Are oral and maxillofacial surgery residents being adequately trained to care for pediatric patients?

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To evaluate whether current oral and maxillofacial surgery (OMS) residents are receiving adequate training and experience to perform specific surgical procedures and anesthesia for pediatric patients.

Study Design.

A 17-question survey was sent electronically to fellows of the American Academy of Craniomaxillofacial Surgeons. Descriptive data for individual surgeons, their associated residency programs, and the quantity of specific pediatric procedures they performed were collected. Resident case load for inpatient and outpatient procedures and overall experience in medical, surgical, and anesthetic management of pediatric OMS patients were explored.


Surveys were sent to 110 active fellows; 64 completed the questionnaire (58%). There were 59 male fellows and 5 female fellows, with a mean age of 50.4 years. Of those, 68.8% practice in an academic setting. Specifically, 93.8% take after-hours emergency calls covering adult and pediatric patients and 98.4% have admitting privileges at a children's hospital or a pediatric unit in an adult hospital. Their affiliated residency programs include required rotations in pediatrics or pediatric subspecialties. In their opinion, >90% of graduating OMS residents have the appropriate skill set to perform dentoalveolar procedures, outpatient anesthesia, orthognathic procedures, and alveolar bone grafts. However, residents have limited ability to reconstruct pediatric ramus-condyle unit with a costochondral graft.


Results of this study indicate that, in the opinion of the respondents, graduates of OMS residency programs have adequate training to perform dentoalveolar procedures, outpatient anesthesia, orthognathic surgery, and alveolar bone grafts in pediatric procedures, but have limited experience with reconstruction of pediatric ramus-condyle unit via costochondral graft.

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