Article: Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (OMFS) Registrar

Ruth

Maderator
Emeritus Staff
For those who may be interested, I recently had the pleasure of listening to Mr Jason Erasmus of Canterbury DHB give a talk where he showed us 6 cases. Those 6 cases were:

1) orthognathic surgery
2) orthognathic surgery
3) implant placement
4) implant placement
5) resection of the mandible in an ameloblastoma case (then they replaced it with a fibula :confused:)
6) facial reconstruction after trauma

The astute of you will notice a certain lack of one procedure...............
 

rustyedges

Moderator
Moderator
For those who may be interested, I recently had the pleasure of listening to Mr Jason Erasmus of Canterbury DHB give a talk where he showed us 6 cases. Those 6 cases were:

1) orthognathic surgery
2) orthognathic surgery
3) implant placement
4) implant placement
5) resection of the mandible in an ameloblastoma case (then they replaced it with a fibula :confused:)
6) facial reconstruction after trauma

The astute of you will notice a certain lack of one procedure...............

Wisdom tooth extraction? Because OMFS spend all their time doing that so it's not worth discussing those cases, right??
 
Hello everyone,

I'm a new member of the MSO, and I have to say it is a wonderful community with tons of great advice and supportive members. I am looking for some information and insight on OMFS. I am currently a 4th year BDS student at University of Otago, NZ, and pretty interested in pursuing a career in OMFS, or at least curious about the specialty. I have done some research on the web and asked some senior colleagues, but to be honest only have snips and pieces of the full picture in becoming an OMFS. From what I have gathered, you need dual degree in BDS and MBChb, perhaps work in a hospital setting as a dental house surgeon, pass the primaries, then apply for the OMS training through RACDS...but I am slightly confused about different entry pathways to get into Medicine (graduate, alternate, lateral..?), the two systems of MDS and DClinDent, what kind of GPA you may need et cetera..

Can anyone kindly enlighten the full pathway to becoming an OMFS in NZ?

Thanks so much in advance.


PS If this is the wrong place to ask, can you please direct me to a more appropriate chat thanks!
 

travellingspaceman

Regular Member
Hello everyone,

I'm a new member of the MSO, and I have to say it is a wonderful community with tons of great advice and supportive members. I am looking for some information and insight on OMFS. I am currently a 4th year BDS student at University of Otago, NZ, and pretty interested in pursuing a career in OMFS, or at least curious about the specialty. I have done some research on the web and asked some senior colleagues, but to be honest only have snips and pieces of the full picture in becoming an OMFS. From what I have gathered, you need dual degree in BDS and MBChb, perhaps work in a hospital setting as a dental house surgeon, pass the primaries, then apply for the OMS training through RACDS...but I am slightly confused about different entry pathways to get into Medicine (graduate, alternate, lateral..?), the two systems of MDS and DClinDent, what kind of GPA you may need et cetera..

Can anyone kindly enlighten the full pathway to becoming an OMFS in NZ?

Thanks so much in advance.


PS If this is the wrong place to ask, can you please direct me to a more appropriate chat thanks!


I don't know much about the whole career plan but once you get your dent degree, you can enter into medical school at 4th year (which I think there are currently 2 students doing that this year at Otago, both worked a couple of years after getting their dent degree though :/ )
 

Benjamin

ICU Reg (JCU)
Emeritus Staff
but I am slightly confused about different entry pathways to get into Medicine (graduate, alternate, lateral..?), the two systems of MDS and DClinDent, what kind of GPA you may need et cetera..

I don't have much specific information about NZ but I feel it's likely similar to Australia +/- it might be easier to come over to Australia to get onto MaxFax than in NZ. In short you need both a medical & a dental degree but how you get there is very variable.

The path that I have seen in Australia tends to be very similar to what you have described above: dental degree - dental house officer at large tertiary centre/centre with MaxFax while studying for the primaries - sit primaries - use primaries to lateral entry into a medical degree usually halfway in / start at clinical years - complete medical degree & work as an intern + resident + general surgery registrar as required by the MaxFax college... start your actual training with the college.

