ETHICS AND THE ICD
Ethics is defined as a system of moral principles, or rules of conduct, that governs the behavior of an individual, or groups or fields of endeavor; i.e., dentistry, medicine, law. It is also that branch of philosophy dealing with values relating to human conduct, with regard to the correctness of certain actions, in addition to the worth of the motives and consequences of such behavior.
Our Ethical Foundation In November 1920 Dr. Louis Ottofy of the U.S.A. and Dr. Tsurukichi Okumura of Japan first expressed their visionary concept for what was to become the International College of Dentists (ICD). They dreamed of an International organization based on the dissemination of the most current dental knowledge and information. They also wanted to establish an organization that would meet in a universal forum allowing for the cultivation of cordial relations within the profession.
Both Ottofy and Okumura were trained in modern and progressive dental institutions. They understood the importance that optimal training and access to the most current information had on dental professionals and, indirectly, the patients they served and society in general. These two pioneers were particularly concerned about the dentists living in remote geographic areas. They believed up-to-date scientific and professional information must be readily available to all dentists, wherever they may reside. To solve this severe global predicament they formed the International College of Dentists.
Enlist the Best Our College, to fulfill its global objectives, began by creating a network of internationally recognized educators and speakers who were highly ethical dental professionals and blessed with humanistic qualities. Initially, every country in the world, as well as each province and state of the larger countries, was to be represented by “at least” one dentist fulfilling the described qualifications. Countries were asked to nominate only the ablest, most progressive, best-educated practi-tioners. Later it was modified to enable “every highly qualified ethical dentist” to be offered the opportunity for ICD Fellowship.
Today’s Special Commitment The International College of Dentists has a strong moral obligation to its founding fathers, as well as to our Profession. The College’s commitment to its core values and expanded objectives is its bloodline. These factors continue to stimulate the ICD to reach geographic areas not yet fully served by the College.
Expanding the ICD to under-served geographic areas, and inviting their highly qualified dentists to ICD-Fellowship is leading to many improvements and achievements in the dental profession. The unbroken global chain of leadership that started with Louis Ottofy and Tsurukichi Okumura is continuing to bring the most current knowledge to dentists worldwide. Patients worldwide are the greatest beneficiaries.
Keeping dentists current, delivering the best dental care possible, and promoting the highest standards of ethical behavior and cordiality in the dental profession are definitely our International College of Dentists’ primary goals.
Duty to Humankind Dentistry is a profession that provides a service to humankind. It is guided by the timeless principle Primum, non nocere (attributed to Hippocrates, 460 to ca. 377 BCE). In English, this Latin expression means “First, do no harm.” The statement defines a way of thinking which places the welfare of the patient above other concerns.
The International College of Dentists has been devoted to upholding the highest standard of professional competence and personal ethics. The College’s unique foundation and structure, as well as the background and strength of its Fellows, provide a synergistic combination that assures competent service to humankind – from the individual patient to the local and worldwide communities.
A Model Organization The International College of Dentists is a model organization. It unites in Fellowship dentists of different nationalities, cultures, languages, races, ethnic origins, religions, political preferences, social backgrounds, countries and regions. Since its onset it was established that all Fellows are “equals among peers.” The International College of Dentists is, without a doubt, a mixture – a true “amalgam” – of prominent, distinguished, ethical professionals of many different backgrounds.
College Growth ICD-Fellowship is attained only through invitation. Candidates are invited to Fellowship after a thorough screening process. Sponsoring and seconding letters on the merits, qualifications and other information regarding a candidate are submitted via personally written and signed letters. All written documents are conscientiously analyzed by assigned ICD Section or Region leadership. Ethics and merits are the guarantors of the honor of ICD-Fellowship; not personal desire, ambitions or influence. The honor of ICD-Fellowship is truly “recognition by one’s peers.”
The establishment of new ICD units (Regions and Sections) follows strict time tested guidelines. Since its inception, the College has expanded, adhering to our founders’ precepts and long established traditions. This has assured fair treatment for all concerned.
While the fundamental ideals of our College were presented 91 years ago, they continue to resonate today, reaching dentists everywhere and stimulating positive change in our world. The ICD continually promotes understanding, respect and goodwill and supports professionalism, academic pride, and personal ethics.
In Conclusion Our modern-day world is globalized. The globalization of dental knowledge was precisely the concept established in and practiced since 1920 by Drs. Ottofy and Okumura. Today, the legacy of these two idealists is a vast network of outstanding dentists continuing to spread scientific and professional dental knowledge and preforming humanitarian aid for the less fortunate throughout the world. In other words, the 12,255 ICD Fellows distributed in 95 countries are each doing their best to participate in our worthy goals and objectives. And for that, I thank you.
The International College of Dentists is built on a solid foundation of ethics, learning, service and fraternalism firmly bonded with cordial relations and efficient communication – all basic ICD objectives that are altruistic in their nature and purpose. This is what makes the International College of Dentists truly unique, and today, more vital and necessary than ever.
THIS AND THAT…Another favorite quote: “The green of all the fields is mine, the stars, the night, the wind at play, A peaceful heart, while quietly I go my way.” ~ Max Ehrmann
Charles L. Siroky, International President
Downloads: Presidential Notes July 2011 (PDF format 52 KB )