Mar 18, 2010
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I've read that there are facial cosmetic surgery fellowship programs out there after residencies in dental (probably OMFS). If someone is interested in going into facial cosmetic surgery or plastic surgery, is this the way to go (dental) as opposed to med school? What's the difference between the two?
 
Mar 18, 2010
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Slack3r

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The med school route involves two separate routes. The most direct (and most competitive) route involves 4 years of med school and then 6 years of integrated plastic surgery residency. This residency is THE MOST COMPETITIVE residency to match into. Board scores for matched residents fall in the 99% of test takers on the USMLE. Other routes involve doing some sort of surgical residency (general surgery, ENT, ob/gyn, and urology) and then completing a 3 year plastics fellowship. As you can imagine, these fellowships are also VERY competitive.

The dental route involves 4 years of dental school and then a 6 year OMFS residency. You must do the 6 year residency (that includes 2 years of med school) to be eligible for plastics fellowships. After your OMFS residency, you can apply for plastics fellowships. I believe there are many fellowships that aren't accredited by the same institution as the med school residencies, but this doesn't necessarily mean they put out incompetent clinicians.

I personally think the route to plastics through dentistry seems like a roundabout way to get there that isn't really guaranteed. Matching OMFS is said to be just as difficult as matching PRS in terms of competitiveness. Also, going through dental school to do only facial plastics seems like a waste. IMO, you should pick whichever field you would be happy in if you DIDN'T match plastics (which is most likely to happen). If you could see yourself practicing as a plain OMFS or a general dentist, go dental school. If you would rather be a physician, go to med school.
 

DrReo

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Dr. Niamtu did a 4 year route and practice cosmetic facial plastic surgery.
 

cuneatus2

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I've read that there are facial cosmetic surgery fellowship programs out there after residencies in dental (probably OMFS). If someone is interested in going into facial cosmetic surgery or plastic surgery, is this the way to go (dental) as opposed to med school? What's the difference between the two?
Considering dental school is harder than med school, if you want to be a plastic surgeon I'd just go to med school.
 

Slack3r

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Dr. Niamtu did a 4 year route and practice cosmetic facial plastic surgery.
Well there are fellowships that don't require an MD, but I was under the impression that if you wanted to attend an accredited plastics fellowship you would need an MD.
 

cuneatus2

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In the interest of full disclosure...I have not actually attended medical school. I'm simply basing that off of what my friends who did 6 year OS programs have told me and of my wife's experience in med school.

By harder - there's a lot of crap dental students need to deal with that med students don't. You're expected to be able to practice after 4 years, not 7.
 

Slack3r

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In the interest of full disclosure...I have not actually attended medical school. I'm simply basing that off of what my friends who did 6 year OS programs have told me and of my wife's experience in med school.

By harder - there's a lot of crap dental students need to deal with that med students don't. You're expected to be able to practice after 4 years, not 7.
Such as?
 

armorshell

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Well there are fellowships that don't require an MD, but I was under the impression that if you wanted to attend an accredited plastics fellowship you would need an MD.
There are facial COSMETICS fellowships that don't require an MD.

A PLASTICS fellowship is a 3 year track requiring both and MD and 2 consecutive years of general surgery at the same institution.

Cosmetic Surgery - Surgery to improve the appearance

Plastic Surgery - A specialty of medicine encompassing cosmetic surgery, hand surgery, burn care/surgery, microvascular surgery, etc...
 

illegallysmooth

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Being directly responsible for patient care? Not just taking notes for your resident and occasionally placing a line?
So your contention is that since medical students receive further training, medical school is therefore less difficult?

 

armorshell

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So your contention is that since medical students receive further training, medical school is therefore less difficult?

That seems to sum it up nicely. Medical training (Medical school + residency) is a more diffcult path than dental training (Dental school + residency?) in general, but comparing the first portion of the training, I'd contend dental school is the harder path.
 

92CamaroLS1

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That seems to sum it up nicely. Medical training (Medical school + residency) is a more diffcult path than dental training (Dental school + residency?) in general, but comparing the first portion of the training, I'd contend dental school is the harder path.
I think your right in that we have a lot more to learn in 4(or 3) years than a med student since we are expected to be able to practice out of school. Now our individual didactic classes on the other hand, Im sure are watered down some unless you're lucky enough to go to a school with an integrated curriculum.

PS I just now realized what makes the radiograph in your avatar unique among the millions of occlusal amalgams out there :laugh:
 

allantois

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The med school route involves two separate routes. The most direct (and most competitive) route involves 4 years of med school and then 6 years of integrated plastic surgery residency. This residency is THE MOST COMPETITIVE residency to match into. Board scores for matched residents fall in the 99% of test takers on the USMLE. Other routes involve doing some sort of surgical residency (general surgery, ENT, ob/gyn, and urology) and then completing a 3 year plastics fellowship. As you can imagine, these fellowships are also VERY competitive.

The dental route involves 4 years of dental school and then a 6 year OMFS residency. You must do the 6 year residency (that includes 2 years of med school) to be eligible for plastics fellowships. After your OMFS residency, you can apply for plastics fellowships. I believe there are many fellowships that aren't accredited by the same institution as the med school residencies, but this doesn't necessarily mean they put out incompetent clinicians.

I personally think the route to plastics through dentistry seems like a roundabout way to get there that isn't really guaranteed. Matching OMFS is said to be just as difficult as matching PRS in terms of competitiveness. Also, going through dental school to do only facial plastics seems like a waste. IMO, you should pick whichever field you would be happy in if you DIDN'T match plastics (which is most likely to happen). If you could see yourself practicing as a plain OMFS or a general dentist, go dental school. If you would rather be a physician, go to med school.
Bump, for anyone interested:

Aesthetic surgery is currently being performed by many specialists other than plastic surgeons. As has been discussed, you can do a 6 year integrated PS residency, or a 3 year PS fellowship after 5 years of gen. surgery.
The other routes include: 5 years ENT + 1 year facial plastic surgery; 4 years dermatology + 1 year procedural dermatology/dermatologic surgery; 4 years ophthalmology + 2 years oculoplastic surgery.

And last but certainly not least, is the dental route: 4 or 6 years OMFS followed by a fellowship in facial cosmetic surgery (currently, they accept everyone from all of the fields listed above).

http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.cosmeticsurgery.org/resource/resmgr/Docs/AACS_Facial_Cosmetic_Surgery.pdf
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