Advertising your additional qualifications
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Advertising of a health professional’s credentials is strictly regulated with the aim of protecting both the patient’s and the health professional’s rights. The same ethical principles govern all forms of advertising, whether published in print, electronic or other media. Health professionals must refrain from self-promotion. Unethical behaviour such as the canvassing and touting for patients is strictly forbidden by the HPCSA.1 Nowadays, however, advertising on the Internet has become a norm and every dental practitioner is ethically and legally responsible for his or her online websites. This is made clear by the HPCSA who state “if a health care professional chooses to make known that he or she practices in a specific field, the health care professional assumes a legal and ethical responsibility for having acquired a level of professional competence within the field of expertise which must be demonstrable and acceptable to his or her peers”. By advertising services that one is not trained to provide, the principle of nonmaleficence (do no harm) becomes significant.