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The piece reflects on the transformative lessons learned in an ethics class. It will highlight how studying ethics has changed the author’s perspective on moral dilemmas, societal issues, and personal responsibility. The overview will discuss specific philosophical theories and ethical frameworks encountered in the class, and how these have been applied to real-life scenarios, contributing to personal growth and a deeper understanding of ethical conduct. You can also find more related free essay samples at PapersOwl about Compassion.
When I first came to dental school, I hadn’t thought much of ethics. Of course, I remember it being asked during two of my interviews and me having to define what I think it means to be ethical. My response was always very textbook-like: “Being ethical requires one to behave morally, respect others, and treat everyone as if they were your equal.” Although I still believe this definition fits, I don’t think I really knew how to apply it or actually integrate it into the way I learn, grow, and speak to others. I’ve always thought I was a good person and was told over and over again about how “nice” I was…maybe even too nice. It wasn’t until I finally got admitted into dental school and registered to take an ethics class that I really had to sit down and contemplate the foundation of my morals and which of my attributes I needed to refine and improve in order to become a leader in my community.
During my ethics course, I learned that although there were very basic, fundamental values we needed to abide by, their application to clinical dentistry was more complicated. During this first semester, we focused on learning these values and characteristics of being an ethical dentist, and I hope that in the next few years in dental school, we learn just how to apply those in certain clinical situations. Furthermore, these values not only apply in the classroom or in the clinic but also in any profession and everyday life. Learning the essentials of ethics did not necessarily make us ethical people, but I am excited to see how I can exude my compassion, care, and tolerance into the community I have the privilege of surrounding myself with.
How it works
I’d like to believe that I’ve always treated people fairly and have behaved in a respectful manner both in public and in private with my close friends and family. However, ever since being in dental school and finally getting to work towards my DDS, I’m being constantly reminded of the HIPPA law, ADA values, as well as what it means to be culturally competent—and how I must strive to allow my values to match up with the ones listed before. Being a decent human and knowing how to communicate with whoever, regardless of their race, color, religion, or disability, is becoming more and more crucial when reviewing someone’s health-related application. Good grades and a high DAT score are a boost, but I definitely understand why professional schools are more interested in candidates that exhibit a benevolent personality and a passion for volunteering/helping the community. Surely, these shouldn’t just be things to cross off your checklist when applying—these should be characteristics of who you are as a person and the vision you have for your community.
The reason I decided to discuss this is that sometimes I feel a disparity between the values I’ve been taught and have ingrained and the things I say/ the people I surround myself with. There have just been moments in my life that don’t necessarily reveal the best example of me and are moments I definitely would not like to repeat. I remember one time I tried to get into an Uber with my friends that clearly didn’t fit us all. Nevertheless, my friends still tried to cram in and proceeded to yell and swear at our Uber driver when she informed us that we were beyond the capacity of her car.
Even though I wasn’t involved in the argument itself, I was embarrassed that my friends would even do something like this and wanted to apologize to the lady so badly but didn’t because I didn’t have the courage to tell my friends they were rude. In retrospect, I would have definitely said something and prevented them from offending our driver. I have to remember that my actions (or inaction) have enormous implications and can follow me wherever I go.
In this age of social media, I need to be even more conscious of the image I send out to others and the things I post and say. I need to always remember that I am not only representing my school but also my profession. Anything I say or do can have the ability to alter the way people view me and the respect they give to people in my profession.The ASDA Student Code of Ethics states that “ASDA recognizes the importance of high ethical standards in the dental school setting.
Therefore, the Association believes students should conduct themselves in a manner reflecting integrity and fairness in both the didactic and clinical learning environments. Ethical and professional behavior by dental students is characterized by honesty, fairness, and integrity in all circumstances; respect for the rights, differences, and property of others; concern for the welfare of patients; competence in the delivery of care and preservation of confidentiality in all situations where this is warranted.” There is a code of ethics in almost every profession, and this ASDA code reflects many of the same values that most other professions strive for. Ethics is universal. Most values that we learned in class are ones that are valued by many cultures around the world.
While ethics can stem from the law, religion, parents, work, or other factors, I believe that it really must be ingrained within oneself. I can’t just be ethical because I’m afraid of prison, hell, or being fired from my job. I’m ethical because I have integrity and I am compassionate. I believe my actions affect others, and anything unethical can hurt someone else. That is why I choose to be ethical. I’m not just blindly following some code of ethics at work or religious scripture; I understand the reasons behind them. I use those ethical philosophies as guidance and use that guidance as the driving force behind every action I take, whether that is in the classroom, the clinic, or at home.
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