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Ethics Week 2018: Building your Moral Compass

Posted on Mar 16, 2018 06:41 pm

ASDOH ASDA’s Ethics Week took place from February 26th-March 2nd, 2018. It was filled with Lunch and Learns from our esteemed faculty and culminated in the final event, Mugs and Morals.

So why do we have an Ethics Week? Ethics week is to provide the students at ASDOH with possible ethical scenarios that they may face in and out of the clinical setting. It gives us the opportunity to reach outside our comfort zone and have thoughtful discussions related to tough situations.

Here’s a recap of what happened: Monday: Lunch with Dr. Trombly Dr. Trombly showed us the development of the American College of Dentists and the history of Student Professionalism and Ethics Association.Shared his experience as well as a video about the honor of being a part of the oldest and most prestigious organization in the dental field.Talked about the important of the mission of the ACD. Which is to advance excellence, ethics, professionalism, and leadership in dentistry.Wednesday: Lunch with Dr. Palmer Dr Palmer introduced us to cases that have been presented to the Arizona Board of General Dentists.He explained the importance of always documenting each procedure in detail because people will take advantage of you.He told us the seriousness of never abusing your position as a dental professional because you can lose your license in a blink of an eye.Friday: Lunch with Dr. House Dr House was very passionate about going with your gut when it comes to ethical situations. If it feels wrong it most likely is wrong.She presented hard hitting morals/ethical questions and got the students involved with difficult scenarios that have happened in her office.She told us her backstory of working in a corporate dental setting and proudly being fired due to standing up for what was ethically acceptable.Mugs and Morals with Dr. Schnaidt and Dr. Mai-Ly 📷 We discussed cases of ethical dilemmas like how you might convince a teenager to quit chewing tobacco and what to do when you don’t agree with previous dental work.Jessica Suhardjo said her biggest takeaway was that “There is more than one way to motivate your patients. Sometimes it feels like Ethics can be ‘50 Shades of Grey’ but as long as you feel strongly that you are helping your patients and not harming them, you are not necessarily wrong.”Katrina Sicam learned that “You don’t have to be everyone’s dentist. If you feel you are in a situation that goes against your ethics, you don’t have to treat that patient.”Some other nuggets of ethical knowledge to keep tucked away in the future (courtesy of Dr. Schnaidt and Dr. Mai-Ly):DOCUMENT DOCUMENT DOCUMENT — always make sure your diagnosis and treatment are written in the patient chart and do not rely on others to do this for you.Focus on what you see today—just because something seems off at the time does not mean you have all the information. You do not know the situation that the patient was in before they sat in your chair.Don’t throw your colleagues under the bus—in dentistry, we so easily “cannibalize” each other, pointing fingers that disease was overlooked or treatment should have been better. But the truth is we never know the whole picture unless we pick up the phone and call each other.Ethics is more than just one week, it’s a lifetime of building the right moral compass. We look forward to more conversation and Ethics events in the future! 📷

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