Free online ethics course allows AAD members to earn CME credit


By Stephen Webster, MD

Earlier this year, the Academy asked members to sign an ethics pledge that was created by AAD's Professionalism and Ethics Committee. Now, I’m proud to announce that the Academy has launched an online course to elevate the profile of ethical decision-making and to strengthen our specialty's commitment to ethical practice; not only to each other, but also to colleagues in other fields and the public at large.

The Academy’s first Professionalism and Ethics Online Course allows you to earn CME credits by considering ethical case studies commonly encountered in your day-to-day practice.

The course poses a series of cases and possible answers for each situation. Each question and answer is followed by a short video featuring two AAD members discussing the situation and evaluating the answers.

The Professionalism and Ethics Online Course poses situations encountered in day-to-day practice. Take the course.
CME credit is given to AAD members who complete  course. Take the course.



Physicians are expected to respond in a professional manner when encountering an ethical dilemma as part of day-to-day practice. Dermatologists may encounter situations unique to the specialty and need to know the most appropriate course of action and have strategies to navigate these situations.

At the end of this activity, you should be able to:

  • Choose the most appropriate course of action based on the Code of Medical Ethics for Dermatologists.
  • Recognize the physician-patient relationship as the central focus of medical ethics.
  • Identify appropriate physician-patient interaction and communication.
  • Identify strategies to respectfully communicate and coordinate care with referring physicians.

We hope you will find this course thought provoking, challenging, and a stimulus for the growth of your professional and ethical value base.

Take the course


Take the ethics pledge

In March, the AAD Board of Directors ratified a four-part voluntary pledge that sets the basic framework for an ethical practice:

In acting as a dermatologist, I will strive to:

  1. Put my patients' welfare above other interests;
  2. Provide care that adheres to professional standards of practice;
  3. Provide care for those in need; and
  4. Foster collegiality through interaction with the medical community.

We encourage all members to take the pledge at the AAD’s new Professionalism and Ethics Resource Center. This new resource also allows you to discover a wealth of valuable resources on ethics and professionalism.

Take the pledge

Dr. Webster is a past chair of the Academy’s Professionalism & Ethics Committee, a member of the Professionalism & Ethics Module Work Group, and a former president of the Academy.