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kcc96

2+ Year Member
May 10, 2016
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Pre-Dental
Although I am currently a pre-dental undergrad student, I am very torn between orthodontics and oral & maxillofacial surgery. I've had braces for a total of 6 years, 8 hour orthognathic surgery, and the list goes on. I feel like I have been around both for so long and I definitely want a career in one of them.

I'm exploring all options and have seen different dental schools offering 4-year and 6-year oral surgeon programs. From what I've read, people claim that the 4-year students can do just as much as the 6-year students. Is there any benefit to taking the 6-year instead? Also if you were to pick 4-year or 6-year program, why would you?

Thank you!!
 
Jul 2, 2015
14
9
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Dental Student
i'm going into endo, so I don't know how true this is: I talked to an oral surgeon (i believe he was 50 y/o). He said he would opt for a 4 yr program (back in his day, he said there was no 6 yr program). He said that the 6 yr program removes you from anything hands on dental for 2 full years, and that's a big disadvantage for your hand skills. I don't know if there's a huge advantage to doing the MD or PhD, but maybe at least the hand skills thing is food for thought for you.
 
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Jun 4, 2012
109
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Dental Student
Although I am currently a pre-dental undergrad student, I am very torn between orthodontics and oral & maxillofacial surgery. I've had braces for a total of 6 years, 8 hour orthognathic surgery, and the list goes on. I feel like I have been around both for so long and I definitely want a career in one of them.

I'm exploring all options and have seen different dental schools offering 4-year and 6-year oral surgeon programs. From what I've read, people claim that the 4-year students can do just as much as the 6-year students. Is there any benefit to taking the 6-year instead? Also if you were to pick 4-year or 6-year program, why would you?

Thank you!!
based on the few weeks I spent at the hospital with the residents Id say 6 year lol... the 4th yr residents couldnt do whole surgeries without the help of the surgeon

if you are only thinking about removing 3rd molars stuff like that 4 yr ok
but if you wanna fix broken jaws Id say 6 yr
 

DaleDoback

Did you touch my drumset?
Sep 17, 2012
261
369
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Resident [Any Field]
based on the few weeks I spent at the hospital with the residents Id say 6 year lol... the 4th yr residents couldnt do whole surgeries without the help of the surgeon

if you are only thinking about removing 3rd molars stuff like that 4 yr ok
but if you wanna fix broken jaws Id say 6 yr
You're an idiot.

OP, try to lose your virginity in college before worrying about this stuff. Plenty of time left.
 
Jun 4, 2012
109
26
Winnipeg
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Dental Student
. He said that the 6 yr program removes you from anything hands on dental for 2 full years
that must depend on what program... because not true where I was working
but anyway I dont know any OMFS who likes dental stuff lol... ask them if they like to polish the immediate denture after drilling for 10 minutes trying to make it fit :p
 

kcc96

2+ Year Member
May 10, 2016
8
0
Status
Pre-Dental
It most likely did, since it was completely false lol
What's false about it?? (Not trying to be ignorant, I know nothing about the difference of these programs so I'd like to know all I can) Thanks!
 
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DaleDoback

Did you touch my drumset?
Sep 17, 2012
261
369
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Resident [Any Field]
I prefer the 10-year OMFS program. The added 2 years of head and neck microvascular, 1 year of craniofacial and 1 year of cosmetics training is what I need to stroke my ego.
I'm an oral and Maxillofacial surgeon. I have bikini models stroke everything for me at my beach house and on my yacht.

Just kidding. I only went to a 4 year program. I get 7-11 coffee in my 94 Camry on my 90 minute commute. Damn those extra 2 years.
 

BYU4you

7+ Year Member
May 22, 2013
1,077
1,246
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Pre-Dental
I'd like to do OMFS myself and am leaning towards the 6 year program over the 4. For starters, I have always wanted to go to med school (although dentistry was my first choice, this path lets me do both) just for the experience and knowledge obtained. Only two more years to get an MD in addition to your DDS, to me that's a no brainer even though I know in reality it doesn't mean much, but I just love education so it fits me.

Also, I have talked to a handful of oral surgeons and nearly all of them (including guys who did 4 years) have suggested the 6 year route for job security purposes. Although they all said there is almost zero chance it would ever get to a point where getting an MD mattered (or the fact you would be "grandfathered" in if it did). But they said that you just never know in this day and age what could happen.

