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School of Dental Medicine

Advanced Education in Oral Medicine

Oral medicine resident

The postgraduatel Oral Medicine program is a full-time, two-year, interdisciplinary certificate program with the option of a third year leading to a Master of Science degree. The program is accredited by the ADA Commission on Dental Accreditation and two residents will be admitted on yearly bases. It is designed to provide candidates with training beyond the level of predoctoral education in oral healthcare using evidence based diagnosis and treatment for complicated and rare oral disease and medically compromised patients.

A comprehensive didactic curriculum is presented through the postgraduate courses offered by the Advanced Education Program at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. The courses are designed to meet the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Oral Medicine standards. Clinical training will be conducted on a one-on-one basis at the Oral Medicine Clinic at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, an interdisciplinary center utilizing multiple current approaches to diagnosis and treatment. The faculty consists of dental medicine specialists, physician specialists and other health care providers, such as nutritionists, nurses and psychologists. The candidates will also train and participate in rounds at Tufts Medical Center, and see hematology, oncology, otolaryngology, infectious disease, dermatology, gastroenterology, and rheumatology patients. They will attend weekly head and neck and bone marrow transplant tumor board conferences and follow-up by treating these patients both on an inpatient and outpatient basis. The candidates will also take call with the Dental GPR residents at Tufts Medical Center.

Didactic Curriculum

Core courses:

  • Management of medically compromised dental patient
  • Emergency medicine/C.P.R.
  • Advanced head and neck anatomy
  • Biostatistics IA: Introduction to biostatistics
  • Dental pharmacology
  • Oral and maxillofacial radiology

Interdepartmental courses:

  • Postdoctoral oral and maxillofacial pathology
  • Cell and molecular biology
  • Fundamentals of immunology
  • Pharmacotherapeutics
  • Diagnosis and management of temporomandibular disorders and orofacial pain
  • Neuroanatomy, neurophysiology and neurological evaluation of pain
  • Pain assessment and management
  • Biology of saliva & salivary glands
  • Diagnostic imaging
  • Oral medicine course
  • Oral medicine case presentations
  • Literature review

Residents will also attend courses and seminars at the Oral Medicine Center. These range from literature review sessions and board review seminars to patient management conferences, visiting lecturers, and research meetings throughout the City of Boston. This oral medicine curriculum will include weekly oral medicine seminars, literature review sessions, clinic-pathological conferences and patient management conferences throughout the length of the program which review teaching cases from the Oral Medicine Clinical center and the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine Oral Pathology Service. Residents will also attend Head and Neck Tumor Board on Wednesdays throughout the length of the program This forum will provide the resident the opportunity to learn clinical pathologic, radiologic, surgical, and radiation and chemotherapy management aspects of patients with complex conditions that affect the oral, maxillofacial and head and neck complex. Residents will also attend bone marrow boards as well as pain and internal medicine grand rounds as permitted by the program schedule.

Clinical Rotations

Oral Medicine Clinic

Clinical training will be completed at the oral medicine clinic. Residents will have extensive exposure to oral Medicine patients on a daily basis. Residents will learn how to diagnose and treat patients from a multidisciplinary approach. Interactions between residents and other faculty members including oral medicine specialists, oral pathologists, oral surgeons, oncologists, radiation therapists, otolaryngologists, rheumatologists, dermatologists and infectious disease specialists will form the basis for establishing treatment plans and managing patients. With hundreds of new patients every year, and two years to follow up cases, this program will provide residents with a unique clinical experience. Residents will also have extensive training in diagnostic imaging including ultrasonography, CT scan, MRI, MRA, etc.

Craniofacial Pain, Headache and Sleep Center

In the Craniofacial Pain Center, the residents will learn how to evaluate and diagnose patients with complex painful disorders of the head and neck region utilizing state-of-the-art clinical technology. The Center has a diverse group of pain physicians, dentists, physical therapists, psychologists and rehabilitation specialists, and interacts closely with other pain specialist in other university and hospital based centers in the New England region to provide the broadest and most up to date techniques of pain management. Pain controlling modalities includes pharmacotherapy, bio- behavioral interventions, electromyographic (EMG) biofeedback techniques, oral appliance therapy, trigger-point injections, anesthetic nerve blocks, neurological treatment for headaches and orthotic devices therapy for obstructive sleep apnea. The center incorporates additional alternative and complementary medical modalities such as acupuncture, acupressure, nutritional counseling, and chiropractic remedies.

Physical Diagnosis

Early in the first year, the residents will receive formal instruction in physical evaluation and medical risk assessment at Tufts Medical Center by a staff physician. The course takes place over a period of one month, one session per week at 8 hours. After the Didactic course, the residents will have clinical experiences with the general medical staff at TMC for two 4 hour sessions. An examination will be given at the end of the course with grade given. Poor outcomes determined by grade and observation will result in remedial teaching and additional clinic sessions.

