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Ask me questions about OMFS

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Hey everyone,

 

I'm a 2nd year resident at an OMFS program in USA. It's a 6 year program (with MD). I'm hoping to try and answer any of your questions... because I'm sure there are people reading that are interested in more than the "what are my chances at X dental school?" threads.

Hi, 

thank you so much for all the great advice. 

here is my question, 

in Canada, we can have not finishing undergrad when attending dentistry, so there are many people without an undergraduate degree who wish to apply for omfs residency. I wanted to know, does that affect the chance of getting into this program? do you think that undergraduate degree can give any advantages?

 

best regards

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Hi- just wondering what you did in preparation to apply to OMFS? Did you do lots of research with OMFS at your school? Did you do externships to the US? Did you complete a GPR before starting the 6 year program? Also, how do you think the programs in the US compare to those in Canada? 

Thanks! 

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This might be a question for all residencies in general, but if a specific procedure isn't learned during the program, how would one become familiar with it? Is that what a fellowship is for?

 

This is a complicated question, and maybe some of you don't understand the true breadth of OMFS to appreciate how this could happen and how a resident wouldn't be bothered by it.

 

There are the bread and butter procedures which 99% of all residents will learn and be fully competent in pulling wisdom teeth, placing bone grafts, placing implants. Knowing these three things alone, you can lead a very comfortable life. The vast majority of residents (dare I say 95%) will also come out of programs very comfortable in managing facial trauma, and performing orthognathic surgery. Many, but probably a lot fewer than 95% of practicing OMFS, will do these procedures (orthognathics and facial trauma) on a regular basis. Fewer programs will do head and neck cancer, facial cosmetics, cleft lip/palate, and even fewer residents will come out of programs comfortable doing such procedures. Likely less than 50% of OMFS will do such procedures on a regular basis. But it is likely that these OMFS are okay with this - maybe they don't want to do them, maybe they are happy doing what they know how to do, maybe there isn't a demand in the community for these procedures to be done. So just because they don't do these procedures, which are within the breadth of OMFS' scope, doesn't mean they have to go out and find a way to learn how to do them. They are content just not doing them.

 

If someone does want to do head and neck cancer for example, you can do a (I think it is 2 years) of fellowship training in head and neck oncology. And all other fellowships are 1 year long: facial plastics, craniofacial, orthognathics, microvascular?, etc

 

Then of course, you are right, there are CE courses to learn how to do smaller things. For example, learning how to harvest rib bone to graft it into the jaw may be appropriate for a CE course, or learning how to place TADs (Temporary Anchoring Devices) to help an orthodontist realign teeth.

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Hi, 

thank you so much for all the great advice. 

here is my question, 

in Canada, we can have not finishing undergrad when attending dentistry, so there are many people without an undergraduate degree who wish to apply for omfs residency. I wanted to know, does that affect the chance of getting into this program? do you think that undergraduate degree can give any advantages?

 

best regards

 

Hrm... I have a feeling that the 4 year OMFS programs won't care  if you don't have a Bachelor's degree. But 6-year programs where you also have to concurrently apply to their medical school, will be hit or miss. Some will require you to have an undergrad degree, and some won't. I know that my 6-year program will require you to have an undergrad degree because they treat applicants to the OMFS program almost like any other medical student applicant - requiring a competitive GPA, ECs, an interview with the medical school interview panel, etc.

 

But don't take my word for it - e-mail residency program coordinators of programs you may be interested before you take the leap. Also, if you are thinking about doing OMFS, and you have yet to complete undergrad, I urge you to shadow an ENT. Similar types of procedures (lots of short, outpatient procedures on healthy patients), good breadth of procedures (probably more than OMFS), same area of the body, and you won't have to go through the bullshit of dental school.

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Hi- just wondering what you did in preparation to apply to OMFS? Did you do lots of research with OMFS at your school? Did you do externships to the US? Did you complete a GPR before starting the 6 year program? Also, how do you think the programs in the US compare to those in Canada? 

Thanks! 

 

Hello. I did zero research at my dental school. I did do a lot of extracurriculars, leadership, and volunteering, but I don't think any of that helped *directly* with my application to OMFS.

I did externships at 4 different programs in the US (they varied from 1-2 weeks in length).

I did not complete a GPR. I finished dental school in May 2013, and started at a 6 year program in July 2013.