On the other hand, the only oral surgeon who said for sure the 4 year route was by far the most well-off financially and said that those extra 2 years become your last 2 years and could cost you well over a million dollars in income. He was a 4 yearer himself.
 

jippyslim

10+ Year Member
Apr 30, 2010
173
63
Midwest
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Dental Student
I'd like to do OMFS myself and am leaning towards the 6 year program over the 4. For starters, I have always wanted to go to med school (although dentistry was my first choice, this path lets me do both) just for the experience and knowledge obtained. Only two more years to get an MD in addition to your DDS, to me that's a no brainer even though I know in reality it doesn't mean much, but I just love education so it fits me.

Also, I have talked to a handful of oral surgeons and nearly all of them (including guys who did 4 years) have suggested the 6 year route for job security purposes. Although they all said there is almost zero chance it would ever get to a point where getting an MD mattered (or the fact you would be "grandfathered" in if it did). But they said that you just never know in this day and age what could happen.

On the other hand, the only oral surgeon who said for sure the 4 year route was by far the most well-off financially and said that those extra 2 years become your last 2 years and could cost you well over a million dollars in income. He was a 4 yearer himself.
That's a good way to look at it. Is an MD worth $1M?
 

armorshell

One Man Freak Show
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Apr 12, 2006
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On the other hand, the only oral surgeon who said for sure the 4 year route was by far the most well-off financially and said that those extra 2 years become your last 2 years and could cost you well over a million dollars in income. He was a 4 yearer himself.
That's completely spurious. If you get to choose which years they become, why not pick your first two years? The cost of additional training (or of saved training) is described in average years.
 

armorshell

One Man Freak Show
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Apr 12, 2006
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I'm an oral and Maxillofacial surgeon. I have bikini models stroke everything for me at my beach house and on my yacht.

Just kidding. I only went to a 4 year program. I get 7-11 coffee in my 94 Camry on my 90 minute commute. Damn those extra 2 years.
Just like I was telling Drake the other day on the private jet we share "Damn man, I'm so glad I got that medical degree"
 
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faceman

2+ Year Member
Nov 15, 2015
73
74
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Dental Student
Practically, a single degree is equivalent and you could save two years of time and $ $. If one has a larger than average loan with interest appreciating, that sum will grow considerably in those two years. If it you don't pay monthly interest and it capitalizes, your principal and interest payments will both rise. And you might need to take out more loans for the medical school!!

MD offers extra theoretical and clinical knowledge in the whole scope of medicine. Some people want that and I completely understand. I'm just not sure how it directly pertains to OS and your future clinical practice though. If your passion is in a specific subfield of OS and you want to be in an academic environment, then maybe you should consider the MD. For others ego is at the center of the decision and it mentally bothers them. But is it really worth the cost then?

I think both are incredible accomplishments. Apply broadly and see where you match. Just matching should be your goal!

Also, you and I are both way too early in the game to be thinking about this. Dental school is not undergrad bro.. Doing this is easy to talk about but you have to perform. I have friends that wanted to be oral surgeons, only to change their mind by the 2nd year. Be ready and focus on the important controllable factors: grades, cbse, experience, OS network.
 

go_gators3

2+ Year Member
Apr 1, 2017
1
3
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Pre-Dental
That's completely spurious. If you get to choose which years they become, why not pick your first two years? The cost of additional training (or of saved training) is described in average years.
Because that isn’t how it works. It works out to be your last 2 years of your career. I am planning on retiring at 65. When you go to OMFS, you come out probably working for someone else and being slow at your surgeries, making way less than you will at the end of your life. Regardless of 4 year or 6 year program, you will have those slow years where you become faster or save up enough to buy your own practice and start really making a larger salary.

If I come out as an OMFS as a 31 year old or 33 year old, I still have those slow starting years. In one case, I work for 34 years, in another I work for 32 years (again, I am retiring at age 65). In the 4 year program, I get 2 extra years at the end of my career when I am making the most possible money due to speed and owning my own practice.
 
