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Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (OMFS)

Oral surgery encompasses the diagnosis and treatment of pathology of the mouth and jaws that requires surgical intervention. Specialists and consultants in oral surgery have a dental degree. Oral and maxillofacial surgery (OMFS) is a medical specialty and requires both dental and medical degrees.

A DCT post in a District General Hospital (DGH) will provide experience in oral and maxillofacial surgery (OMFS). Even working for a short time in a hospital may open up opportunities in the long term. If you have an interest in, for example, oral surgery you do not necessarily have to see your future in hospital work. General Professional Training (GPT) or DCT training offered by a Foundation Doctor post may lead to an oral surgery interest in general practice or, once established in practice, you may return to hospital part-time. You might also use your DCT experience in teaching or research.


Career pathway for OMFS

Your career pathway will vary depending upon whether you have a primary dental or medical degree.


Dental graduates must have completed DFT/VT before entering medical school to undertake a shortened medical course.


After this, trainees complete one year as a Foundation Doctor prior to full registration with the GMC. They will then need to undertake core surgical training leading to the Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS).


Similarly, medical graduates having completed a dental degree, which may be shortened, will need to achieve the MRCS.


At this stage, they enter a five-year training programme in oral and maxillofacial surgery and must sit the Intercollegiate Fellowship Examination leading to the award of the FRCS(OMFS). Trainees can then apply for a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) issued by the GMC. Their names will also be placed on the specialist list held by the GMC and they will be eligible to apply for a consultant post.


Further information

Hospital posts are regularly advertised in the British Dental Journal, British Medical Journal and on NHS Jobs. Foundation doctor/career development posts will differ in the type of work and experience they offer. It will often depend on the character of local general practitioner services, the staffing levels of the departments and the sort of care being provided by the hospital or group of hospitals. It is therefore a good idea to find out more about a prospective job before applying by arranging an informal visit, talking to the present occupant and, if possible, the consultant as well.


For more information about working in OMFS, visit the British Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons website.