 

How do I think the OMFS programs in US compare to those in Canada? I actually do not know much about programs in Canada. The one thing I do know is that they like to see work experience (GPRs, or private practice, or internships). Programs in the USA sometimes frown on work experience, and often take people straight from dental school. An OMFS internship looks much, much, much more favorable than any 1 year of working in private practice or 1 year at a GPR. 

 

But I will tell you that programs within the US vary drastically: from great to horrendous. So it wouldn't be fair to lump them all in to the same category. Also, everyone is looking for something different in a program.

I will also tell you that there are MANY Canadians, both from Canadian Dental schools and American Dental schools in OMFS training programs in the USA. This is probably because there are only 4 OMFS programs in Canada? With each program only having 1-2 residents/year, what is that, like 6 graduates a year? the USA graduates ~ 280 OMFS per year. 

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you won't have to go through the bullshit of dental school.

 

Could you elaborate on this? Do you feel that when it comes to OMFS/ENT, what you learned in dental school is of little use compared to what you're learning in medical school? It's funny because a chief I was with once echoed a similar sentiment. He pretty much said that if I knew that I wanted to do OMFS while I was in undergrad, I should have just gone to medical school and pursued ENT.

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Could you elaborate on this? Do you feel that when it comes to OMFS/ENT, what you learned in dental school is of little use compared to what you're learning in medical school? It's funny because a chief I was with once echoed a similar sentiment. He pretty much said that if I knew that I wanted to do OMFS while I was in undergrad, I should have just gone to medical school and pursued ENT.

 

It's a touch choice... probably impossibly difficult to make a well-informed one as an undergrad, but you should atleast try. Don't feel bad, or think that you made a mistake. It's impossible to know something like this.

 

But for the rest of you - if you know you want to do OMFS, and you are in undergrad, I think you should be strongly considering medical school and give it fair consideration. If you don't, then you shouldn't be considering OMFS. Lots of similarities between OMFS and ENT, and you the most important reason you should be considering medicine is because there are more careers in medicine that offer similar things to ENT - as compared to careers in the dental field that are similar to OMFS. So if things don't pan out with ENT, then you have some quality back-ups. 

 

Other reasons why you should be considering medical school:

1) dental schools are more expensive than medical schools

2) dental school curriculums are less progressive than medical curriculums. Things like attendance, use of electronic resources, evaluation methods (P/F vs grading), testing methods all have a significant impact on your happiness during school, and I think medical schools do a better job of making their students happy. 

3) there are more career options available as an MD than a DMD/DDS - public health, insurance, health care administration, etc. Life doesn't always go the way you plan.... and you are naive to think you have full control over your life.

 

With that being said, a lot of my classmates knew they wanted to do OMFS before they started dental school. Most of them are now in OMFS residencies, but some are not.... 

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Could you elaborate on this? Do you feel that when it comes to OMFS/ENT, what you learned in dental school is of little use compared to what you're learning in medical school? It's funny because a chief I was with once echoed a similar sentiment. He pretty much said that if I knew that I wanted to do OMFS while I was in undergrad, I should have just gone to medical school and pursued ENT.

I don't think ENTs pullout wisdom teeth.

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I don't think ENTs pullout wisdom teeth.

 

Yes, I'm aware, and I suppose which path you choose is totally contingent on what types of procedures you want to be doing in the future. For those who primarily want to chuck thirds, then OMFS>ENT. My goals deviate from this which may be why the chief said I should have pursued ENT.

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ENT is a great specialty and shares many similarities with OMFS, but in my opinion getting in to ENT is harder than getting in to OMFS (atleast in the USA). In light of residency admissions being far from guarantees... it would be prudent to think about your ability to eventually match...

 

In the USA, admissions to both these specialties are based heavily on your academic prowess: how well you do on MCQ tests. And I feel like if I went to an American medical school I wouldn't be in the top 10-15% of my class to be competitive for ENT, however, I did feel like I was near the top of my dental school class, and thus was able to match into OMFS. Of course subjective, and it is difficult to compare, my thoughts about this are based on the 2.5 years in medical school in a middle-tier american Medical school, and my experience with my medical school classmates.

