The Postgraduate Program in Oral Medicine is a full-time, 36-month residency, accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation, leading to a certificate in oral medicine and an MS degree in oral and craniofacial sciences. All residents are provided with a stipend that is based upon the PGY level of training.
The program is aimed at preparing dentists to diagnose and treat complex oral problems, manage oral conditions and diseases that occur in medically complex patients, recognize and manage oral manifestations of primary and acquired immunodeficiency, and manage oral diseases, salivary gland dysfunction, facial pain and chemosensory disorders. The program's main goal is to train residents for either a full-time or part-time career in academic settings as an oral medicine specialist who can treat a diverse patient population, participate in interdisciplinary care and contribute to the knowledge base through research.
The School of Dentistry’s partnership with UCSF Health Sciences Campus, and its close relationship to world-renowned schools of medicine, nursing and pharmacy, gives residents a wide range of training experiences in patient care and research.
On the clinical front, you will work with health professionals from a variety of disciplines in your training in the prevention, diagnosis, evaluation and treatment of oral disease. UCSF’s Comprehensive Cancer Center, HIV clinics and transplant services are among the best in the country, and the program's rotations in these centers and clinics offer residents unique exposure to the care of medically complex patients. The Sol Silverman Oral Medicine Clinic, the program's major clinical training site, has provided innovative leadership since 1956 in the field of oral medicine both nationally and internationally. This offers residents a thriving educational environment and excellent training ground where they gain knowledge in a wide range of oral diseases and conditions.
On the research front, the program offers many opportunities for interdisciplinary research collaborations. UCSF has one of the richest environments anywhere for a student to do research, whether clinical or basic science. In addition to a required course in clinical research, a wide selection of courses is available within the School of Dentistry and the other schools on campus for residents to take. The broad range of research interests among the faculty throughout the Department of Orofacial Sciences and the campus affords you the opportunity to choose among a wide variety of research projects.
The program has always focused on its efforts to constantly develop innovative interdisciplinary training experiences that will produce well-rounded specialists within the field of oral medicine and beyond.
Instruction in all areas of oral medicine is provided through lectures, seminars, conferences and clinical training in outpatient and inpatient settings.
Residents spend much of their first year attending core courses required by the American Board of Oral Medicine and the UCSF Graduate Division. All residents complete a specially tailored core curriculum that includes courses in biostatistics, clinical research, oral biology, developmental biology, oral medicine, oral pathology, immunology, behavioral sciences and medical ethics. Residents also take a 20-hour course on physical diagnosis for instruction in performing physical exam and assessment, which provides a foundation for the clinical rotation in internal medicine and other clinical rotations taken during the second year.
The didactic component of the residency program also includes ongoing weekly oral medicine seminars, oral biology seminars, journal club and patient management conferences, which review teaching cases from the Sol Silverman Oral Medicine Clinic and the UCSF Oral Pathology Service, throughout the length of the program. Residents also attend Head and Neck Tumor Board, an interdisciplinary treatment planning conference where residents participate in diagnosis and management of cases. This forum gives residents the opportunity to learn clinical pathologic, radiologic, surgical and radiation and chemotherapy management aspects of patients with complex conditions that affect the oral, maxillofacial, and head and neck complex. Residents also attend medical grand round/primary care grand rounds lectures offered by the UCSF School of Medicine on the UCSF campus.
This fundamental and didactic instruction provides background for and complements clinical rotations taken in the second year.
Development of clinical skills is a key goal of the program, with residents being given increasing time and responsibilities as they advance.
Sol Silverman Oral Medicine Clinic: Residents spend a significant amount of time in the Sol Silverman Oral Medicine Clinic learning to evaluate and manage patients with a variety of systemic diseases and head and neck complaints. The clinic is a major referral center for the Bay Area and Northern California. Its oral medicine specialists manage a large number of patients, totaling over 3,000 visits per year, which provides a unique opportunity for training for our postgraduate residents. Stem cell and solid organ transplant recipients are commonly treated in the Sol Silverman Oral Medicine Clinic, as they often develop oral complications (e.g., graft-versus-host disease for stem transplant recipients and opportunistic oral infections for solid organ transplant recipients). Residents also gain expertise in the management of patients with inflammatory oral mucosal disease (such as lichen planus, pemphigoid, pemphigus and erythema multiforme), infectious diseases affecting the oral mucosa, salivary gland disorders, oral cancer (diagnosis of oral cancer, pre-radiation work-up and follow-up during and following radiation for patients with head and neck cancer) and chronic orofacial pain syndromes. Following patients over time will provide a better understanding of the natural history of the disease as well as the outcome of therapy.
Rotations: Residents complete a full-time four-week rotation in the internal medicine inpatient service in the UCSF Division of Hospital Medicine, where they perform physical examinations and work-up on patients and attend rotation-related lectures and seminars. Additional rotations in several medical subspecialties throughout the year in inpatient and outpatient settings are structured to provide an in-depth, varied experience that provides a deeper understanding of etiology, pathophysiology and differential diagnosis and medical management of medically complex patients and oral medicine conditions. Rotations include oral pathology/radiology, diabetes, radiation oncology, medical oncology, infectious disease/HIV, transplant nephrology and hepatology, viral hepatology, Sjögren's syndrome/rheumatology and dermatology. For more information, please see our manual here. Please contact Dr. Villa for access.
Research is an integral component of the mission and goals of the program. Early on in their training, oral medicine residents will identify one or more areas of clinical research to pursue, with faculty supervision, over the course of the program. Research training includes courses in clinical research protocol development, biostatistics and bioethics. Faculty members represent a broad array of scientific fields using clinical, epidemiological and basic science approaches in their investigations. This diversity of scope establishes a broad base for research programs and training available to residents. Students are required to complete a master's level research project under the supervision of a thesis adviser and committee, in accordance with the guidelines of the University of California Graduate Division. It is expected that the outcome of this work will be presented at a national meeting and published in the scientific literature.
Our faculty are nationally and internationally recognized for their contributions to the fields of oral medicine and oral pathology.
Oral Medicine Faculty
Caroline Shiboski, DDS, MPH, PhD
John Robinson, DDS
Piri Veluppillai, DDS, MS
Alessandro Villa, DDS, PhD, MPH, Director
Ava Wu, DDS
Oral Pathology Faculty
Richard Jordan, DDS, PhD
Kyle Jones, DDS, PhD