Volunteer Teaching Opportunities

For years now, the AAOMS has recognized the importance of dental and resident education to the future of oral and maxillofacial surgery and has consistently promoted initiatives to support faculty recruitment and retention. Despite their efforts, faculty shortages exist throughout the country. Not only does this impact the quality of the education imparted to our residents, it also impacts the generation of new knowledge and advancement of the specialty that is vital to our long term survival. Attracting the best and brightest from among our dental students to become residents is also impacted by the faculty shortage, as it is difficult to expect faculty to devote significant time to predoctoral education when they are struggling to keep their residency programs fully staffed.

There are many reasons for the faculty shortage, not the least of which is the significant salary differential that exists. Being a successful tenure track faculty member at a university requires a significant amount of time devoted to academic pursuits such as research and publication, which must be accomplished while at the same time keeping their clinical enterprises in a financially viable state. Most residency programs are poorly supported by state revenues, and exist largely on clinical income generated. Add to this the disproportionate numbers of non-funded patients that are seen by our residency programs, and the strain on the system becomes apparent.

For these reasons, the FSOMS has made a priority of promoting active assistance from its members to the residency and predoctoral oral surgery programs in the state. The FSOMS encourages not only monetary support by way of donations and gifts, but active volunteerism to help support the programs.

Volunteer Opportunites

University of Florida, Gainesville
The University of Florida program in Gainesville has had an active volunteer program for a number of years. This consists of private practice OMS’s who have made a commitment to come to the university at least one day per month and cover the student oral surgery clinic. With the participation of junior and senior dental students on rotation, this is a walk in clinic which treats toothaches and infections and also involves the treatment of comprehensive care patients requiring multiple extractions and alveoloplasty. Usually staffed by an oral surgeon and a general practitioner, it is sometimes difficult to keep this clinic covered, as OMS faculty are pulled toward other responsibilities, so courtesy faculty coverage becomes an important part of the program.  It benefits not only the predoctoral students but the residents as well by freeing faculty to go to the OR or to perform other functions. Most volunteers relate that they enjoy the experience, as they work with students who are bright eyed, enthusiastic and eager to learn. Patients who come to the clinic often have interesting medical histories, and we emphasize medical evaluation and risk assessment in our teaching.  This promotes many “teaching moments” to help train our students to deal with medically compromised patients, but more importantly, when dental students see full scope OMS’s actually teaching them, it creates an opportunity to showcase OMS to the students and perhaps influence them to decide on an OMS career. They are very interested in talking with private practitioners and any down time quickly turns to a variety of discussions about practice in the real world, something the students relish. Whereas there are accreditation standards that require teaching basic oral surgery procedures, it is not the purpose of the clinic to make exodontists out of our students, and in fact impactions are not routinely performed in the clinic. When to refer and how to predict trouble are important aspects of the training which occurs.

Some volunteers express anxiety over their lack of teaching experience. Since you will be working with another faculty member, calibration is straightforward and you will rapidly become comfortable with the system. It has been our experience that the volunteer faculty members are usually pleasantly surprised in that all that is needed is the clinical knowledge that you already possess, a desire to share your knowledge with others, and the ability to accept the rewards that teaching has to offer.

Appointment is an easy process, and would result in a designation of Clinical Assistant Professor or above within the courtesy staff. Interested individuals should email the chair and attach a copy of their CV. You would then be contacted by a staff member to obtain some copies of license, etc and get you scheduled. Scheduling is flexible, however, most volunteers select a recurring time each month. We finalize the next month’s schedule on the 15th of the preceding month and we do ask that faculty try not to cancel after this as it could result in a clinic cancellation. Following this section is a listing of available recurring days within a month that are currently available for coverage.

Open days at University of Florida:
1st, 3rd Mondays; 1st 3rd 4th Tuesdays; 2nd Wednesdays, 1st 2nd and 4th Thursdays and 2nd and 3rd Fridays.

