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Students share 2009 award for ethics video

'Do the Right Thing' focuses on ethics, conduct defined in ADA Code

The ADA Council on Ethics, Bylaws and Judicial Affairs awarded the grand prize in the 2009 Student Ethics Video Contest to a group from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry.

Illinois students Kaitrin Baloue, Kaori Ema, Jason Foreman, Samia Rageb, Shivam Patel, Michael Rabinowitz and Samuel D. Willens entered the contest with their video, "Do the Right Thing." Each of them will receive a share of the $1,000 grand prize.

The contest's goal is to create greater awareness of ethical dilemmas that dental students and professionals encounter, and to provide a forum for students to consider how those dilemmas should be addressed using the ADA Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct (also known as the ADA Code).

"Do the Right Thing" focuses on ADA Code Sections 1.B., "Patient Records," and 2.G., "Personal Relationships with Patients," and Advisory Opinion 5.B.6., "Unnecessary Services."

"The council undertook this project to provide opportunities for dental students to consider ethical decision-making as they prepare to start careers in dentistry," said Dr. William G. Leffler, immediate past CEBJA chair.

"This is a great honor for our chapter and our school," said Mr. Willens, president of the American Student Dental Association chapter at UIC when the video was created. "I am so proud of the growth and accomplishments UIC ASDA has seen during my three years as a leader."

One of the students, Shivam Patel, called the video a "modified" public service announcement.

"We had a few of our members portray dental school students who were violating particular aspects of the ADA Code," said Mr. Patel. "The video was set in a student's apartment in which their actions and discussions breached different parts of the ADA Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct, such as confidentiality of patient records, personal relationships with patients and performing unnecessary services. At the moment they violated the code, our video cut to the television they were watching and a public service announcement played addressing the specific violation.

"Even though we had a lot of fun thinking of different video ideas, writing the script and taping the video, there was a deeper sense of satisfaction and value to our participation in the video contest," he said. "Along with all the technical things dental students learn during their education, ethics and professionalism are also very important aspects of the profession. UIC's College of Dentistry has emphasized the importance of these subjects and has made it a priority to incorporate them into our education. As dental students, we were able to apply what we learned and represent our knowledge in a creative manner."

Doing the Right Thing was displayed during the 2009 annual session in the Hawaii Convention Center.

Honorable mention awards in the 2009 Student Ethics Video Contest went to students at the University of Alabama School of Dentistry at UAB and the University of Michigan School of Dentistry.