members, which includes offering the ACD's Ethics Facilitator Workshop at the 2010 annual session.
  • Urge the ADA Office of Student Affairs to increase the ethics content and case studies for all four years of the ADA Success programming, so that about 25 percent of content is ethics-related; and encourage the OSA to interweave ethics content with other aspects of the programming so that it simulates the environment in which students will practice.
  • Collaborate with the Office of Student Affairs on a Welcome Packet that could be sent to new dental students with materials on ethics and professionalism.
  • Indicate the ADA's support for the ACD online ethics clearinghouse.
  • Encourage ASDA to promote Student Professional Ethics Clubs to its chapters and urge its chapters to offer SPEC assistance.
  • Work with ADEA to develop an educational "best practices" publication. The publication will inform dental school faculty of testing practices judged to be superior, suggested methods for teaching ethics, data revealing the techniques used to cheat on exams and security measures that guard against cheating.
  • Recommend that ADEA urge dental schools to designate faculty members as ethics officers who would be trained in their school's honor or ethics codes, procedures by which alleged infractions are investigated and disciplinary processes.
  • Request AADE to urge state boards of dentistry to revise licensure applications to inquire about applicants' dental school disciplinary history.
  • Request that the mega issue discussion with the ADA House of Delegates in 2009 be focused on ethics and integrity within the profession.