Training and development (OMFS)

This page provides useful information on the training and development for this specialty and also has tips for people at all stages of their training including medical school.

Core surgical training

Core surgical training lasts two years though you can often complete it in one year as you'll have gained many competencies from your previous dental training and provides training in a hospital in a range of surgical specialties. During or before Core Surgical training you must take the examination to give you membership of the Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS) or equivalent. (Please note, it is not currently possible to complete core surgical training in less than two years in the London deanery).

ST3 specialty training

Following successful completion of your core surgical training it is necessary to apply competitively for the next phase of your training (ST3-7). This takes five years. There is the option of taking an additional year for an Interface Fellowship.

Some run-through training is available, starting at ST1 and finishing at ST7. This takes six years or perhaps seven if an interface fellowship is completed.

There is specific advice for those interested in OMFS who are applying for Core Training in Surgery.

The Oriel website has detailed information on entry requirements, including the person specifications for ST1 and ST3 in oral and maxillofacial surgery.

In order to be considered for the run-through training at ST1 you will ideally need a least six months’ previous experience in oral and maxillofacial surgery.

At ST3 level you will need at least 12 months’ experience in core surgical training or equivalent and ideally at least six months’ experience in oral and maxillofacial surgery. Completion of other training courses such as Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS), Basic Surgical Skills and Care of the Critically Ill Surgical Patient (CCrISP) will also greatly enhance your application for specialist training at ST3 level.

During your ST1-7 training you will be employed as a specialist registrar. Towards the end of this training you can then apply for consultant posts. However, before you can do this you must pass the Intercollegiate Specialty Examination FRCS (OMFS). All your training will be recorded on the on-line Intercollegiate Surgical Curriculum Programme which includes your logbook, workplace based assessments, annual record of competency progression (ARCP), formal teaching, leadership, management, research and audit. Once you have passed this you will receive a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) and you will be eligible to be on the GMC Specialist Register in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

Selection panels also look for evidence of academic and research achievements, such as degrees, prizes, awards, distinctions, publications and presentations. An understanding of research, audit and teaching is also important.  Entry is highly competitive so you will need achievements that are relevant to oral and maxillofacial surgery. Completion of an elective in oral and maxillofacial surgery will demonstrate your commitment to the selection panel.

The GMC provides information on the curriculum for oral and maxillofacial surgery training.

At all levels you can contact your local OMFS Training Programme Director (details available from the British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons – BAOMS). With their support, join the Junior Trainee Programme in OMFS (for supervision and mentoring).

The Oriel website has detailed information on entry requirements, including the person specifications for ST1-3 in oral and maxillofacial surgery.

This information is correct at the time of writing. Full and accurate details of training pathways are available from medical royal colleges, local education and training boards (LETBs) or the GMC.

Getting in tips

It is important to develop your practical skills and interest in surgery as early as you can. This will also give you valuable experience to add to your CV.

Here are some suggestions for people at different stages of their career:

    • join your university surgical society
    • join the British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (BAOMS)
    • attend conferences on surgery for medical students – this will give you an opportunity to network and meet your future colleagues
    • undertake a special study module or project in surgery/oral and maxillofacial surgery and choose an elective in surgery/oral and maxillofacial surgery (there are small bursaries available from BAOMS so support OMFS studies).
    • become an Affiliate of the
    • join the Junior Trainees’ Group of BAOMS where you can get support and information from colleagues already involved in OMFS training and information on conferences
    • study for the examinations for the membership of your chosen Royal College
    • continue to develop your practical and academic expertise
    • continue membership of British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (BAOMS)
    • undertake a research project
    • try to get some of your work published and present at national and international meetings
    • join or start a journal club (a group who meet to critically evaluate academic research)
    • teach junior colleagues
    • take on any management opportunities you are offered
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