Mission and Objectives Statement
The Student Professionalism and Ethics Association in Dentistry is a national, student driven association that was established to promote and support students’ lifelong commitment to ethical behavior in order to benefit the patients they serve and to further the dental profession.
The objectives of the Association are:
- Act as a support system for students in strengthening their personal and professional ethics values by:
- Providing a resource for ethics education and professional development.
- Fostering a non-punitive, open-forum environment for ethics communication
- Promoting awareness of ethics standards and related issues within dentistry
- Collaborating with leadership of the dental profession to effectively advocate for our members
History of SPEA
In March 2007, a small group of students at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC met with Dr. Alvin Rosenblum, professor of dental ethics, to discuss how they could become more proactive in promoting ethics at their school. What ensued was the first of several brainstorming sessions on what would eventually become the Student Professionalism and Ethics Club, (SPEC). The first SPEC event open to students, faculty and staff was held in October, with an attendance of over 100.
Shortly after SPEC began work on a start-up kit, with the goal of aiding other schools in establishing local SPEC chapters. The group was recognized nationally and has received support from the American Student Dental Association (ASDA), American College of Dentists (ACD) and American Society of Dental Ethics. ASDA passed a resolution encouraging the establishment of organizations like SPEC at every dental school.
In May 2010, a steering committee of ten dental students from across the country, with the guidance of faculty, met at the Ostrow School of Dentistry to layout the strategic plan for forming a new national organization. SPEC was renamed as the Student Professionalism and Ethics Association in Dentistry (SPEA).
SPEA, with the support of the ACD, embarked on expanding its reach and invited student representatives from dental schools across the nation to meet at the ACD Annual Session. In October 2011, representatives from various dental schools collaborated and discussed the future path of the organization. The by-laws were ratified, and SPEA became a new national organization.
This truly has been an exciting time in the development of dental ethics at the level of education. SPEA believes the momentum we now see taking place will help to lay a foundation of ethics that will build the framework for integrity among dental professionals.
As one of our local chapters, we welcome you into our organization and look forward to your contributions!