Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Friday, February 19, 2010

School of Dentistry to begin oral pathology residency program

The School of Dentistry has been granted “initial accreditation” status by the Commission on Dental Accreditation to start an oral pathology residency program this summer.

CODA is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education with responsibility for establishing, maintaining and applying standards that ensure the quality and continuous improvement of dental, advanced dental and allied dental education programs.

Beginning July 1 one individual will be accepted annually to the school’s three-year advanced education program. Graduates who successfully complete the program will receive a certificate in oral and maxillofacial pathology and also qualify to take the specialty board examination.

“This new program builds on the outstanding expertise we have in oral pathology and will enable us to partner with our pathology partners at the Medical School,” says Dr. Laurie McCauley, chair of the Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine. “The breadth and depth of experiences graduate students will have will be unmatched.”

Dr. Paul Edwards, director of the new program and a clinical associate professor of dentistry, says the program “is needed because many oral pathologists will be retiring in the next five to 10 years, so there’s a pressing need to educate the next generation of specialists in this field.”

The advanced program will offer a range of clinical, research and microscopic training. In addition, residents will have opportunities to select courses and clinical electives, such as oral and maxillofacial radiology or orofacial pain, that complement their areas of special interest.

Training in microscopic pathology will be provided at the School of Dentistry and in the Department of Pathology at U-M Hospital. The program offers a broad exposure to all areas of microscopic pathology, although emphasis will be placed on rotations in head and neck pathology, dermatopathology, and oral and maxillofacial pathology.

Residents will spend a minimum of 18 months at the U-M Hospital in Ann Arbor and rotate through various specialty areas of anatomic and clinical pathology and affiliated clinical departments.

“They will be performing the same duties as their medical pathology residency counterparts,” Edwards says. Residents also will treat patients at the School of Dentistry, the Hospital Dentistry Clinic at U-M Hospital and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Ann Arbor.