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OMSDoc

10+ Year Member
Apr 25, 2009
79
206
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Dentist
I am a single-degree oral and maxillofacial surgeon who trained at a 4-year program. If I was 26-years-old and applying now, I would prefer a 6-year program. However, it depends on the program. There are some excellent 4-year programs and mediocre 6-years programs, and where you end up all boils down to timing, which you cannot control, and the match, of which you have some control.

I believe that life is what you make it, and a mediocre resident can have a bad experience at an excellent program. Conversely, a good resident can have a great experience at a mediocre program. This is what they call leadership.

I have worked with both single-degree and dual-degree surgeons. I do believe that dual-degree surgeons have a broader medical foundation. However, the extra two years for the dual-degree surgeons made no difference in their scope of practice and what they ultimately settled into doing as their favorite area of practice.

The concern over hospital privileges is a valid one. However, hospitals do not grant privileges to oral and maxillofacial surgeons based on their medical degree. In general, if you can show that you are trained in something, you will be granted the privilege, even without the medical degree. You might have to jump through some hoops. For example, at one hospital I had to be proctored for the first 5 iliac crest grafts that I harvested, but this would have been the same even if I had a medical degree.

I have found that our medical colleagues (for the most part) want surgeons who will take call, come in to the ER promptly when called, keep their hospital documentation up-to-date, and take care of the community patients. As a group, they do not seem very concerned about whether we have a medical degree or not, although there are very rare exceptions. And this could certainly change.

It is good to have a long-term strategy with respect to loans, career earning potential, etc. But the reality is that life and the decisions that you make tend to be short-term. If you had told me when I was a senior dental student that I would be where I am geographically, family-wise, financially, and emotionally, I would not have believed you.
 

OMSDoc

10+ Year Member
Apr 25, 2009
79
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Can you expand on this please?
By short-term, I mean things will come up in life that you do not see coming.

My father is an OMS in Georgia. I went to dental school in Augusta. I started dental school with the plan of doing OMS training and then joining my father in practice.

My first year applying to OMS, I didn't match to a program, and I didn’t see that coming. I ended up doing a pre-residency "internship" at Emory Clinic in Atlanta. This was a last-minute arrangement, and it worked out very well. I had excellent mentors and coresidents at Emory, and I learned a lot.

The second year in applying, I matched at the Mayo Clinic for OMS. My year at Emory made me a better resident at Mayo, so it was time well spent. I do not look at it as: "Oh, it took me one more year to finish, and that will cost me $XXX,XXX.XX by the time I am 65 years old."

I feel blessed and grateful for my Mayo Clinic training and my mentors and coresidents. Mayo was (and still is) a strong program for orthognathic surgery, pathology and reconstruction, dental implants, and, of course, dentoalveolar surgery. A major part of the latter was our anesthesia training, which was second to none. We had six months full-time on the medical anesthesia service, followed by in-clinic OMS anesthesia, including 400 pediatric general anesthetics a year...and by pediatric, I mean small children using volatile agents.

Again, I had planned to return to Georgia to practice with my father (also a Mayo alumnus). However, the Mayo culture was very fulfilling to me professionally (which I didn't see coming), and I met a woman from Minnesota and got married (which I also didn't see coming).

So rather than returning to practice with my father, I stayed on the Mayo Clinic staff after the residency, with the full intent of staying for a career. But due to strategic changes in the institution, which were unrelated to me or OMS, and which I didn't see coming, I realized that I would be happier in private practice.

Wanting to stay in Minnesota, I called one of my former chiefs at Mayo and he invited me to join his large group in the Twin Cities, one of the best private practices in the Midwest. It was an honor to join that group, and again, I had the full intent of staying for a career. However, I found that many of the patient-care decisions in a big successful practice are up to a vote of the partners, and I wanted more control over what I did. I didn’t see this coming either.

Therefore, after two years, my wife and young kids and I moved to Georgia so that I could practice with my father, who allowed me to practice exactly as I wanted. This was very fulfilling professionally. My father had developed a solo practice in which he did a lot of orthognathic surgery (approximately 90-120 jaws a year), big pathology cases and reconstructions, big implant cases, and of course, a lot of dentoalveolar surgery with office anesthesia. I took over the bulk of the hospital work, and worked with some great general dentist and specialists. I learned how to run a practice, and this took some time.

