Is dentistry a profession? Part 1. Professionalism defined

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

47 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Individual dentists and organized dentistry alike invariably claim to be (members of) a profession. This label is cherished because it suggests special social, moral and political status. However, almost every self-respecting occupation nowadays claims to be a profession. Hence, the question arises as to what exactly is meant when dentists claim to be professionals and, more important, whether they can justifiably lay claim to this label. Rather than reviewing the manifold and divergent discussions in the literature about professionalism, the author proposes - in this first of 3 consecutive articles - a definition of the term "profession" that is based on the literal origins of the word. Next, it is argued that a profession arises out of a social contract between the public and a service occupation that professes to give priority to the existential needs of the people served. In the second article, the author deduces several professional responsibilities. The third and final article examines whether and to what extent dentistry fulfills these responsibilities and outlines some future challenges.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)529-532
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the Canadian Dental Association
Volume70
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2004

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Dentistry
Dentists
Occupations
Contracts
Professionalism
Moral Status

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Dentistry(all)

Cite this

Is dentistry a profession? Part 1. Professionalism defined. / Welie, Jos V. M.

In: Journal of the Canadian Dental Association, Vol. 70, No. 8, 2004, p. 529-532.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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