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Fellowship in Orofacial Pain

Program Director: Dr. John F. Johnson

Pre-requisite: Completion of a previous postgraduate dental residency of a minimum 2-year length.

Orofacial pain is the discipline that involves the differential diagnosis and management of pain and dysfunction of the trigeminal nerve system. More specifically, orofacial pain practitioners evaluate and treat pain and dysfunction involving the masticatory system and associated structures throughout the face, head, neck and shoulders that transmit sensory information into the brain via the trigeminal nuclei.

The orofacial pain fellowship is a two-year program that covers an extensive body of basic medical sciences as related to the study of pain. Because of the inherent diversity of orofacial pain conditions, the residency incorporates clinically relevant information from a wide array of other dental and medical disciplines. The fellowship curriculum also includes courses that enhance a dental officer's abilities regarding contingency roles, military leadership and personnel management. Successful completion of the program qualifies the fellow to challenge the certification examination by the American Board of Orofacial Pain.

First-Year Program

The goal of the first-year program is to provide fellows with the foundational knowledge and skills that will enable them to participate in a multi-disciplinary pain practice. The first year program places a concentrated emphasis on acquiring the basic medical science information necessary to develop the theoretical constructs required for clinical practice. Fellows are exposed to a broad range of topics through classroom lectures, seminars and guest lectures. Fifty percent of the first year is devoted to clinical activities in the Orofacial Pain Center.

First-Year Curriculum

Course Contact Hours
NPDS 201 Applied Dental Psychology 8
NPDS 273 Current Pain Literature Seminar I  30
NPDS 281 Forensic Dentistry  14
NPDS 218 Management of Medical Emergencies  2
Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology Continuing Education Course 32
NPDS 285 Orofacial Pain  32
NPDS 276 Orofacial Pain Concepts Seminar I 105
NPDS 278 Orofacial Pain Grand Rounds  30
NPDS 228 Pharmacotherapeutics in Clinical Dentistry  18
NPDS 263 Research Methods I (Advanced standing)  10
NPDS 264 Research Project  120
NPDS 217 Specialty Clinic, Orofacial Pain  1010
NPDS 231 Systemic Disease in Clinical Dentistry  24
NPDS 206 Topographical Anatomy (hours 13-20)  6
Feedback Sessions  4
Orientation, GMT, PRT, etc. 130
Total hours 1575

Second-Year Program

The goal of the second-year program is to refine the fellow's multi-disciplinary diagnostic and pain management skills. Pertinent neuroscience, physiology, pharmacology and psychology topics are reinforced via seminars and guest lecturers. During the later half of the year, fellows begin rotating through designated medical and surgical services at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Bethesda or adjacent medical facilities. Approximately 65 percent of the second year will be devoted to clinical activities in the Orofacial Pain Center and specialty rotations.

Second-Year Curriculum

Course Contact Hours
NPDS 321 Basic Life Support (Recertification)  4
NPDS 383 Orofacial Pain Specialty Rotations II  120
NPDS 355 Research Methods II 5
NPDS 369 Research Project 150
NPDS 381 Seminar, Current Pain Literature II  30
NPDS 360 Seminar, Oral Medicine  12
NPDS 376 Seminar, Orofacial Pain Concepts II  105
NPDS 382 Seminar, Orofacial Pain Grand Rounds II  30
NPDS 380 Seminar, Orofacial Pain Guest Lecture Series II  10
NPDS 340 Specialty Clinic, Orofacial Pain  1014
GMT, PRT, etc.  95
Total hours 1575
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