However, despite the excellent surgical environment, my wife and I mutually decided to move back to Minnesota to be closer to her family, and to raise our young family. We had both birth children and adopted children, and Minnesota had better infrastructure for adoptions at the time. I didn't know that when we moved to Georgia.

I opened my own practice back in Minnesota from scratch, and it has grown to four offices with several partners. I didn't see this coming either.

I am thus on my fourth job after my residency. I had long term goals when I was in dental school, and if you had told me then that I would end up in a different state, not practicing with my father, and spend a lot of time at youth hockey practices and games, I would not have believed you.
 
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Therefore, after two years, my wife and young kids and I moved to Georgia so that I could practice with my father, who allowed me to practice exactly as I wanted. This was very fulfilling professionally. My father had developed a solo practice in which he did a lot of orthognathic surgery (approximately 90-120 jaws a year), big pathology cases and reconstructions, big implant cases, and of course, a lot of dentoalveolar surgery with office anesthesia. I took over the bulk of the hospital work, and worked with some great general dentist and specialists.
I gotta say that's actually pretty badass. Father and son, both surgeons, both practicing together.
 
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DDSER1

2+ Year Member
Aug 29, 2015
167
220
By short-term, I mean things will come up in life that you do not see coming.

My father is an OMS in Georgia. I went to dental school in Augusta. I started dental school with the plan of doing OMS training and then joining my father in practice.

My first year applying to OMS, I didn't match to a program, and I didn’t see that coming. I ended up doing a pre-residency "internship" at Emory Clinic in Atlanta. This was a last-minute arrangement, and it worked out very well. I had excellent mentors and coresidents at Emory, and I learned a lot.

The second year in applying, I matched at the Mayo Clinic for OMS. My year at Emory made me a better resident at Mayo, so it was time well spent. I do not look at it as: "Oh, it took me one more year to finish, and that will cost me $XXX,XXX.XX by the time I am 65 years old."

I feel blessed and grateful for my Mayo Clinic training and my mentors and coresidents. Mayo was (and still is) a strong program for orthognathic surgery, pathology and reconstruction, dental implants, and, of course, dentoalveolar surgery. A major part of the latter was our anesthesia training, which was second to none. We had six months full-time on the medical anesthesia service, followed by in-clinic OMS anesthesia, including 400 pediatric general anesthetics a year...and by pediatric, I mean small children using volatile agents.

Again, I had planned to return to Georgia to practice with my father (also a Mayo alumnus). However, the Mayo culture was very fulfilling to me professionally (which I didn't see coming), and I met a woman from Minnesota and got married (which I also didn't see coming).

So rather than returning to practice with my father, I stayed on the Mayo Clinic staff after the residency, with the full intent of staying for a career. But due to strategic changes in the institution, which were unrelated to me or OMS, and which I didn't see coming, I realized that I would be happier in private practice.

Wanting to stay in Minnesota, I called one of my former chiefs at Mayo and he invited me to join his large group in the Twin Cities, one of the best private practices in the Midwest. It was an honor to join that group, and again, I had the full intent of staying for a career. However, I found that many of the patient-care decisions in a big successful practice are up to a vote of the partners, and I wanted more control over what I did. I didn’t see this coming either.

Therefore, after two years, my wife and young kids and I moved to Georgia so that I could practice with my father, who allowed me to practice exactly as I wanted. This was very fulfilling professionally. My father had developed a solo practice in which he did a lot of orthognathic surgery (approximately 90-120 jaws a year), big pathology cases and reconstructions, big implant cases, and of course, a lot of dentoalveolar surgery with office anesthesia. I took over the bulk of the hospital work, and worked with some great general dentist and specialists. I learned how to run a practice, and this took some time.

However, despite the excellent surgical environment, my wife and I mutually decided to move back to Minnesota to be closer to her family, and to raise our young family. We had both birth children and adopted children, and Minnesota had better infrastructure for adoptions at the time. I didn't know that when we moved to Georgia.

I opened my own practice back in Minnesota from scratch, and it has grown to four offices with several partners. I didn't see this coming either.

I am thus on my fourth job after my residency. I had long term goals when I was in dental school, and if you had told me then that I would end up in a different state, not practicing with my father, and spend a lot of time at youth hockey practices and games, I would not have believed you.
Thanks for sharing your story. Given all your success as a 4 yr OMS, why would you choose a 6yr program if you were a 26 yr old today?
 

