Professionalism and dental education: in search of a shared understanding
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Professionalism has profound historical origins; however, the current health care environment in the UK dental sphere is changing, which presents new professional dilemmas that require continued learning and debate. Professionalism is a key aspect of the education of dental students and the lifelong learning and development of dental practitioners. However, 'being' professional can be challenging because while it is recognised as a social good, there is much debate on what professionalism means and how best it can be learned and assessed. Since 2017, the UK Council for the Dental Teachers of Professionalism, consisting of educators from UK dental schools and dental therapy hygiene institutions, has been exploring and debating the role and place of professionalism, as well as sharing challenges and good practice within UK dental education. This paper includes a narrative overview of current thinking in the academic literature on professionalism to consider the use of a shared understanding of professionalism to facilitate conversations between various stakeholders.
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