Ethics & Professionalism: #dentalschoolproblems
In a few weeks, Katherine Moynihan and myself will be attending the 5th Annual Student Professionalism and Ethics Association (SPEA) Conference in Washington, DC! The organization promotes ethics and ethical discussion among dental students.
I thought I would share my favorite exercise form last year’s conference with you all!
Search #DentalSchoolProblems on Instagram. When we did this at the conference, we easily found selfies of dental students with nitrous cannulas on, captions that said “I’m only in lab because I can’t afford an assistant” and tons of pictures of students with copious amounts of alcohol.
Most of the pictures we found were harmless. They were small complaints about schoolwork and lab assignments that are funny because of the “dental spin”. The inappropriate pictures scattered in between, though, are what families and patients will remember.
We all make mistakes. Social media is (relatively) new to society, and we’re still trying to figure it out. The problem is when we don’t incorporate ethics into the decision-making process. We worry more about “How many likes will I get?” instead of “Would I want MY newly extracted, necrotic teeth posted to someone’s Instagram account?” If you rationally think through all of the consequences of posting that picture, and come to the conclusion that it’s okay, that’s your choice. If you disregard the importance of any ethical analysis before posting, and choose not to take responsibility for any potential consequences, then that is unethical.
I’m looking forward to this year’s conference and working to make #idealboston2016