As a dental student, it’s usually pretty easy to handle ethical dilemmas during clinic with a sea of faculty watching your every move. We ask our faculty for advice in certain situations. We attend Lunch & Learns geared towards working our way through ethical situations. We’re completed invested in doing what’s right for the patient.
I can imagine entering a dental practice may be a little difficult. Depending on where you practice, you may be forced to choose production over ethics. You won’t have your professors guiding you towards the right decision to make. You may actually be pressured by those above you to cut veneers for a 16 year-old beauty queen with great natural teeth. How do you stay true to the ethics you were taught in school in these situations?
Now, the ADA is offering a new ethics hotline as a member benefit. If you have an ethical question, you can call the hotline, leave some background information, and receive a callback from a member of the Council on Ethics, Bylaws, and Judicial Affairs. It’s almost like having your professors on speed dial in the real world. The Council hopes for a quick turnaround time with phone calls as most ethical dilemmas are something to be solved rather fast. The process is simple- call the ADA toll-free number, give them your ADA number, and state you have a question for the ethics hotline. Information on the ethical case will remain confidential, though will help the ADA identify newer ethical concerns to provide education for in the future.
This collaboration of the New Dentist Committee and the Council on Ethics, Bylaws, and Judicial Affairs is a great example of how the ADA is looking out for the well being of recently graduated dentists. This hotline is sure to be an excellent tool to help new dentists adjust to real-world decision-making.
~Katie Sowa, Electronic Editor, Houston ’15