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J Can Dent Assoc. 2004 Nov;70(10):675-8.

Is dentistry a profession? Part 3. Future challenges.

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Center for Health Policy and Ethics, and Department of Community and Preventive Dentistry, Creighton University Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska 68178, USA.


In 2 earlier articles a definition of professionalism was developed, and several specific professional responsibilities were deduced. This third and final article in the series examines whether dentistry qualifies as a profession. On various levels, the professionalism of dentistry is found wanting. However, attaining the status of a profession is a work in progress, which means that each profession will always have some deficiencies. The author concludes that dentistry qualifies as a profession but that it is also exhibiting a trend toward once again becoming a business (as it was before the 19th century). For the sake of honesty with the public, dentistry must make a choice between these 2 models.

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