The overall length of training is 72 months (six years), all of which occurs at Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, Minnesota. There are currently no off-site rotations.

The residency is grossly divided into three basic parts:

  • Oral and maxillofacial surgery — 30 (minimum) to 36 months
  • Mayo Clinic School of Medicine — two years
  • General surgery — two years

Efficient scheduling of training allows these basic blocks to occur within the 72 months of training.


This year is mostly spent focusing on oral and maxillofacial surgery, with a brief rotation to the Department of Dental Specialties and intermittent medical school (Basic Doctoring and Nervous System modules). Minnesota dental licensure must be obtained during this year.


This year is spent completing the Mayo Clinic School of Medicine year two curriculum. In addition, there are intermittent rotations back to OMS service for approximately three months total time. Step 1 of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) must be completed at the end of this year.


This year combines the Mayo Clinic School of Medicine third and fourth year curriculums into one year, while also allowing 12 weeks' rotation on OMS service. USMLE Step 2 must be completed in the spring quarter of this year.


This year is the PGY-1 general surgery year and consists of:

  • Trauma service — six weeks
  • Plastic surgery — seven weeks
  • General surgery — 13 weeks
  • Anesthesia — 13 weeks
  • Oral and maxillofacial surgery — 13 weeks (scholarly activity time provided)

USMLE Step 3 and application for Minnesota medical licensure must be completed by the end of this year.


This year is the PGY-2 general surgery year and consists of:

  • General surgery — 13 weeks
  • Otolaryngology (ENT) — four weeks
  • Oral and maxillofacial surgery — 35 weeks


In the final year of training, residents spend all 12 months on the OMS service, assigned to various surgical consultants. You have increasing autonomy during this time in terms of surgical management of patients. You have administrative responsibilities to help manage the various surgical services and the other residents on service.

Teaching lower level residents is an important requirement and expectation for PGY-6 residents. PGY-6 residents may be appointed to chief resident associate status during this year, dependent on overall performance and as determined by the program director and the OMS consultant staff.

Didactic training

The Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery has a robust educational conference calendar, meeting on at least two to three mornings each week. Resident attendance at conferences is monitored and addressed if deficiency is noted.

Specific conferences include:

  • Morbidity and mortality
  • Topic lectures by oral and maxillofacial surgery consultants and residents
  • Surgical pathology
  • Histopathology
  • Surgical orthodontics and orthognathic surgery
  • Craniofacial
  • Implantology
  • Maxillofacial trauma
  • Journal review and selected readings
  • Facial cosmetic surgery

In addition, there are a number of departmental and institutional conferences that residents are expected to attend. Residents are assigned as presenters for various topics at the discretion of the program director, with increasing responsibilities for such presentations as they move through the program. See a sample conference schedule.

Residents are also required to complete:

  • Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support, Basic Life Support, Pediatric Advanced Life Support and Advanced Trauma Life Support certifications
  • Microsurgery education (one week course on microneurosurgery and microvascular surgery)
  • Oral and maxillofacial surgery board review course in the fifth or sixth year (paid by the division)

Research training

Scholarly activity or research is an expectation of all residents. PGY-1 residents are expected to write up a case report or literature review with guidance from a member of the oral and maxillofacial surgery staff and submit to a journal for publication. PGY-1 residents are expected to develop a research project during the first year that will be completed over the next five years.

Each resident is expected to present at a national meeting at least once. All expenses for research, scholarly activity and travel are covered by the Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

Call frequency

The call duties vary during training. The OMS service always has one junior-level resident taking first call (out of hospital), one senior resident taking second call (out of hospital) and one consultant covering the service.

Mayo Clinic and the Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery fully support the Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education Resident Review Committee work-hour restrictions. Residents are expected to electronically clock in and out to ensure compliance with work-hour restrictions. The OMS service has a dedicated call room where residents can rest as needed on nights and weekends.


Moonlighting is not permitted for oral and maxillofacial surgery residents per department and division policy.


All residents are assigned to an oral and maxillofacial surgery mentor on admission to the program. In addition, if desired, a mentor outside OMS can also be assigned (for instance, a resident interested in a particular area of research might have a research mentor in that area assigned to them).

Education committee

The oral and maxillofacial surgery division leadership and program director strongly support the OMS Education Committee. This committee is composed of all residents on service, all off-service residents as they desire, as well as the consultant staff and residency coordinator.

This committee meets monthly to discuss issues of importance in an open forum format with the overall goal of maximizing communication between resident staff and consultant and support staff within the Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.


Resident performance is monitored very carefully using evaluations from the program director, all oral and maxillofacial surgery consultants, and allied health staff via regular evaluations (conducted after each rotation) and 360-degree reviews. Residents meet regularly with the program director and mentors to discuss performance. In addition, residents are required to anonymously evaluate the consultant staff at regular intervals.

All OMS residents must take the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery In-Service Training Examination on a yearly basis. Threshold levels of performance are expected at each level of training; deficiencies are identified and corrective action plans developed to improve competencies as necessary.

Aug. 14, 2014