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Ethics, professionalism and fitness to practise: three concepts, not one

Nature Publishing Group
Publication Date
  • Bj Ethics
  • Rk Dentistry
  • Philosophy


The GDC's recent third interim edition of The first five years places renewed emphasis on the place of professionalism in the undergraduate dental curriculum. This paper provides a brief analysis of the concepts of ethics, professionalism and fitness to practise, and an examination of the GDC's First five years and Standards for dental professionals guidance, as well as providing an insight into the innovative ethics strand of the BDS course at the University of Glasgow. It emerges that GDC guidance is flawed inasmuch as it advocates a virtue-based approach to ethics and professionalism, and fails to distinguish clearly between these two concepts.

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