 

I think in Canadian applications to medical specialties like ENT, admissions favours connections, research, and your experience in the field, less than your academic success (b/c most/all med schools are pass/fail?) < correct me if I'm wrong> 

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Now that you have experience in both dentistry and medicine, what are your thoughts about the two fields with respect to usefulness of the skills acquired in each field, personal fulfillment, employment prospects, income potential, etc.? Do you feel as though you should have went to medical school instead dental school? I ask because I've been concurrently accepted to dental and medical school, and am deliberating as to which of the two professions I should enter. Hope residency is treating you well!

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Now that you have experience in both dentistry and medicine, what are your thoughts about the two fields with respect to usefulness of the skills acquired in each field, personal fulfillment, employment prospects, income potential, etc.? Do you feel as though you should have went to medical school instead dental school? I ask because I've been concurrently accepted to dental and medical school, and am deliberating as to which of the two professions I should enter. Hope residency is treating you well!

 

Huh? Both professions are needed and the skills are useful. You learn a lot of shit in medical school that is sort of useless. What you really need when your practicing is what you learned in residency. Is that what you are getting at? I don't see how this is relevant though.

 

No, i don't feel like i should have gone to medical school. OMFS is great. If you don't know what you want to do, go to medical school and hope you find something you love, or you can be like a bunch of my medschool classmates, who, when they needed to pick in 3rd year... went for the discipline that they hated least. Strange way to look at it, isnt it?

 

I know nothing about you, and can't make this decision for you. Seems like the sane thing would have been to decide before you applied...

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Hey Contach, Almost done yet.  I lost my password since they migrated to the new forum like last year, now my senile brain was able to remember it.

 

Hi again!

Nope - less than halfway through! 2.5 years down, and 3.5 more years to go!

 

Also - may I recommend an app called 1Password? Stores all your passwords, and creates randomly generated passwords for you too. You have access to your passwords at different sites through 1 main password to log in to the app. It is free on your computer, and if you pay $20 or so, you can get it to sync your passwords to your phone. It is also now finger print technology-enabled on the iPhone 6. Saves me so much hardship!

 

Contach

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Hi Contach.

 

I'm currently in College or CEGEP here in Quebec doing great and I'd like to apply for dental school next year and I'm becoming more and more interested in the OMFS part of dentistry. My question is: Did dental school helped you during your MD studies, I'm talking about the academic part so the more "classroomy" years?

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Hi Contach,

I wanted to thank you for all your posts. I spent many hours finding out the information you posted here in this thread.

I'm a third year DDS student wondering what the other more intense externships other than  LSU-NO, Parkland (Texas), Gainesville (Florida) that you could list.

I'm in the process of applying for a few more now.

Also would you write the NBME again if you aced it already( top 1%) ? I know I could do better, but it would take alot of time next summer. Or should I spend more time on externships?
I'm looking to do alteast four this year.

 

Also-  the ADA will release a new exam called the ADAT in 2016 that's designed to become the entrance exam for all dental specialty programs. Is this worth taking? It covers different material.

Thanks

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You might want to double check, I think those schools you listed don't accept unless you're a US citizen.

Ive heard UT Memphis is hands on. I am going there in January. If you go ask to go during a trauma week cause they rotate call.

A buddy of mine went to Mayo and it sounds like it was somewhat hands on.

If you think you're really into trauma try Cook county.

 

If you actually got top 1 percentile for the NBME there is not point re taking. Tell us the number and il tell you if you should retake.

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On ‎26‎/‎10‎/‎2016 at 8:05 PM, Hockeytalk said:

You might want to double check, I think those schools you listed don't accept unless you're a US citizen.

Ive heard UT Memphis is hands on. I am going there in January. If you go ask to go during a trauma week cause they rotate call.

A buddy of mine went to Mayo and it sounds like it was somewhat hands on.

If you think you're really into trauma try Cook county.

 

If you actually got top 1 percentile for the NBME there is not point re taking. Tell us the number and il tell you if you should retake.

Hi Hockeytalk,

I just PM'd you regarding CBSE.

Let me know what you think.

Cheers

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Hi Contach,

How would you view an applicant with both DMD and MD degrees? Do you think he might be more competitive with a MD or less competitive (because he didn't practice dentistry for 4 years)?

If your program is a 6-years track (OMFS/MD), do you think I can still apply to your program and do 4 years instead of 6 (skipping medschool portion)?

Thank you so much for doing this.

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