In general it is a very long pathway from start to finish & certainly seems overwhelming when presented as such. The important thing I have found is that many people who want to do Maxfax are also keen on doing oral surgery, thus the process of working as a dental house officer & sitting the primaries are already on the cards/planned.

Most medical schools in Australia have a streamlined MaxFax program in the sense that they all want to be universities that develop MaxFax surgeons... which of these schools is the best is a question that I absolutely do not have an answer to. Most of them will let you use the fact that you passed the primaries to skip the entirety of your pre-clinical years & will throw you into the deep end of say year 4, 5 & 6 for JCU Medicine with specific MaxFax surgical rotations on top of your normal rotations & mentorships from MaxFax professors. I cannot comprehend how someone could walk into 4th year without the preceeding 3 years and still pass the final exams in 5th year but it still happens regardless.

I personally think that you would be best off trying to get onto a program in an area you want to work / somewhere "influential" because of how tight-knit the MaxFax community is in Australia / NZ. Having the director of MaxFax Training be your mentor / supervisor throughout medical school & internship is undoubtedly the best way to get a good reference that will get you a job there when you come out. See here: RACDS | OMS Training Program

Similarly, MaxFax tends to sneak people into the General Surgery job positions (have to hold one for a year as at least a service registrar / PHO). The result of all the above streamlining is that after finishing the primaries & working in a job you probably already wanted to do anyway you have ~3 years of medical school + internship (1 year) + residency (1 year) + general surgery year (1 year) & then onto the program 6 years after finishing the primaries.

Some people reading would probably say "but don't you have to build your CV to get onto the program??" ... most of the time it seems that the MaxFax college selects people BEFORE they even start their medical degree, i.e. during their oral surgery training. Once you have the college backing you at this point the above would also come much easier, i.e. a medical school will jump at the chance to have a MaxFax future trainee already backed by the college on their books.

Unfortunately I do not know about GPA requirements etc but I think what matters more is how you perform during your oral surgery training & primaries - a higher GPA during dental school will help but if you get noticed by the college & they want you then getting into medical school won't be an issue.

I hope that helps!
 
I don't have much specific information about NZ but I feel it's likely similar to Australia +/- it might be easier to come over to Australia to get onto MaxFax than in NZ. In short you need both a medical & a dental degree but how you get there is very variable.

The path that I have seen in Australia tends to be very similar to what you have described above: dental degree - dental house officer at large tertiary centre/centre with MaxFax while studying for the primaries - sit primaries - use primaries to lateral entry into a medical degree usually halfway in / start at clinical years - complete medical degree & work as an intern + resident + general surgery registrar as required by the MaxFax college... start your actual training with the college.

In general it is a very long pathway from start to finish & certainly seems overwhelming when presented as such. The important thing I have found is that many people who want to do Maxfax are also keen on doing oral surgery, thus the process of working as a dental house officer & sitting the primaries are already on the cards/planned.

Most medical schools in Australia have a streamlined MaxFax program in the sense that they all want to be universities that develop MaxFax surgeons... which of these schools is the best is a question that I absolutely do not have an answer to. Most of them will let you use the fact that you passed the primaries to skip the entirety of your pre-clinical years & will throw you into the deep end of say year 4, 5 & 6 for JCU Medicine with specific MaxFax surgical rotations on top of your normal rotations & mentorships from MaxFax professors. I cannot comprehend how someone could walk into 4th year without the preceeding 3 years and still pass the final exams in 5th year but it still happens regardless.

I personally think that you would be best off trying to get onto a program in an area you want to work / somewhere "influential" because of how tight-knit the MaxFax community is in Australia / NZ. Having the director of MaxFax Training be your mentor / supervisor throughout medical school & internship is undoubtedly the best way to get a good reference that will get you a job there when you come out. See here: RACDS | OMS Training Program

Similarly, MaxFax tends to sneak people into the General Surgery job positions (have to hold one for a year as at least a service registrar / PHO). The result of all the above streamlining is that after finishing the primaries & working in a job you probably already wanted to do anyway you have ~3 years of medical school + internship (1 year) + residency (1 year) + general surgery year (1 year) & then onto the program 6 years after finishing the primaries.

