Curriculum

Oral PathologyThe Training Program

The foundation of the training program is the oral biopsy service based in the Oral Pathology Laboratory, Inc. Presently the biopsy service receives approximately 13,000 specimens annually from oral surgeons, general practitioners, other dental specialists and several head and neck surgeons. The resident's major responsibility in the first two years of the residency is to describe the gross appearance of the daily biopsy specimens and to prepare them for processing by the histology technician. The opportunity to study the gross appearance of the submitted specimens is an invaluable aid to the resident's understanding of the three-dimensional structure of the tissue when viewing it under the microscope the next day.

The day following the grossing of the oral biopsies, the resident will review the surgicals at the microscope with one of the attendings. It is during this time that the resident learns how to analyze the microscopic sections and arrive at a logical histopathological interpretation correlated with the clinical history and gross appearance of the lesion. Cases are analyzed by the resident and an attending using a two-headed binocular microscope. A great deal of personal interaction occurs at this time. The extent and direction of the discussion and the exchange of ideas which takes place at these sessions is a spontaneous and invaluable aspect of our teaching program and one which we feel is most important in the training of the resident.

Unusual or difficult cases are set aside for further study. The residents are expected to analyze these cases by themselves without knowing the sign out diagnoses. These difficult cases are discussed at length at a ten-headed microscope at the weekly slide conferences where the entire staff is in attendance. Highly unusual cases are sent to other pathologists for consultative opinions. These opinions are critically analyzed and at times used in arriving at a final diagnosis.

The residents are responsible for writing the microscopic descriptions for many cases diagnosed while doing the surgicals. These descriptions are reviewed and edited before being used for the final biopsy report.

Another important aspect of training in oral pathology is the evaluation and treatment of oral mucous membranes diseases. Training in this discipline is obtained by the experience gained in the dental clinic treating oral medicine patients and on the hospital floors examining in-patients. Special emphasis is put on the treatment of patients with HIV infection as a component of the AIDS Designated Center at our Medical Center, mucous membrane disease and the oral manifestations of systemic diseases.

Residency Year One

  • Surgical Oral Pathology- Participating in daily sign outs of the surgical specimens serves as the “core training” of the residency program. It is designed to train residents to understand and correlate the gross and microscopic characteristics of biopsy specimens and in so doing arrive at a diagnosis as well as to learn to write gross and microscopic descriptions. As part of the training, residents are responsible for providing the gross examination of the specimens. Surgical sign outs are done in conjunction with one of the faculty members at a multi-headed microscope.
  • Clinical Oral Medicine- Residents are given the opportunity to see oral medicine patients one day a week in a clinic setting at the Dental and Oral Medicine Clinic. They function along side general practice resident, prostodontic residents and oral surgery residents. Residents will also see oral medicine patients in the dental emergency room and in-house hospital patients and the residents will work closely with their physician colleagues in many different medical specialties.
  • Research – Each first year resident will spend four days a week for a four-month period participating in a research rotation at New York University School of Dentistry. Depending on the residents’ interests, areas of investigation may be either in the basic or clinical sciences. Didactic courses are also offered to the resident during this time. Projects may be continued throughout the residency if the resident shows a strong interest.
  • Vacation – One month of vacation time
  • Didactics and Conferences – throughout the first year, the resident will prepare and/or attend all weekly and monthly conferences.
  • In March, the resident is given a mock fellowship exam in order to help prepare them to take and successfully complete the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology Fellowship examination which is given annually at the meeting of the Academy.

Residency Year Two

  • Surgical Oral Pathology- as above
  • Clinical Oral Medicine- as above
  • General Pathology Rotation- Each resident will spend a period of six months rotating through anatomic pathology at New York University/ Bellevue Hospital. During that time the resident will be exposed to surgical pathology, hematopathology, immunology, microbiology, autopsy service and cytology. The oral pathology resident will be expected to work along side the general pathology residents. Instruction in the grossing of neck dissections and frozen section preparation and diagnosis will be included.
  • Vacation – One month of vacation time
  • Didactics and Conferences – throughout the second year, the resident will prepare and/or attend all weekly and monthly conferences.
  • In March, the resident is given a mock fellowship exam in order to help prepare them to take and successfully complete the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology Fellowship examination which is given annually at the meeting of the Academy.

Residency Year Three

  • Surgical Oral Pathology- as above
  • Clinical Oral Medicine- as above
  • Dermatopathology Rotation- The third year resident will spend a one- month period reviewing dermatopathology cases at New York Presbyterian Hospital –Weill Cornell Medical Center in their section of Dermatopathology.
  • Radiology rotation- Each third year resident will have the opportunity to spend one week in Toronto Canada at the University of Toronto in their oral radiology department. Residents receive small group instruction in the principals of imaging as well as radiographic interpretation, correlation with histologic features  and are given elective time.
  • Vacation – once month of vacation time.
  • Didactics and Conferences – throughout the third year, Fellows in rotation with first and second year fellows prepare and/or attend all weekly and monthly conferences.
  • In March of the third year, the resident must pass a mock fellowship exam in order to qualify to take the
  • American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology Fellowship examination which is given annually at the meeting of the Academy.
 
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