A special thanks is extended to our current and past courtesy faculty who have supported the UF educational program in recent years. Your contribution to your specialty is very much appreciated:
Dr. Don Tillery Jr.
Dr. John Akers
Dr. Scott Wenk
Dr. Steve English
Dr. Bill Storoe
Dr. Sameer Hate
Dr. Vishy Broumand
Dr. Michael Digney
Dr. Doug Johnson
Dr Brad Cherry
Dr Bart Blumberg
Dr. Tom Troxler
Dr. Greg Bello
Dr William Lippisch
University of Miami
University of Florida, Jacksonville

Update on Rules for Written Dental Records

I wanted to provide our membership with a summary/update regarding proposed rule changes by the Board of Dentistry (BOD) governing the requirements for written dental records (Rule 64B5-17.002, Written Dental Records, Minimum Content, Retention).

As many are aware, a three member BOD Task Force had proposed adding new language, with more detailed requirements, to the existing rule. Several Task Force meetings were held, with discussions of the proposed changes, over a period of many months, since about the summer of 2013.

However, admittedly not until somewhat later in the process, several organized dental groups took notice and developed concerns regarding the proposed rule language.

Although some of the new requirements dealt with issues such as informed consent, record alterations, retention of one’s appointment book, and maintenance of electronic dental records – which were largely non-controversial – the portion of the new Rule language singled out as being the most objectionable or controversial had been limited to language added to Sections 1(a) through 1(e) (please see existing rule language, and the previously proposed new language, denoted by underline, at the end of this update).

Following a January, 2014 Florida Dental Association House of Delegates (FDA HOD) meeting in Tampa, in which BOD Chair, Dr. Joe Thomas, was present for a Q & A regarding the issue, I sent out an email to our executive board and other interested parties with information and concerns expressed. Soon thereafter, our president, Mark Braxton, appointed an ad hoc committee (composed of myself as chair, also Larry Nissen, Tom Bowers, and Mike Huey) to further study and discuss the issue. As a result, we voted to develop a position letter, which we then brought to our board for approval, and forwarded it to the BOD, in which we stated opposition to the addition of new language to the existing rule.

Soon thereafter, however, the BOD passed the new rule language at a May, 16 meeting. Following this, a greater level of concern developed among multiple other dental groups, and among grass roots dentists throughout the state.

The Florida Dental Association (FDA) then jumped on board and, at a
June 13-14 HOD meeting, passed a resolution to “oppose the recent addition of language within Rule 64B5-17.002, Paragraph 1(a) through 1(e), and take such steps as appropriate, up to and including, a challenge of the proposed rule.”

Soon thereafter, FSOMS and FDA sent letters to the BOD requesting an appearance to discuss the Rue language further at a planned “Rule Workshop” scheduled for August 22 in Orlando. Leading up the workshop, I had also communicated with all of the other specialty groups in Florida (excluding oral path, radiology, public health), and all of whom agreed to join us (FSOMS) in appearing before the BOD to express the same/similar message.

The August 22 Rule Workshop began with a brief presentation by the FDA liaison to the BOD, Dr. Don Ilkka. Following that item, Mike Huey and I both spoke before the BOD, and with reps from each of the other dental specialty groups sitting along side us at the table. A rep from AGD then followed us on the agenda.

As a result, the BOD voted to table the entire rule, and send it back to committee. Also, the previous chair of the BOD Records Task Force, Wade Winker, declined to continue his previous well-intended effort. Upon asking for another volunteer from within the BOD, the newest BOD member, and our own, TJ Tejera, agreed to be the new chair.

In search of a new direction, TJ decided to:
(1) do away with Section 1(a) through 1(e) which had caused so much consternation, and
(2) replace it with a paragraph of language, with some minor changes in wording, which had withstood the test of time, and had already been in place and in use since 1992 – by the Board of Medicine.

(Please see new language at the end of this update)

Upon seeing the new language – it appeared to help the BOD in terms of providing items which no doubt should be included within a dental or medical record, but yet with language which few, if any, could argue with or feel threatened by.

And for now – it appears to be a problem solved.

A meeting/teleconference of the BOD Dental Records Task Force was held last evening in which the new language appeared well appreciated and well liked by virtually everyone on the call. The rule would next need to pass through a vote of the Rules Committee (November 6), and then by the BOD at the next general meeting (November 21).

Anyone familiar with the rulemaking process would tell you that nothing is “final” at this point, as unforeseen changes may still occur. But in any case, this appears to be headed in the right direction, and we will continue to make every effort to keep you, our members, informed.


Richard Mufson, DDS, Chair
FSOMS Task Force on Dental Records