Requirement-driven dental education and the patient's right to informed consent

S Van Dam, J V Welie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In dental education, students spend much of their time treating patients' oral health care needs. Many dental schools still require students to complete a specified number of treatments of various kinds before they can graduate. It often happens that students need to do a particular treatment in order to complete school requirements, when this treatment is not what the patient truly needs, or is not the only treatment indicated for the patient's condition. Consequently, students will be tempted to talk the patient into accepting the procedure. Likewise, educational requirements may tempt the student to postpone certain treatments or forgo non-credit-bearing interventions altogether. We argue that this conflict of interest is inevitable (even though the educational system adopted by the school may mitigate the problem) and analogous to that found in therapeutical experimentation. Hence, we advocate the same ethical solution as has long been adopted for conflicts arising in biomedical experimentation: informed consent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-7
Number of pages8
JournalThe Journal of the American College of Dentists
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Conflict of Interest
  • Dental Care/psychology
  • Dentist-Patient Relations
  • Education, Dental/methods
  • Ethics, Dental
  • Humans
  • Informed Consent
  • Patient Rights
  • Professional Role
  • Students, Dental/psychology
  • Unnecessary Procedures/psychology

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