OMSDoc

10+ Year Member
Apr 25, 2009
79
206
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Mayo is now a 6-year program. It made the transition from 4-year to 6-year during my residency.

I would now choose a 6-year program at a young age because:
  1. It would give a broader medical foundation than I received in the 4-year program, particularly for the off-service rotations.
  2. It would enhance your flexibility for future practice. For example, depending on the state, you can have your assistants perform certain duties that save you time if you have a medical license.
If I was 36, I would have to think long and hard about a 6-year program. And it would depend on the program.
 

wannagiveup

Just a dentist
Apr 12, 2019
121
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I think getting an MD for two extra years is a bargain (from what I hear programs often help out with med school tuition costs). I vote for 6yr.
 

Life of Pablo

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Feb 18, 2016
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I think getting an MD for two extra years is a bargain (from what I hear programs often help out with med school tuition costs). I vote for 6yr.
Depends on what your definition of a bargain is. If you consider 2 years lost from your prime and $1M+ a bargain, then yeah.

I’m not trying to hate, but I wouldn’t call it a bargain.
 

wannagiveup

Just a dentist
Apr 12, 2019
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Depends on what your definition of a bargain is. If you consider 2 years lost from your prime and $1M+ a bargain, then yeah.
My take is that you never know what life has in store for you. Might as well get that MD out of the way while you are young and for extra two more years of mostly clinical training (M3 and M4). You never know what sorts of opportunities the US MD will open up down the road.
 
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Life of Pablo

Hola
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Feb 18, 2016
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My take is that you never know what life has in store for you. Might as well get that MD out of the way while you are young and for extra two more years of mostly clinical training (M3 and M4). You never know what sorts of opportunities the US MD will open up down the road.
Two more years of clinical training? You’re twiddling your thumbs bored as hell in medical school for those 2 years. Most programs put you into M2. Some, like UCSF, make you take all 4 years of medical school. You want to learn about the krebs cycle for the 10th time lol. Most programs don’t allow you to moonlight so it’s not like you’re even keeping up with your hand skills.
 

wannagiveup

Just a dentist
Apr 12, 2019
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Two more years of clinical training? You’re twiddling your thumbs bored as hell in medical school for those 2 years. You want to learn about the krebs cycle for the 10th time lol. Most programs don’t allow you to moonlight so it’s not like you’re even keeping up with your hand skills.
Are you saying the medical training you receive during the two years is worthless, especially when it leads to something tangible in the form of a degree?
 

Life of Pablo

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Are you saying the medical training you receive during the two years is worthless, especially when it leads to something tangible in the form of a degree?
Again, depends on what you consider worthless. Do you need it to practice OMFS? No. Do a lot of successful surgeons go their entire career without an MD (both in a hospital and private practice setting)? Yes. If you want to get it, and believe it’s worth it to you, then great get it. Just personal preference.
 

OMSDoc

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Apr 25, 2009
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I think getting an MD for two extra years is a bargain (from what I hear programs often help out with med school tuition costs). I vote for 6yr.
I agree completely. Thank goodness people can still choose!
 

elwaytime7

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Sep 29, 2014
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Two more years of clinical training? You’re twiddling your thumbs bored as hell in medical school for those 2 years. Most programs put you into M2. Some, like UCSF, make you take all 4 years of medical school. You want to learn about the krebs cycle for the 10th time lol. Most programs don’t allow you to moonlight so it’s not like you’re even keeping up with your hand skills.
UCSF does 25 months of medical school. Lol if you think medical school is just the Kreb’s cycle, you are sorely mistaken. I think it comes to preference of structured learning of medicine versus learning on the fly in a 4 year. There are many 4 year surgeons that I view as mentors that are amazing surgeons. There are plenty of 6 year surgeons that draw very little on their medical knowledge during their practice. I tend to lean on advice that your career trajectory is less based on your degrees and more dependent on your character, hard-work, and luck!

Cool to hear your story @OMSDoc!
 

OMSDoc

10+ Year Member
Apr 25, 2009
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I gotta say that's actually pretty badass. Father and son, both surgeons, both practicing together.
Thank you for your kind words. He is still practicing full-time in his mid-80s. He stopped doing hospital work, but still runs an impressive dentoalveolar, pathology, and implant list.

