The International Academy of Periodontology, Corp., (the “IAP”) is an international notprofit organization, that was formed in Delaware, United States. The IAP’s mission is to improve knowledge and disseminate information about periodontology worldwide to those who have an interest in the prevention and treatment of diseases of the periodontium by:
All members of the IAP agree to accept and comply with the Ethics and Code of Conduct guiding the ethical conduct of the IAP members.
According to the IAP standards, the principles outlined below are intended as a guide for ethical practice and code of conduct. They are not laws or regulations, but standards of conduct that define the essentials of ethical and honorable behavior of the IAP members. The below principles should not be considered individually, but instead as a group, in order to assist in achieving the IAP goals and principles. These principles include:
Professional and ethical behavior is based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In all healthcare related professional organizations, strict adherence to ethical concepts and ethical behavior is required. Accordingly, healthcare organizations and their members must be committed to an uncompromised pursuit of ethical and moral behavior. Ethical behavior in healthcare is based on providing a holistic approach to patient care that embraces current knowledge, attitudes, and skills within the context of honesty and integrity. Putting ethical principles into action requires practitioners adhering to the concept of "do no harm" to the patients.
Effective and clear communication is important. Lack of communication is one of the most common causes of misunderstandings,disputes, and negative patient outcomes. Good communication requires that messages being conveyed are done so in an unambiguous manner that enables patients and their caregivers to make informed decisions regarding patient care. Not only should communication be clear, but it must also be done in a way that ensures the confidentiality of the information communicated.
The application of science and evidence-based practice is a fundamental tenet of contemporary clinical practice in the periodontal field. Science advances knowledge, and evidence-based practice allows this knowledge to be applied for the benefit of patients. Poorly informed practitioners will perform below ethical expectations, and may be providing sub-optimal patient care. New knowledge in the periodontal field, and its application is not only empowering but also enables new approaches to clinical management, which support the goals and missions of the IAP.
Exemplary clinical care must be a major goal for the management of our periodontal patients. Striving for clinical excellence should be a fundamental objective for all practitioners, driving their thinking, planning, actions, and behaviors at all levels. Exemplary clinical care for periodontal patients will require adopting new patient management approaches based on thorough and comprehensive research-based evidence to replace outmoded clinical practices. Within this exemplary clinical care structure, there needs to be open and clear communication between the practitioner and the patient, in order to ensure patient trust and to allow the practitioner to obtain the patient’s informed consent. Without this, patient care is compromised and the likelihood of achieving the best possible clinical outcome is reduced.
Equal rights and non-discrimination are terms used to create and support the respect and equal treatment of all individuals. Equality provides that all individuals are equal, have the same rights, and are entitled to the same level of respect. All people have the right to be treated equally irrespective of age, disability, gender/gender reassignment, marriage/civil partnership, nationality, pregnancy/maternity, race, religion or belief, or sexual orientation. An individual's right to equality and non-discrimination require both positive and negative commitments from the IAP members. These include the commitment not to discriminate or erode equality, and the commitment to support and defend the rights to equality and non-discrimination for all individuals.
Sharing knowledge with other practitioners is fundamental to embracing and advancing contemporary ideas, skills, and research. When knowledge is shared and incorporated into best practice, our patients benefit significantly. Sharing of knowledge can take many forms, including written, oral and actin-based, and should be presented in an unbiased and informative manner free of any conflicts of interest. Shared knowledge should be evidence-based and free of uniform opinion, encouraging and allowing a good understanding of the information, in order to strengthen practitioner’s special skill sets.
Encourage students and those early in their professional career to strive for personal and clinical excellence through education and training. This should be an interactive and informative process led by senior members of the profession to benefit students and those early in their professional careers. Good encouragement arises when individuals can reflect on their actions, receive both positive and negative feedback, and respond to peer assessment. This process should allow individuals to undertake lifelong and continuous quality education and training. Through this approach, colleagues can undertake learning and mentoring programs to enhance contemporary quality assurance and assist those interested in improving their knowledge and skills in the practice of periodontology reach their full potential.
