National Collaborative on Humanities & Ethics in Dentistry

The National Collaborative on Humanities and Ethics in Dentistry is sponsored by the Center for Bioethics and Humanities at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics at UTHealth Houston, and the University of Rochester Medicine.

The first presentation was “Everything Comes Alive With Cherry Pie: Stories of Life at the End of Life,” on February 13, 2024.

Marcia Brennan, PhD
Carolyn & Fred McManis Professor of Humanities and Professor of Religion and Art History at Rice University

Learning objectives for the presentation:

  • Attendees will learn communication techniques for engaging extremely vulnerable patients at end of life;
  • Gain a novel perspective on psychosocial oncology;
  • Gain insights into humanistic themes that arise at the end of life;
  • Gain valuable perspectives on issues relating to the mouth and to voice with advanced cancer patients; and
  • Participants will see how engagement with food, chemotherapy, and medication management directly impact patients’ quality of life.

The second presentation was held on April 29, 2024, and addressed, “The Dentist in Film: Beneath the Comedy and the Horror.”

Featured Speaker: Howie Movshovitz, PhD, Film Critic at KUNC public radio and film and television lecturer at the University of Colorado Denver
Moderator: Cathy Flaitz, DDS, MS, Professor (C/T) Chair, Division of Diagnostic Sciences, Diagnostic Sciences and Surgical Dentistry, University of Colorado Anschutz
Discussant: Christina Slobogin, PhD, Assistant Professor of Health Humanities and Bioethics at the University of Rochester

Learning objectives for the presentation:

  • Identify the ways that the cinematic arts portray the profession of dentistry
  • Recognize the reasons why exaggerated depictions of the dental profession exist on the big screen
  • Discuss the ethical concerns of capitalizing on the emotions of fear and pain for entertainment value
  • Explore the role of oral healthcare professionals in providing a more balanced, diverse, and inclusive representation in the arts

Contact Information

Joelle Robertson-Preidler, PhD, MA, McGovern Center representative