I worked for him in the summers in college. He uses a mallet and chisel for virtually all of his dentoalveolar cases. He rarely picks up a hand piece. His average time for four complete bony impacted third molars was 6-7 minutes....and he wasn’t hurrying. He had 6 ORs and would do 15 cases in a morning.

In dental school, I watched the first year OMS residents take over an hour to remove four third molars, and I was stunned. Fortunately, I had the presence of mind not to say anything.

If you look up the word “stud” in the dictionary, you will see my dad’s picture there.

I have learned so much from him.
 
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OMSDoc

10+ Year Member
Apr 25, 2009
79
206
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Serious question: how has he kept his physique in top form to continue to work as an OS full time After 5 decades? Eyes, neck, shoulder, lower back, wrist?
Great question...in a word..no. Not top form physique, but his eyes, neck, shoulder and lower back have been fine. He would occasionally jog in the 1970s and 80s, but not like what we now consider as being a buff gym guy. He never smoke or drank.

Interestingly, he tripped on a throw rug last March at a car dealership and fractured the ring of his pelvis. It was inoperable, and the orthopods told him to take three months off and go to rehab every day. He took off two weeks and went back to work. (Side note to y'all who think Single Payer is a great idea: Medicare cut off his rehab because he was back at work). He would tell patients, "It only hurts half the time. When I stand on my left foot, it doesn't hurt at all. If I stand on the right foot, it is excruciating." I am certain that if he had taken three months off, he would be dead.

His father was a coal miner in southern West Virginia, and he grew up in the Great Depression. This generation always as a group were hard workers.

It is great to be able to call him and ask him what he thinks, because he has seen so much. Just last week, I had a patient with chronic sclerosing osteomyelitis (which is rare), and I for sure called him for his advice.

When my dad started practice in middle Georgia in 1965, the speed limits were 70 mph, few people wore seatbelts, and there were no safety glass windshields. The local hospital (the precursor to the "Level I Trauma Center") was run by the general surgery house staff, and they would call him at night three times a week to come down and see the MVA maxillofacial trauma patients. There were also a lot of gunshot wounds, and he did a boat load of those. He was one of the first to do an orthognathic procedure in Georgia in the mid-1960s.

I go with my dad to implant surgery courses at the Pikos Institute, and Dr. P has a very fond place in his heart for my dad.

Note to the mods: sorry for hijacking the thread.

Back to topic: I just got off the phone with my dad, and he told me that he would definitely do the 6-year MD if he were doing it today.
 

TeethAndTitanium

2+ Year Member
Mar 18, 2018
152
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Mayo is now a 6-year program. It made the transition from 4-year to 6-year during my residency.

I would now choose a 6-year program at a young age because:
  1. It would give a broader medical foundation than I received in the 4-year program, particularly for the off-service rotations.
  2. It would enhance your flexibility for future practice. For example, depending on the state, you can have your assistants perform certain duties that save you time if you have a medical license.
If I was 36, I would have to think long and hard about a 6-year program. And it would depend on the program.
Thank you so much for all the advice! When you say assistants performing certain duties, are you referring to a PA/nurse in the hospital, or your assistants in private practice? Could you give an example? Super curious!
 

OMSDoc

10+ Year Member
Apr 25, 2009
79
206
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This is a great question. I am referring to private practice, but it could well apply to an institution.

We delegate certain duties to assistants to facilitate being able to see patients efficiently. Depending on your state, the practice acts can be very specific about duties that assistants are allowed to perform.

For example, I only have a dental license, so, in Minnesota where I practice now, licensed dental assistants are allowed to initiate an intravenous line, but only if they have followed specific Board of Dentistry requirements, and only under a specific level of supervision. If I had a medical license, this might afford more flexibility in what my assistants are allowed to do.

This all depends on the state in which you practice. I have friends and colleagues in other states where the allowable assistant-duties and limitations are different.
 
Mar 1, 2019
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What about 6 year programs like Gainsville where you have to do your second year of medical school too? There are real concerns for 6 year programs where 3/6 are spent at med school with limited surgical exposure.
 

