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Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

General Practice Residency

This program intensively trains general dentists to understand and competently manage very difficult medically, mentally, emotionally and physically compromised adult and child patients utilizing the resources and facilities of a hospital. Advanced training is provided in all areas of dentistry to enhance the skills acquired during predoctoral education.

Applying to the Program

Program Goals

  • Train the resident to be skilled in patient evaluation, laboratory diagnosis, medical history, physical assessment, diagnosis and treatment of common dental emergencies, recognition and management of medical emergencies in the dental setting, directing health promotion and disease prevention, and, use of advanced dental treatment modalities.
  • Train residents to plan and provide multidisciplinary oral health care for a wide variety of patients including patients with special needs.  Includes obtaining informed consent, consultation and referral, and managing the delivery of patient-focused oral health care.
  • Train residents to function effectively as primary oral health care provider within interdisciplinary health care teams, including consultation, referral, service-to-service hand-off protocols, and interacting with and understanding the role of auxiliary personnel and hospital administration as part of delivery of patient-centered care.
  • Provide advanced education and training in pain and anxiety management techniques: both behavioral and pharmacological, so residents can competently select and apply appropriate means of pain and anxiety control.  to include inhalation, oral and parenteral minimal and moderate sedation technique.
  • Residents will learn hospital and operating room protocol and provide dental treatment in a hospital operating room setting, and, administer and manage perioperative and post-operative patient care.
  • Apply scientific principles to learning and oral health care by; promoting critical thinking; evidence or outcomes based clinical decision-making; utilization of technology-based information systems, library resources, internet, social media; journal review peer review discussions, case review discussions, and attending national professional conferences and meetings.
  • Utilize the values of professional ethics and responsibility, lifelong learning, patient centered care, adaptability, and acceptance of cultural diversity in professional practice and instill a sense of commitment to community service; especially to  under-served  patients and those in  lower socioeconomic status.

Program Core

We are proud to say that our GPR program has a reputation for providing the residents with outstanding education in medicine as it relates to dentistry. As well as providing mentoring and direction for lifelong self assessment and development. Several unique factors come together to make this possible:

  • Our didactic program is well funded, provided by specialist in the fields presented, strong, intensive, and the faculty are both knowledgeable and interested in resident teaching. We have faculty representation from all specialties and a wide variety of generalists as well. We are proud to say that our faculty take great pride in treating the residents as colleagues, for we recognize that we learn just as much from the residents while they learn from us. Our residents complement the didactics we provide with participation on didactics in OMFS, Pediatric Dentistry, and Anesthesia during their rotations there. Our program’s comprehensive didactics and conferences educate our residents, and other UW postgraduate programs participate in our internal medicine and sedation lecture series. As well, other programs such us the VA Puget Sound GPR residents visit our lectures.
  • We have the luxury of rotating the residents through four different hospitals, the Dental School clinic and the brand new , state-of-the-art Center for Pediatric Dentistry. (All of the hospitals have up-to-date clinics and state of the art support facilities.) As a result, we are able to offer an incredibly diverse experience in hospital and community dentistry, one of the finest in the nation.
  • The hospitals we serve are well funded, tertiary care medical centers in the Pacific Northwest and our dental services are well respected. As a result we see patients present with extremely complex medical histories in a broad spectrum of presentations.
  • Our hospitals offer one of the most active organ transplant services in the nation, and so we assess and provide care and maintenance to patients pre and post transplant (heart, liver, lung, pancreas, kidney, bone marrow) We have a large population of patient with coagulopathies of multiple origins, and therefore manage very complex bleeding disorders.
  • We have a large population of neurodevelopmentally/intellectually disabled patients who require GA or IV sedation to address their oral care.
  • We are home to the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, consisting of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the University of Washington, and the Seattle Children’s Hospital. As part of the Alliance, we see all varieties of head and neck cancer patients undergoing surgical, chemotherapeutic and radiation therapies, and we boast one of very few Neutron radiation treatment facilities in the nation.
  • We work with the bone marrow and stem cell transplant services to manage the patient pre-, peri-, and post-transplant, including the neutropenic stage. We also actively work with a large hyperbaric oxygen (HBO2) treatment facility at a neighboring hospital.
  • Our VA facility offers a strong prosthodontic and geriatric experience. It is not uncommon for residents to participate directly in large case reconstructions on compromised patients.
  • Our brand new pediatric rotation at the recently inaugurated Center for Pediatric Dentistry excels at giving resident all the experience spectrum in both the behavioral and technical aspects of pediatric dentistry, from infant and toddler, healthy and children with developmental issues in the dental operatory room and in the OR suites. At the Center for Pediatric Dentistry and Seattle Children’s hospital, the residents participate in the operating room on children with syndromes, craniofacial abnormalities, and all varieties of complex medical issues.
  • Our oral and maxillofacial surgical experience at Harborview Medical Center (King County’s Hospital, a low income/low socioeconomic status facility) amply prepares the residents for all aspects of routine and complex dentoalveolar surgery and management of maxillofacial trauma. Large numbers of patients are seen on a daily basis.
  • Finally, our 6-7 weeks of anesthesia experience is unprecedented for teaching airway management, emergency care, and pharmacology. In this rotation, the motivated resident could advance to the level where they would manage a case with limited supervision from pre-op through induction and intubation, into the surgical phase, and finally extubation and stabilization in the recovery facility.

We have the luxury of being in Seattle, one of the most gorgeous areas of the country, where a diversity of indoor and outdoor activities are largely offered, such us: hiking, camping, skiing, kayaking, sailing, whale watching, diving, and a wide variety of cultural events (from opera and ballet to alternative music and lifestyles). We are near Vancouver and Victoria, B.C., and Portland, OR. Coffee with funny names is readily available on most street corners. It is a wonderful place to spend a year, or more, of one’s life.

All of the above notwithstanding, we believe our greatest strength is resident satisfaction: They agree the program is demanding and difficult at times, but they also agree it is worth every effort that goes into it. Their surveys indicate they are very happy, enjoy being in Seattle, and are getting more than they thought they would from the program. Most would readily choose this program again if they were to go back in time, and feedback from those who have been out a few years indicates they consider this to be one of the best things they ever did. This kind of feedback is what we are most proud of.