Ethics is not a Spectator Sport:

This is not your dental school course in "Name that Ethical Principle." It is skill training for doing ethics and changing the profession to make ethical practice realistic. Findings will be presented from four years of study by the American College of Dentists on how dentists actually behave. This work identified four challenges caused by rapid changes in the social context of the profession: individualism, commercialism, fragmentation, and runaway technology.

We have diagnosed the problem. Here are some of the tools needed to fix it. (a) Using scripts for discussing difficult issues with patients, colleagues, and insurance and other social forces; (b) comparing one's personal values to professional norms; (c) defending what is right in the traditional solo practice model; (d) understanding why most of us bend the rules a little and others break them and using the levers to stop this; and (e) building the ethics of leadership - helping others.


At the end of this course participants will be able to

• Describe the current ethical landscape of dentistry and list the factors that raise concern
• Compare their personal values and goals to professional norms
• Use a variety of interpersonal skill tools to define and defend one's personal ethical integrity and engage the profession and outside forces in constructive ethical improvement

  • CE Credit: 2, Meets BODEX Standards for Ethics
  • Audience:
David W. Chambers

David W. Chambers, EdM, MBA, PhD

Dr. Chambers is professor of orthodontics and former associate dean for academic affairs and scholarship at the University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco. He is also the editor of the American College of Dentists. He has served as a consultant to most national dental organizations and dental schools in the United States and Canada, as well as being an examiner for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and on the Commission on Dental Accreditation. He has earned the EdM, MBA, and PhD degrees and has been a visiting school in philosophy at Cambridge University, The London School of Economics, and UC Berkeley. He has published over 650 papers, including a monthly column on ethics in the CDA Journal. Dr. Chambers received the American Dental Education Association Gies Award for Achievement in 2018.