Resident Hours and Responsibilities
During the first year, residents spend three days each week on clinic rotations, including the Orofacial Pain and Oral Medicine Clinic and Special Patient Care Clinic. Residents are expected to remain at the clinics until all residents have completed their clinical work and documentation.
All residents participate in daily morning rounds at the Orofacial Pain and Oral Medicine Clinic or Special Patient Care Clinic. These rounds are used for patient follow-up and exchange of information about daily patients, along with presentations of interesting cases. All residents share on-call duty equally on a rotating basis throughout the year.
During the second year, residents rotate through various departments in the Keck School of Medicine of USC and LAC+USC Medical Center, including neurology, pain medicine, head and neck surgery, physical therapy and rheumatology. Residents are expected to assist physicians during their rotations.
Residents generally keep the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., except Thursdays, when residents are to report by 7 a.m. for operating on patients under sedation or general anesthesia. Residents responsible for operating room patients must be available until the patient goes home.
The curriculum is divided into three parts: didactic courses, clinical experiences and research course.
The didactic portion includes foundational courses in:
- internal medicine
- neurogenic pain
- sleep-disordered breathing
- infectious diseases
- medical emergencies
- research methods
Clinical training includes exposure to treatment of the following disorders:
- neurogenic orofacial pain
- soft and osseous tissue disease
- bisphosphonate osteonecrosis
- oral and maxillofacial infections
- temporomandibular disorders
- motor spasticity
- sleep-disordered breathing
- management of medically compromised patients
Research course includes study of research methodologies. This is a required course taken for credit.
The courses and clinical experiences covered in the intensive two-year program are listed below.
CPR, Blood and Airborne Infections and Common Emergencies: CPR training, review of common dental emergencies, and blood and airborne pathogens in dental patients.
Soft Tissue Diseases: Seminars on the various mucosal, cutaneous, gingival, and salivary diseases and lesions in the oral and maxillofacial region.
Bony Pathology, Radiology, and Advanced Imaging: Review of the oral and maxillofacial region, osseous, and odontogenic pathologies, and the various imaging methods used to examine this anatomic region.
Neurogenic-Based Oral and Facial Pains: Seminars on the diagnostic and therapeutic procedures appropriate for chronic neurogenic-based pain disorders that occur in the orofacial region.
TMD, Orthopedics, Rheumatology and Physical Therapy: Seminars on various topics relating to the diagnosis and management of temporomandibular disorders.
Pharmacology: Seminars on common medications used in the practice of oral medicine and chronic orofacial pain.
Headaches: Seminars on the diagnosis, prevention, and management (including pathophysiologic mechanisms) of episodic and chronic headache disorders.
Neuroscience: Seminars on the neurophysiologic and neuroanatomic bases of chronic orofacial pain disorders.
Internal Medicine and Systemic Diseases: Seminars on common systemic diseases and potential interactions with oral disease and treatment.
Systems Physiology, Motor Disorders, and Sleep Apnea: Seminars on various topics relating to oral motor disorders and sleep-disordered breathing (as it relates to the mandible and tongue).
Psychological and Psychometric Assessment: Seminars on various topics relating to biobehavioral diagnosis and, where appropriate, psychological management of patients with chronic illness in the orofacial region.
Epidemiology, Nutrition, and Aging: Seminar on the epidemiology of oral disease and nutritional topics as related to the aging patient.
Immunology and Immunosuppression: Seminar course on immunology and immunosuppression as it relates to diseases in the oral and maxillofacial region.
Infectious Disease, Oral Microbiology, and Virology: Seminar organized around infectious diseases in the oral, pharyngeal, and nasal region.
Case Presentations: Case presentations by oral medicine residents in which each resident presents and defends the diagnostic and treatment methods selected for a particular case.
Research Methodologies: Seminars on research methodologies research protocol creation and presentation.
Orofacial Pain Clinic
Residents will see patients with a variety of orofacial pain disorders, including masticatory musculoskeletal pain, cervical musculoskeletal pain, neurovascular pain, neuropathic pain, sleep disorders related to orofacial pain, orofacial dystonias, and intraoral, intracranial, extracranial and systemic disorders that cause orofacial pain. Residents will learn a medical model of patient examination and management and will be trained to perform trigger-point injections and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) injections.
Oral Medicine Clinic
Residents will see patients with a variety of oral mucosal diseases, osseous disorders, bisphosphonate-induced osteonecrosis, and salivary gland disorders. Residents will learn a medical model of patient examination and management and will be trained to perform oral mucosal and bone biopsies.
Special Patient Care Clinic
Residents will see patients with a variety of medically complex conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease and HIV, with a range of dental needs. Residents will learn a medical model of patient examination and management.
Operating Room Dentistry
Residents will perform general dentistry on medically complex patients under intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. This will train residents in hospital-based dentistry for medically compromised patients.
Head and Neck Surgery
Residents will rotate at the Head and Neck Surgery Department at the newly constructed USC Healthcare Consultation Center outpatient facility. Residents will shadow Dr. Uttam Sinha, an associate professor and the residency program director of head and neck surgery. Dr. Sinha is board certified in head and neck surgery and is also the associate dean of surgical simulation. In this rotation, residents will be exposed to the surgical management of head and neck cancers and complications.
Residents will rotate at the Neurology Department at the newly constructed USC Healthcare Consultation Center outpatient facility. Residents will shadow Dr. Soma Sahai-Srivatava, a board-certified neurologist and internist and director of the USC Headache Program. Her clinical practice focuses on headaches and neuropathic-pain management. Residents will learn about various headache disorders and other neurological disorders.
Residents will rotate at the Pain Medicine Department at the USC Healthcare Consultation Center outpatient facility. Residents will shadow Dr. Steven H. Richeimer, who is board certified in anesthesiology, pain management and psychiatry. Dr. Richeimer is the chief of pain medicine at USC. In this rotation, residents will learn about various chronic pain disorders, such as fibromyalgia, CRPS, and neuropathies.
Residents will rotate at the Rheumatology department at the USC health care consultation center out-patient facility. Residents will shadow Dr. Shuntaro Shinado, an assistant professor who is board certified in Rheumatology and Internal Medicine. Residents will learn about various rheumatological disorders.
Residents will rotate at the physical therapy department at the Keck School of Medicine. Residents will shadow Erica Sigman who is board certified in Physical Therapy. Residents will learn about various physical therapy modalities for TMD and orofacial pain disorders.