Humanism is perhaps our most important value, and it is the thing that differentiates us from most other dental schools. It is the first on our list of core values.
Dental education historically took place with a pretty negative tone in a punitive, critical environment. Our dental school made a commitment to change to a positive and humane culture nearly fifty years ago, and the humanistic culture defines us. We are actually somewhat famous in the dental school community because of it, and many schools have started to emulate humanism. In fact, it is now a competency, something required of all dental schools.
We define humanism this way:
Our view of humanism is based upon honest communication of clear expectations along with positive support for diligent effort. Although kindness is valued, humanism is not interpreted to mean softness, weakness, or superficial niceness. In fact, humanism places great responsibility on each member of the dental school community.
Humanism encourages us to take a positive view toward each other, to enter the building each day with the most positive attitude possible, and to support each other rather than compete with each other. We strive to notice and comment on the positive things that others do. We help each other out as much and often as we possibly can.
Here’s a chart with guidelines about how we strive to treat students: