Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Residency

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 2014, without reporting requirements.

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

Number of residents each year: Two (2)

Objectives: The objectives of the program are to:

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-six (36) 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, implant conference and journal club.

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.

Residency Overview

The resident must take the USMLE step 1 exam prior to start of the academic year. The resident must successfully complete Step I following a maximum of two attempts in order to continue in the program.

The first year resident spends the entire 12 months on the oral and maxillofacial surgery service between the UNMC, Omaha Veterans Administration Hospital (OVAH) and Creighton University School of Dentistry. 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 second year resident is enrolled in medical school and spends the entire year participating in third year medical school clerkships. These include 12 weeks of internal medicine, 8 weeks of surgery, 8 weeks of pediatrics, 8 weeks of family medicine, 6 weeks of obstetrics/gynecology and 6 weeks of psychiatry.

During the two years in medical school, the resident is responsible for tuition to the College of Medicine. The College of Medicine retains all rights in the selection of students. There is no resident stipend during this year.

The third year resident in enrolled as a fourth year medical student, fulfilling requirements of the College of Medicine. The resident spends 4 months on OMFS service and 2 months on anesthesia. The remaining months are for elective rotations. Following graduation from medical school, the resident is on anesthesia service for 2 months. The resident is paid half the stipend during this year.

The fourth year resident spends their time fulfilling the requirements for one categorical year of general surgery. Rotations include plastic surgery, trauma, pediatric surgery, neurosurgery, critical care and 3 months of head and neck surgery. One month is spent on pediatric anesthesia at the Children’s Hospital & Medical Center.

The fifth year resident rotates 3 months on Craniofacial Surgery and 9 months on OMFS service.

The sixth 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. 

Licensure: The resident must maintain active dental license and DEA license.  The resident will maintain BLS, ACLS, PALS, ATLS certification. The resident must complete USMLE step 2 and 3 prior to completion of the program.

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 by 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.  With the broad scope of training, the program prepares the resident to obtain board certification by the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (ABOMS).

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. 

The distribution of operating room and major outpatient procedures for the 2015-2016 year (886 total cases) is: 

Dentoalveolar           21

Orthognathic            20

Trauma                      16

Path/Recon                17

TMJ                             8

Aesthetic                    7

UNMC clinic – 7317 clinic visits