Carolinas HealthCare System
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Didactic Program

Structured didactic sessions occur throughout the week for all residents and full-time faculty of the Department of Oral Medicine. This comprehensive series of lectures, seminars, and participation sessions is presented at the postdoctoral level and includes the following series and courses:

Oral Medicine

This curriculum provides an in-depth understanding of the diagnosis and management of a variety of oral and maxillofacial diseases and disorders. This includes lectures on the dental management of medically compromised patients, oral pathology, diagnostic laboratory values, differential diagnosis of facial pain, temporomandibular joint disorders, salivary gland dysfunction, and oral manifestations of systemic diseases.

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Clinical Dentistry

This curriculum consists of lectures and participation sessions to enhance residents' diagnostic and clinical skills in all phases of dentistry. Lecture topics include maxillofacial infections, orofacial trauma, preprosthetic surgery, guided tissue regeneration, crown lengthening, bone and soft tissue grafting, periapical surgery, electrosurgery, behavior management, preventive therapy, and operating room dentistry. Hands-on sessions include rotary endodontic instrumentation, suturing techniques, and implantology.

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General Medicine

Presented by members of the medical staff at CMC, these lectures further the residents' understanding in the pathophysiology and current medical management of a variety of systemic disorders. Residents learn how these medical problems may impact a patient's oral health and/or planned dental treatment. Lectures in this series include specific topics within the broad fields of hematology/oncology, cardiology, hepatology, nephrology, endocrinology, and infectious disease.

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Literature Review Seminars

Peer-reviewed literature should serve as a primary resource for continuing education throughout a dentist's career. Literature review sessions provide residents with the skills to cope with the large volume of journal articles they need to review on a regular basis. The primary focus is on an analysis of methodology and outcomes reported in clinical research publications in the medical as well as dental literature. A textbook on clinical epidemiology, along with select journal publications, is utilized in the literature review process.

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Physical Diagnosis

This component of the didactic program includes lectures, seminars, and demonstrations covering medical history-taking, review of major organ systems, physical examination techniques, and interpretation of clinical laboratory studies and data. This course is taught by a family medicine physician early in the residency year. It serves as a foundation for the clinical training and experience for residents in medical risk assessment, the ability to distinguish between normal and abnormal clinical findings, and understanding the history and physical examination.

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Behavioral Medicine/Psychiatry Series

These conferences are intended to help residents adapt to their new environment and better understand the behavior of their patients and themselves. This series is presented by a faculty member with a PhD in clinical psychology from the Department of Family Medicine as well as by faculty members from the Department of Psychiatry. Topics covered include stress in dental practice, motivational training, communication skills, substance abuse, psychiatric illness, and behavior management.

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Morning Report - Oral Medicine/Emergency Department Service Review

On a weekly basis, residents present patients they have evaluated and treated on the oral medicine and emergency services. These cases serve as a resource for problem-based discussions on medical and dental issues for patient care. Furthermore, this session allows residents who were not on service to learn from the management of these patients.

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Case Conferences

These patient care review conferences are intended to further the residents' training and experience with the treatment planning process, concepts of comprehensive care, and quality assurance in dentistry. Residents and faculty review and discuss new patients accepted for comprehensive care since the last conference.

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Resident Presentations

In order to enhance skills at researching the literature and presenting a body of information, each resident delivers two formal presentations during the residency year. Residents select a topic of interest, perform a literature search, and deliver a lecture utilizing audiovisual equipment.

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Continuing Education

Residents may use their continuing education allotment to attend regional CE courses and national meetings. There are many continuing education opportunities in the region, including lectures and courses sponsored by the Charlotte Area Health Education Center, Charlotte Dental Society, and University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of Dentistry.

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Visiting Faculty

Several times a year, the Department of Oral Medicine hosts visiting faculty from around the world with training and experience in oral medicine and other specialties. These individuals deliver didactic presentations and provide clinical instruction in their discipline to broaden residents' knowledge in the diagnosis and treatment of oral conditions.

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Specialty Clinics/Conferences (First and Second year)

Attendance at several multidisciplinary clinics and conferences enables residents to better understand the approach to the overall management of patients. Attendance is reserved for second-year dental residents at the Orofacial and Craniofacial Clinics, and Head and Neck Tumor Clinic.

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Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)

All incoming house officers take Advanced Cardiac Life Support at the outset of the residency program. This course is taught by the Emergency Medicine Department of Carolinas Medical Center and is a component of the emergency medicine and anesthesia rotations as well as the conscious sedation curriculum. In addition to preparing residents for these rotations, this course serves to further the residents' training in risk assessment and the initial management of medical emergencies.

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