August 29, 2008

Professional Responsibility Day set for Sept. 6

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The 13th annual Professional Responsibility Day is Saturday, Sept. 6, at the SIU School of Law at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

The event introduces first-year students in the law school, the SIU School of Medicine and SIUC’s MEDPREP program to critical and ethical issues they will likely encounter in their professional lives.

The event will bring together about 215 first-year students. MEDPREP helps eligible students prepare for careers in medicine, dentistry or other health-related fields.

The seminar begins at 9:30 a.m. at the Hiram H. Lesar Law School Building.


Media Advisory

Reporters and photographers are welcome to cover some of the small group discussions that start at 10:15 a.m. in various classrooms, but should be unobtrusive. Students and faculty will be available for interviews at noon. For more information, contact Alicia Ruiz, the law school's director of communications and outreach, at 618/453-8700.


Ross Silverman, professor and chair of the Department of Medical Humanities in the medical school, Dr. Kevin Dorsey, dean and provost of the medical school, law school Dean Peter C. Alexander, and W. Eugene Basanta, the Southern Illinois Healthcare Professor of Law, will deliver opening remarks.

Students then break into smaller groups for further discussions. With help from the law school and medical school faculty, they will discuss different scenarios that feature specific issues and problems.

“As always, our goal is to encourage beginning professional students to think and talk together about important ethical and professional issues,” Basanta said.

Emphasizing professionalism and ethics education is a priority in the law school and medical school, he said.

The longstanding program is now part of the fabric of the law school’s nationally recognized Professional Development Workshop Series. The series earned the law school the E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Award from the American Bar Association in August 2004 for projects that contribute to professionalism among attorneys.

“It started off as an idea. It’s now become a part of our institutional program and a core part of what we do, and I think reflects the significance of our activities,” Basanta said.