During the formal course, the residents will receive direct supervision of clinical experience in physical evaluation and medical risk assessment by the course director. A physical evaluation performed by residents and supervised by attending anesthesiologist will take place during the anesthesia rotations. Residents will assist medical staff supervisors in histories and physicals during the Medicine rotation. In addition, a physical evaluation for ambulatory patient care will be performed, supervised by attending staff, including comprehensive head and neck exam and yearly documentation of vital signs.

Hospital Rotations

Tufts Medical Center (TMC) is a world-class academic medical center offering outstanding patient care, teaching generations of future physicians the most advanced medical science and breaking new ground with ongoing innovative research.

Second year resident will rotate through several departments at TMC including internal medicine, hematology/oncology, nephrology, medical oncology, radiation oncology, otolaryngology, rheumatology, dermatology and infectious disease. This will broaden the residents understanding to manage patients with acute and chronic illnesses such as viral infection, organ transplantation, liver disease, HIV, autoimmune disease, cancer and dermatological lesions.

Special Care Rotation

Tufts University School of Dental Medicine offers students a unique opportunity to work with special needs patients in a clinical setting. Before graduating, residents are required to spend 2 weeks at one of the Tufts Dental Facilities. During this time they will assist in treating day surgery patients who reside at the Fernald Developmental Center, this will be supervised and signed by medical staff.

Taking Call

Residents share emergency call coverage with the general practice residents (GPRs). An attending is always on second call.

Graduation Requirements

In order to complete the program and qualify for graduation, you must document the following requirements:

  • Successful completion of all postdoctoral “core” curriculum courses.
  • Successful completion of all clinical requirements.
  • Successful completion of departmental written examinations (2 per year).
  • Successful completion of departmental oral “case-based” examinations (per year – 4-6 cases).
  • Successful completion of developing a scholarly manuscript for submission for publication and/or presentation at Tufts University Research Day or at a national meeting.  This manuscript or presentation must be supervised by one of the Faculty.
  • Satisfactory review by the Faculty – Student Evaluations every 4 months.

**Candidates must achieve a grade of “B” (80%) or better in all courses**

Masters of Science (additional third year)

In addition to the Certificate Program, Tufts School of Dental Medicine will offer a third year leading to the Master of Science Degree from Tufts University. This degree will have didactic and research requirements in addition to the clinical component. The didactic section of the degree requires that the resident completes 18 credit hours of courses toward the MS degree, taken in association with MS candidates from other dental specialties. Some of these courses may be completed in the first two years (Certificate). The resident will also be required to construct an original research proposal as part of his/her preparation for the research and thesis. This will be essential for the completion of the MS requirements.

Additional Didactic Requirement:

  • Biostatistics IB – 1.5 credits
  • Biostatistics II; Epidemiology II – 2.5 credits
  • Epidemiology & Critical Thinking in the Practice of Dentistry – 1.5 credits
  • Scientific & Technical Writing – 1.5 credits
  • Critical Evaluation of Scientific Literature –  2.0 credits
  • Successful Research Strategies – 1.0 credits
  • Research Methodology – 1.0 credits

The remaining ten didactic credits may be taken as electives. Graduate level courses will be available at the School for Dental Medicine, the School of Medicine, the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences, the Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, and Tufts University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Students will be guided by their research interests and thesis topic when designing an elective curriculum. It will also be possible to undertake a program of independent study for up to three credits. Contracts for independent study must be approved by the Director of Advanced and Graduate Education and filed in the Office of Advanced and Graduate Education.

In addition, MS candidates will be required to design and execute an original research project under the guidance of graduate faculty. The thesis will be a culmination of an original investigation leading to new information. The thesis should characterize, in a scholarly manner, the importance of this information as it applies to the field of study. The thesis should reflect the methodology, techniques, statistics and literature background used, as well as scientific logic necessary for acceptance of the results and conclusion. A total of 18 credits will be awarded for research, participation in research events, and the thesis proposal, document, and defense.

Upon successful completion of the MS program, a resident should be qualified to participate in the clinical aspects of oral medicine, and pursue an academic position and conduct independent research.

Professional Activities

American Academy of Oral Medicine

All residents will automatically become members of the American Academy of Oral Medicine upon matriculation and throughout their training.

Residents should subscribe to the Bulletin Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology (BBOP):

Send an email to the following address: listserv@listserv.acsu.buffalo.edu

Residents should also subscribe to the Bulletin Board of Oral Medicine. To join the IBBOM, simply send a blank message to: join‐ibbom@forums.nyu.edu

Board Examination

Residents are expected to take the American Board of Oral Medicine certifying board examination prior to graduation. Part A (written) of the board examination can be taken the second year of training. Applications for Part B examination can be made to the board 18 months following the successful completion of an ABOM accredited program. Applications not meeting this minimum time requirement will be held until the requirement is met. For further details, consult the AAOM website at www.aaom.com.