Some people reading would probably say "but don't you have to build your CV to get onto the program??" ... most of the time it seems that the MaxFax college selects people BEFORE they even start their medical degree, i.e. during their oral surgery training. Once you have the college backing you at this point the above would also come much easier, i.e. a medical school will jump at the chance to have a MaxFax future trainee already backed by the college on their books.

Unfortunately I do not know about GPA requirements etc but I think what matters more is how you perform during your oral surgery training & primaries - a higher GPA during dental school will help but if you get noticed by the college & they want you then getting into medical school won't be an issue.

I hope that helps!



Wow, thanks for the detailed information. It certainly seems like a very long and exhausting pathway. Seems almost ridiculous in some ways haha. Thanks so much!
 
Another question sorry guys. Are you confirmed to be in the OMFS training when you get accepted into medical school? Or is there another kind of selection process to be selected as a OMFS trainee after completing medicine? I have realised that you would be kind of walking in the darkness when you are doing medicine but not knowing whether you will be accepted into the OMFS program.
 

Ruth

Maderator
Emeritus Staff
Hello everyone,

I'm a new member of the MSO, and I have to say it is a wonderful community with tons of great advice and supportive members. I am looking for some information and insight on OMFS. I am currently a 4th year BDS student at University of Otago, NZ, and pretty interested in pursuing a career in OMFS, or at least curious about the specialty. I have done some research on the web and asked some senior colleagues, but to be honest only have snips and pieces of the full picture in becoming an OMFS. From what I have gathered, you need dual degree in BDS and MBChb, perhaps work in a hospital setting as a dental house surgeon, pass the primaries, then apply for the OMS training through RACDS...but I am slightly confused about different entry pathways to get into Medicine (graduate, alternate, lateral..?), the two systems of MDS and DClinDent, what kind of GPA you may need et cetera..

Can anyone kindly enlighten the full pathway to becoming an OMFS in NZ?

Thanks so much in advance.


PS If this is the wrong place to ask, can you please direct me to a more appropriate chat thanks!

I don't have much specific information about NZ but I feel it's likely similar to Australia +/- it might be easier to come over to Australia to get onto MaxFax than in NZ. In short you need both a medical & a dental degree but how you get there is very variable.

The path that I have seen in Australia tends to be very similar to what you have described above: dental degree - dental house officer at large tertiary centre/centre with MaxFax while studying for the primaries - sit primaries - use primaries to lateral entry into a medical degree usually halfway in / start at clinical years - complete medical degree & work as an intern + resident + general surgery registrar as required by the MaxFax college... start your actual training with the college.

In general it is a very long pathway from start to finish & certainly seems overwhelming when presented as such. The important thing I have found is that many people who want to do Maxfax are also keen on doing oral surgery, thus the process of working as a dental house officer & sitting the primaries are already on the cards/planned.

Most medical schools in Australia have a streamlined MaxFax program in the sense that they all want to be universities that develop MaxFax surgeons... which of these schools is the best is a question that I absolutely do not have an answer to. Most of them will let you use the fact that you passed the primaries to skip the entirety of your pre-clinical years & will throw you into the deep end of say year 4, 5 & 6 for JCU Medicine with specific MaxFax surgical rotations on top of your normal rotations & mentorships from MaxFax professors. I cannot comprehend how someone could walk into 4th year without the preceeding 3 years and still pass the final exams in 5th year but it still happens regardless.