OMSDoc

10+ Year Member
Apr 25, 2009
79
206
Minnesota
Status
Dentist
What about 6 year programs like Gainsville where you have to do your second year of medical school too? There are real concerns for 6 year programs where 3/6 are spent at med school with limited surgical exposure.
I would say that this is fine. Limited on-service OMS exposure (in favor of something else) isn't a horrible thing in residency. You actually learn a lot on the off-service rotations that is pertinent to practice if you make up your mind to do that. In other words, be positive.

If you have a good chance to match at Gainesville, rank them high.

It is okay to be in medical school for three years. Your time on oral and maxillofacial surgery will be adequate. This time is dictated by the credentialing people for accreditation, so you will be adquately trained.

But here is the thing: you learn the most in the first two years out, after your training, anyway.

I have mentioned my dad in previous posts. He trained at the Mayo Clinic in the early 1960s. At that time, it was a three-year program.
At Mayo, he spent:
1. Three months as a second oral surgery assistant (getting acclimated to the institution)
2. Six months on surgical pathology (with David Dahlin and Malcolm Dockerty, no less)
3. Six months on medical anesthesia (with John Lundy and Harry Seldon, no less)
4. Six months on plastic surgery (with John Erich, no less). John Erich was also a prosthodontist, so he liked the oral surgery residents.
5. Three months on ENT (he learned to do sinus cleanouts, etc.)
6. Three months on a craniofacial pain service
7. Three months on various internal medicine services
8. Six months on oral surgery

That is correct. He only had a total of nine months in his thirty-six month residency doing on-service oral surgery training. Nonetheless, his off-service rotations were invaluable and made him the surgeon he is today. The Mayo alumni of his era knew their pathology, they were excellent at anesthesia, and they knew the odd medical issues that come up. And they were extremely competent at surgery. I grew up watching all of the physicians and dentists in our hometown bringing their kids to him to have their third molars removed (or their fractured jaws treated, or their orthognathic surgery done, or their pathology treated, or....).

Now, I should say that, prior to his three years at Mayo, he spent a year as an oral surgery intern at Johns Hopkins Hospital (headed by Eugene Lyon, a Mayo alumnus) after dental school, of which the first 4 months were medical anesthesia. For the next 8 months, he made a deal with Dr. Lyon to go in early to do two anesthesia cases with Anesthesia before starting in the oral surgery clinic. Then, he was in the U.S. Army Dental Corps for two years, working in the exodontia unit. So that helped.

When I was a Mayo resident, the Anesthesia faculty told me that they really liked working with the oral surgery residents, because we came in the door with good hands. They could tell us what to do, and the connection from our brains to our hands had no detours.
 
Last edited:

TeethAreKewl

2+ Year Member
Jan 10, 2018
96
105
Status
Pre-Dental
I would say that this is fine. Limited on-service OMS exposure (in favor of something else) isn't a horrible thing in residency. You actually learn a lot on the off-service rotations that is pertinent to practice if you make up your mind to do that. In other words, be positive.

If you have a good chance to match at Gainesville, rank them high.

It is okay to be in medical school for three years. Your time on oral and maxillofacial surgery will be adequate. This time is dictated by the credentialing people for accreditation, so you will be adquately trained.

But here is the thing: you learn the most in the first two years out, after your training, anyway.

I have mentioned my dad in previous posts. He trained at the Mayo Clinic in the early 1960s. At that time, it was a three-year program.
At Mayo, he spent:
1. Three months as a second oral surgery assistant (getting acclimated to the institution)
2. Six months on surgical pathology (with David Dahlin and Malcolm Dockerty, no less)
3. Six months on medical anesthesia (with John Lundy and Harry Seldon, no less)
4. Six months on plastic surgery (with John Erich, no less). John Erich was also a prosthodontist, so he liked the oral surgery residents.
5. Three months on ENT (he learned to do sinus cleanouts, etc.)
6. Three months on a craniofacial pain service
7. Three months on various internal medicine services
8. Six months on oral surgery

That is correct. He only had a total of nine months in his thirty-six month residency doing on-service oral surgery training. Nonetheless, his off-service rotations were invaluable and made him the surgeon he is today. The Mayo alumni of his era knew their pathology, they were excellent at anesthesia, and they knew the odd medical issues that come up. And they were extremely competent at surgery. I grew up watching all of the physicians and dentists in our hometown bringing their kids to him to have their third molars removed (or their fractured jaws treated, or their orthognathic surgery done, or their pathology treated, or....).

