male and female graduates

Professionalism as a Core Competency

Professional Expectations of School of Dentistry Students

Professionalism as a Core Competency in the Academic Program of the UCSF School of Dentistry

Revised and Approved by Faculty Council, July 1, 2006

I. Introduction

The UCSF School of Dentistry has a strong curriculum for educating its learners in the scientific principles and technical skills required to be successful dentists and dental educators. Graduates of this School should also exhibit a high degree of professionalism, which derives from a capacity for self-evaluation and moral reflection. Professionalism is one critical cornerstone of a successful academic program, just as it is a cornerstone of a responsible, collegial and compassionate career in the practice of dentistry and related disciplines.

II. Definition of Professionalism

A collective of expert service providers who have jointly and publicly committed to always give priority to the existential needs and interests of the public they serve above their own and who in turn are trusted by the public to do so.

Professionalism is fundamental to the practice of dentistry and is a core competency of the UCSF School of Dentistry. Upon graduation/completion of studies, learners must demonstrate the professional attributes and actions central to general dentistry practice and/or advanced practice.

The following set of principles provide a foundation for the development of professionalism within the School:

  • A dedicated desire to learn
  • Shows respect toward others
  • Consistently displays honesty and integrity
  • Displays emotional maturity and adequate physical health to provide treatment to patients in a responsible manner
  • Consistently places the patient’s needs first
  • Represents oneself in a professional manner inside and outside the University

These professionalism standards are implemented with a focus on the education and development of the individual learner.
Dental students, residents, faculty and staff share collective responsibility for creating and maintaining an educational environment that promotes professionalism. Faculty and members of the School administration support the development of professionalism through advising, mentoring and feedback, and by serving as role models. This process is inherently interactive, with the goal of helping learners who need assistance developing their professional skills.