Program: The Advanced Educational Program in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the University of Nebraska Medical Center is a 72 month (6 year), postdoctoral program fully accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association. The last site accreditation visit occurred in September 2009, without reporting requirements.

Program director: Valmont P. Desa, D.D.S., M.D., Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, UNMC, 984125 Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198-4125, 402-559-6445.

Number of residents each year: Two (2) appointments for residency positions.

Total number of residents in program each year: Twelve (12).

Objectives: The objectives of the program are to:

  • provide a well-rounded and balanced clinical residency program covering the full scope of oral and maxillofacial surgery;
  • ensure that residents have a solid foundation in patient evaluation and management;
  • combine oral and maxillofacial surgery training with a formalized medical curriculum, leading to a medical degree;
  • incorporate one categorical year of general surgery training.

Clinical experience: The Nebraska Medical Center, Creighton University, and the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Omaha are the various sites for the surgical clinical experience. Thirty-three (33) months are devoted to clinical oral and maxillofacial surgery. There is a comprehensive didactic curriculum consisting of weekly seminars, clinical pathologic conferences, morbidity reviews, case reviews, oral pathology seminars, surgical-orthodontic conferences, journal club, and head and neck tumor board.

Program highlights: The UNMC oral and maxillofacial surgery residency program has been fully integrated with an M.D. program since 1971. From 1971 to 1988 the program was five years in length. The first six year class completed the program in 1994. The program was a 60 month program beginning with the 2002-03 entering residents; however beginning July 2011, the program returned to a 72 month program. Throughout its history, the program has strived to incorporate state of the art surgical training with an unsurpassed education in patient evaluation and management. The program is one of the first in the United States to successfully integrate facial cosmetic surgery into the resident experience. The distribution of operating room and major outpatient procedures for the 2012-13 year is:

Total 604 cases 

Pathology 13.4%
Reconstructive 13.4%
Aesthetic 7.8%
Orthognathic 20.7%
Dentoalveolar 16.9%
Trauma 22.2%
TMJ 5.6% 

The first year resident spends the major portion of their time on the oral and maxillofacial surgery service between the NMC, OVAH and Creighton University. The resident works closely with the chief resident, providing both inpatient and outpatient care. The resident has primary responsibility for examining, diagnosing and treating patients in the outpatient clinic. The resident also assumes responsibility for inpatients under the supervision of the chief resident, assists the chief resident and staff with operating room cases and serves as primary surgeon on operating room cases. The resident must successfully complete Step I of the USMLE examination following a maximum of two attempts in order to continue in the program.

The second and third year resident function as 3rd and 4th year medical students, fulfilling requirements of the UNMC College of Medicine. In addition to the required clinical clerkships, required electives include anesthesia, head and neck anatomy and OMFS. The resident may take additional clerkships in areas of interest which will benefit them as oral and maxillofacial surgeons. The resident returns to the oral and maxillofacial surgery service for four months. The resident also participates in weekly oral surgery seminars and other scheduled conferences. These experiences give the resident a continuous exposure to oral surgery throughout the five-year program. During these two years, the resident is responsible for tuition to the College of Medicine. The College of Medicine retains all rights in the selection of students.

The fourth year resident spends their time fulfilling the requirements for one categorical year of general surgery. General Surgery rotations are comprised of rotations in general surgery, plastic surgery, trauma, pediatric surgery, neurosurgery, and critical care/ICU, and three months of head and neck surgery. .

The fifth year resident spends their time functioning as a Chief OMS resident assuming the responsibility for the overall function of the oral and maxillofacial service.  The resident is expected to be the primary operating surgeon on all major cases.  The majority of their time is spent at NMC Hospitals.

Research/publication: During his or her residency, each resident is expected to prepare and submit at least one paper to a peer-reviewed journal for publication. This paper may be the result of laboratory or clinical research, and each resident is encouraged to formulate and implement an original project beginning in their first year of training. However, significant involvement in established faculty research may satisfy this requirement. At the minimum, an abstract must be submitted to the AAOMS for presentation by each resident during their senior year.

Board certification: Residents take the yearly OMSAAT examination of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. UNMC's program is designed to meet the educational requirements of the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association and to prepare the resident to obtain board certification by the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

Over ninety percent of the UNMC residents completing the combined program and taking the ABOMS exam have passed, as compared to the about eighty percent national average. Success on the ABOMS examination is a function of training, experience and, most importantly, individual preparation. However, this is only one measure of the quality of an oral and maxillofacial surgery residency program.