New Joint Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery-Medical Degree Program

in Announcements, Featured
December 7th, 2015

Beginning in the summer of 2017, Boston University’s Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) and School of Medicine (BUSM) and will offer a new six-year program that combines the GSDM Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery (OMFS) residency program with an opportunity to earn a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree.

Combining the OMFS residency program and MD degree is largely a result of overlapping scopes of practice in head and neck surgery. For example, otolaryngology, plastic surgery and OMFS all do procedures that involve areas of the head and neck. Combining the programs will allow OMFS graduates to perform more varied and complex surgeries, while augmenting inter-professional education between medical and dental students & residents, and expanding career opportunities to include OMFS or fellowships requiring an MD degree.

Many of the premier programs in the country offer the concurrent six-year MD/OMFS training program, either as a stand-alone program or in parallel with the minimum four-year residency track. The addition of the MD component to a traditional OMFS program provides select residents additional education, training and credentials commensurate with the expanding range and complexity of their surgical offerings.

“The proposed new program will benefit the entire BU community, including the university, both schools, the trainees and ultimately our patients,” said GSDM associate dean for Academic Affairs Cataldo Leone, DMD. He notes that adoption of such a program was one of the recommendations made by the site visit team during the Academic Program Review of GSDM in 2014 and was viewed as an opportunity to enhance the School’s standing among its peers.

Both the GSDM OMFS residency and BUSM MD each are four-year programs. The six-year combined program includes admission with advanced standing to the second and third year of the standard medical school curriculum. The third year would be a blend of fourth-year required medical school courses and the beginning of the OMFS residency. Candidates would then complete the remaining three years of the OMFS residency.

“Working with our colleagues at the dental school, we have designed a state-of-the-art OMFS/MD program that will provide our graduates with a stronger medical background and greater career opportunities,” said Karen Antman, MD, dean of BUSM and provost of the Medical Campus.

“The new combined OMFS and MD program will truly bring prestige to GSDM’s OMFS residency program and strengthen the position of GSDM as a leader in dental education,” said Jeffrey W. Hutter, DMD, Dean of GSDM. “This new program could not have occurred without the strong collaboration and support of the School of Medicine.”

After successful completion of the program, graduates will not only have an MD degree and be eligible for licensure as a physician, but also will be qualified in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery. One to two candidates will be enrolled per year into the program.