Now, I should say that, prior to his three years at Mayo, he spent a year as an oral surgery intern at Johns Hopkins Hospital (headed by Eugene Lyon, a Mayo alumnus) after dental school, of which the first 4 months were medical anesthesia. For the next 8 months, he made a deal with Dr. Lyon to go in early to do two anesthesia cases with Anesthesia before starting in the oral surgery clinic. Then, he was in the U.S. Army Dental Corps for two years, working in the exodontia unit. So that helped.

When I was a Mayo resident, the Anesthesia faculty told me that they really liked working with the oral surgery residents, because we came in the door with good hands. They could tell us what to do, and the connection from our brains to our hands had no detours.
As a dental student beginning this coming fall, this was an amazing thread to read. Thank you so much to both you and your father for taking the time to share your stories and insight! I’m feeling inspired and excited to begin already!!
 
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OMSDoc

10+ Year Member
Apr 25, 2009
79
206
Minnesota
Status
Dentist
As a dental student beginning this coming fall, this was an amazing thread to read. Thank you so much to both you and your father for taking the time to share your stories and insight! I’m feeling inspired and excited to begin already!!
Thanks for the kind words.

You are going to have a blast in dental school.

I found that, despite being twice as much work as college, it was in some ways easier because you and your classmates are all in it together.

We had a close-knit class, and we all supported each other. This took leadership, and we had that in abundance in our class.
 
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OMSDoc

10+ Year Member
Apr 25, 2009
79
206
Minnesota
Status
Dentist
Always endeavor to be a good leader.
 
Jun 13, 2020
10
12
I would say that this is fine. Limited on-service OMS exposure (in favor of something else) isn't a horrible thing in residency. You actually learn a lot on the off-service rotations that is pertinent to practice if you make up your mind to do that. In other words, be positive.

If you have a good chance to match at Gainesville, rank them high.

It is okay to be in medical school for three years. Your time on oral and maxillofacial surgery will be adequate. This time is dictated by the credentialing people for accreditation, so you will be adquately trained.

But here is the thing: you learn the most in the first two years out, after your training, anyway.

I have mentioned my dad in previous posts. He trained at the Mayo Clinic in the early 1960s. At that time, it was a three-year program.
At Mayo, he spent:
1. Three months as a second oral surgery assistant (getting acclimated to the institution)
2. Six months on surgical pathology (with David Dahlin and Malcolm Dockerty, no less)
3. Six months on medical anesthesia (with John Lundy and Harry Seldon, no less)
4. Six months on plastic surgery (with John Erich, no less). John Erich was also a prosthodontist, so he liked the oral surgery residents.
5. Three months on ENT (he learned to do sinus cleanouts, etc.)
6. Three months on a craniofacial pain service
7. Three months on various internal medicine services
8. Six months on oral surgery

That is correct. He only had a total of nine months in his thirty-six month residency doing on-service oral surgery training. Nonetheless, his off-service rotations were invaluable and made him the surgeon he is today. The Mayo alumni of his era knew their pathology, they were excellent at anesthesia, and they knew the odd medical issues that come up. And they were extremely competent at surgery. I grew up watching all of the physicians and dentists in our hometown bringing their kids to him to have their third molars removed (or their fractured jaws treated, or their orthognathic surgery done, or their pathology treated, or....).

Now, I should say that, prior to his three years at Mayo, he spent a year as an oral surgery intern at Johns Hopkins Hospital (headed by Eugene Lyon, a Mayo alumnus) after dental school, of which the first 4 months were medical anesthesia. For the next 8 months, he made a deal with Dr. Lyon to go in early to do two anesthesia cases with Anesthesia before starting in the oral surgery clinic. Then, he was in the U.S. Army Dental Corps for two years, working in the exodontia unit. So that helped.

When I was a Mayo resident, the Anesthesia faculty told me that they really liked working with the oral surgery residents, because we came in the door with good hands. They could tell us what to do, and the connection from our brains to our hands had no detours.
Incredible story. Thank you for sharing that.
 
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