I personally think that you would be best off trying to get onto a program in an area you want to work / somewhere "influential" because of how tight-knit the MaxFax community is in Australia / NZ. Having the director of MaxFax Training be your mentor / supervisor throughout medical school & internship is undoubtedly the best way to get a good reference that will get you a job there when you come out. See here: RACDS | OMS Training Program

Similarly, MaxFax tends to sneak people into the General Surgery job positions (have to hold one for a year as at least a service registrar / PHO). The result of all the above streamlining is that after finishing the primaries & working in a job you probably already wanted to do anyway you have ~3 years of medical school + internship (1 year) + residency (1 year) + general surgery year (1 year) & then onto the program 6 years after finishing the primaries.

Some people reading would probably say "but don't you have to build your CV to get onto the program??" ... most of the time it seems that the MaxFax college selects people BEFORE they even start their medical degree, i.e. during their oral surgery training. Once you have the college backing you at this point the above would also come much easier, i.e. a medical school will jump at the chance to have a MaxFax future trainee already backed by the college on their books.

Unfortunately I do not know about GPA requirements etc but I think what matters more is how you perform during your oral surgery training & primaries - a higher GPA during dental school will help but if you get noticed by the college & they want you then getting into medical school won't be an issue.

I hope that helps!

Another question sorry guys. Are you confirmed to be in the OMFS training when you get accepted into medical school? Or is there another kind of selection process to be selected as a OMFS trainee after completing medicine? I have realised that you would be kind of walking in the darkness when you are doing medicine but not knowing whether you will be accepted into the OMFS program.

Good write up from Benjamin, it is slightly (only slightly different) in NZ. Unfortunately this is a topic that no one other than the maxfac's themselves seem to know a lot about, but from what I gather the timeline goes like this:

Graduation from BDS -> work preferably 2 years at a DHB (does not need to be a tertiary institution but there are probably some which are more preferable to others ->, sit your primaries for the FRACDS in your second year of working -> entry into 4th year of MBChB -> do PGY1 and PGY2 after graduation -> entry into the OMFS programme - so to answer your question olives, no you are not guaranteed entry into the OMFS programme. Note that that is the ideal as well, you may have to do more years after graduation from BDS/MBChB.

Your GPA is probably important but not the most important; also if OMFS is similar to other dental specialties then research is very important so I would encourage you to get involved with Summer Studentships and perhaps even Honors, and do a really good job on your 5th year elective - try to get published. I would also agree with Ben that relationships are really important.

As you can see, OMFS is a really arduous process and I would imagine only 1-2 people get accepted every year in NZ, if even that. There are other pathways if you are interested:

1) there is an OMFS equivalent where you are guaranteed entry into the programme before you do MBChB, but it is recognised in NZ only.
2) if you're interested in doing surgery, then consider doing your DClinDent in Oral Surgery, which does not require you to do medicine. There's a lot of overlap between the two, you can do orthognathic surgery, place implants, treat oral cancers etc etc but you are limited to from a simplified explanation, the lower half of the face.

The nice thing about doing dentistry first is that you will be able to work part-time in the weekends, but do consider the many many years of hard work and also the cost of training.

Venronux may be able to correct me on things.

PS as a side note, please use the 'edit' feature rather than double- or triple-posting ^_^
 
Good write up from Benjamin, it is slightly (only slightly different) in NZ. Unfortunately this is a topic that no one other than the maxfac's themselves seem to know a lot about, but from what I gather the timeline goes like this:

Graduation from BDS -> work preferably 2 years at a DHB (does not need to be a tertiary institution but there are probably some which are more preferable to others ->, sit your primaries for the FRACDS in your second year of working -> entry into 4th year of MBChB -> do PGY1 and PGY2 after graduation -> entry into the OMFS programme - so to answer your question olives, no you are not guaranteed entry into the OMFS programme. Note that that is the ideal as well, you may have to do more years after graduation from BDS/MBChB.

Your GPA is probably important but not the most important; also if OMFS is similar to other dental specialties then research is very important so I would encourage you to get involved with Summer Studentships and perhaps even Honors, and do a really good job on your 5th year elective - try to get published. I would also agree with Ben that relationships are really important.

