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