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J Dent Educ. 2008 Sep;72(9):998-1009.

Mindfulness and professionalism in dentistry.

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Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Sciences, Faculty of Dentistry, Dalhousie University, 5981 University Avenue, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3H 1W2.


To improve the effectiveness of teaching professionalism, the authors propose introducing mindfulness practice into the dental curriculum. The qualities cultivated through mindfulness meditation practice closely resemble the global attitudes of professionalism. Professionalism and mindfulness are broad overlapping constructs with a common prosocial aim: letting go of selfish, short-sighted rewards and promoting the long-term common good. Both constructs also aim for the highest quality of life for practitioners and patients alike. Based on a selective review of the medical literature, we suggest that mindfulness practice should help improve attentiveness, self-awareness, acceptance, wisdom, and self-care in dentistry. We briefly review the role of mindfulness in higher education, as well as current attempts at Dalhousie University to integrate mindfulness into the dental and dental hygiene curricula.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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