As you can see, OMFS is a really arduous process and I would imagine only 1-2 people get accepted every year in NZ, if even that. There are other pathways if you are interested:

1) there is an OMFS equivalent where you are guaranteed entry into the programme before you do MBChB, but it is recognised in NZ only.
2) if you're interested in doing surgery, then consider doing your DClinDent in Oral Surgery, which does not require you to do medicine. There's a lot of overlap between the two, you can do orthognathic surgery, place implants, treat oral cancers etc etc but you are limited to from a simplified explanation, the lower half of the face.

The nice thing about doing dentistry first is that you will be able to work part-time in the weekends, but do consider the many many years of hard work and also the cost of training.

Venronux may be able to correct me on things.

PS as a side note, please use the 'edit' feature rather than double- or triple-posting ^_^


Thanks so much. You guys are really great. Good point of cost of training, youre gonna be piled with debt

Feel like lot of people would go into ENT or plastics after graduating from med if they dont get into OMFS! What a bummer that would be.
 

frootloop

House Surgeon
Moderator
Feel like lot of people would go into ENT or plastics after graduating from med if they dont get into OMFS! What a bummer that would be.
Yeah I don't know about plastics, but I do know that ENT gives you 5 or so extra 'points' on your application if you've got a BDS.
 

Quacks

Otago MBChB II
Anyone know much about the reverse? - going from MBChB to BDS?
 
I don't have much specific information about NZ but I feel it's likely similar to Australia +/- it might be easier to come over to Australia to get onto MaxFax than in NZ. In short you need both a medical & a dental degree but how you get there is very variable.

The path that I have seen in Australia tends to be very similar to what you have described above: dental degree - dental house officer at large tertiary centre/centre with MaxFax while studying for the primaries - sit primaries - use primaries to lateral entry into a medical degree usually halfway in / start at clinical years - complete medical degree & work as an intern + resident + general surgery registrar as required by the MaxFax college... start your actual training with the college.

In general it is a very long pathway from start to finish & certainly seems overwhelming when presented as such. The important thing I have found is that many people who want to do Maxfax are also keen on doing oral surgery, thus the process of working as a dental house officer & sitting the primaries are already on the cards/planned.

Most medical schools in Australia have a streamlined MaxFax program in the sense that they all want to be universities that develop MaxFax surgeons... which of these schools is the best is a question that I absolutely do not have an answer to. Most of them will let you use the fact that you passed the primaries to skip the entirety of your pre-clinical years & will throw you into the deep end of say year 4, 5 & 6 for JCU Medicine with specific MaxFax surgical rotations on top of your normal rotations & mentorships from MaxFax professors. I cannot comprehend how someone could walk into 4th year without the preceeding 3 years and still pass the final exams in 5th year but it still happens regardless.

I personally think that you would be best off trying to get onto a program in an area you want to work / somewhere "influential" because of how tight-knit the MaxFax community is in Australia / NZ. Having the director of MaxFax Training be your mentor / supervisor throughout medical school & internship is undoubtedly the best way to get a good reference that will get you a job there when you come out. See here: RACDS | OMS Training Program

Similarly, MaxFax tends to sneak people into the General Surgery job positions (have to hold one for a year as at least a service registrar / PHO). The result of all the above streamlining is that after finishing the primaries & working in a job you probably already wanted to do anyway you have ~3 years of medical school + internship (1 year) + residency (1 year) + general surgery year (1 year) & then onto the program 6 years after finishing the primaries.

Some people reading would probably say "but don't you have to build your CV to get onto the program??" ... most of the time it seems that the MaxFax college selects people BEFORE they even start their medical degree, i.e. during their oral surgery training. Once you have the college backing you at this point the above would also come much easier, i.e. a medical school will jump at the chance to have a MaxFax future trainee already backed by the college on their books.

Unfortunately I do not know about GPA requirements etc but I think what matters more is how you perform during your oral surgery training & primaries - a higher GPA during dental school will help but if you get noticed by the college & they want you then getting into medical school won't be an issue.

I hope that helps!
Its almost like dentist have some type of medical training as well...
 
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