Research fulfills our quest for knowledge and supports how knowledge and understanding dictate best clinical practice in an evidence-based manner. To be of value, periodontal research should be hypothesis-driven,focused on issues relevant to the discipline, and conducted in full compliance with ethical and legal guidelines. All research endorsed by the IAP involving humans and animals must comply with the Declaration of Helsinki (7th revision, 2013), and have received appropriate ethical approval from the appropriate ethics commitees such as institutional review boards before being initiated. Periodontal research studies should be structured in order to have adequate controls and sample sizes of sufficient size to allow a meaningful conclusion to be drawn. Because a research project is not complete until publication, individuals undertaking periodontal research projects should understand their obligation to share their findings (both negative and positive) via publications and presentations. The goal of promoting periodontal research and its influence on education and clinical practice is fundamental to the goals of the IAP and must be cherished and preserved. All practitioners conducting periodontal research must do so with due concern for the dignity and welfare of the participants, and research is required to be reported in an accurate and truthful manner.
Leadership and mentoring usually go hand in hand. Leadership requires respect for the leader and respect for those under a leader's care and mentorship. Leadership will embrace many of the above principles, including but not restricted to ethical and professional behavior; practical and clear communication skills; ability to apply science to evidence-based practice; demonstration of excellence in clinical care; adherence to the philosophy of equal rights, non-discrimination, and individual heterogeneity; commitment to sharing of knowledge and embracing contemporary ideas, skills, and research; and a passion for encouraging students to strive for personal and clinical excellence. Dentists and medical practitioners who are engaged in the practice of periodontics should recognize that they are role models for dentists and medical practitioners in training and should by their deeds and actions comply with the Ethics and Code of Conduct.
Turning problems into opportunities and advancement is a very positive attitude which should be strongly encouraged. Failures, poor outcomes, and mistakes happen to all people. This must be recognized and accepted, but steps must also be in place to ensure that problems are minimized. When unfortunate events occur, they must be immediately acknowledged and addressed by members. Excuses, denial, blame, and other forms of refusal to accept the reality of a given situation are unacceptable. Every adverse event has an equal and opposite positive potential, and this must be recognized and accepted in order to minimize future risk and adverse outcomes.
Actual and Potential Conflicts of interest will occur. The IAP recognizes that actual or potential conflicts of interest can arise concerning its general activities and operations. Whenever actual or potential conflicts of interest arise, they must be promptly disclosed through the IAP’s disclosure process in an open forum to ensure all members, directors and officers of the IAP are aware of the actual or potential conflict of interest. The IAP requires that all actual or potential conflicts of interest are disclosed, and that professional judgment be used to ensure that the objectives, goals, and principles of the IAP are not compromised, by the disclosure of such actual or potential conflict of interest, or how it is addressed by the IAP. After disclosure, any individual(s) involved in the actual or potential conflict of interest may address questions from IAP members regarding the actual or potential conflict of interest, but they are not permitted to participate in any form of deliberations regarding such conflict of interest. There shall be an official record made of any deliberations regarding an actual or potential conflict of interest, which shall be available to all IAP’s members in an effort for full transparency. Any actual or potential conflicts of interest that are not disclosed, is improper and potentially fraudulent, and will be considered by the IAP as a severe breach of the principals of the IAP Ethics and Code of Conduct. For the purposes of the IAP Ethics and Code of Conduct, a conflict of interest includes, but is not limited to, transactions and other situations in which the IAP, or any of its officers, directors, other key employees, or members, have an outside interest or relationship that conflicts with the ability to act strictly in the IAP’s best interest.
The IAP recognizes that relationships with external bodies are essential to achieving its mission and goals. The IAP is committed to ensuring that these relationships are mutually beneficial within ethical boundaries, and that its philosophical ideals remain unchanged. Engagement with the dental industry by the IAP and its members must be declared openly and transparently and appropriately documented. Similarly, sponsorship is considered an integral part of the professional activities of both the IAP, and its members. Sponsorship must be declared, and any conflict of interest clearly stated,recognized and addressed.
Any violation of the above referenced principles provided in this document may lead to the discrediting of the IAP, and will be viewed very seriously by the organization. Those who violate the IAP’s Ethics and Code of Conduct, may be required to undergo special counseling and undertake corrective actions in order to protect the professional reputation of the IAP, and its members.