Department of Diagonostic Sciences Fellowship Program


This program is specifically designed for the dentist who wishes to gain clinical training, a scientific background and additional diagnosis and management skills in Oral Medicine, Orofacial Pain, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology, Dental Emergency Care, Dental Treatment Planning and Nutrition related issues in dentistry.

Educational Requirements

The Fellowship is an 11-month program that offers the dentist a collegial environment to accomplish his/her personal objectives. The curriculum is comprised of didactic assignments, clinical experience, medical and teaching responsibilities as well as different types of learning experiences including seminars, lectures, workshops, and self-study activities. Although there is considerable flexibility in the selection and sequencing of the didactic and clinical components, each Fellow is required to complete a series of courses and assignments designed to provide the necessary scientific background for the topics covered by the department.

An important part of the Fellowship Program is the clinical experience that continues across the entire program. The clinical component of the program will comprise approximately 50% of the student's time. Fellows are also required to complete a paper of publishable quality for submission to a refereed scientific journal on a topic to be mutually determined by the Fellow and one of the attending faculty.

The Fellows will be able to participate in research projects conducted within the department.

The Fellow's knowledge of basic sciences and material presented in didactic lectures will be assessed by a series of written examinations.

Upon successful completion of the Fellowship Program, a Certificate of Training will be awarded.

Description of Fellowship Certificate Components:

Division of Oral Medicine

The goal of the Division of Oral Medicine's portion of the Fellowship in Diagnostic Sciences is to educate and guide the Fellows in the Dental assessment of the Medically Complex patient by understanding and applying four dental risk management protocols; bleeding, infection, drug interactions/metabolism and the patients' ability to tolerate the dental procedure.

During the year, the Fellows will attend lectures in medicine and post-graduate dental seminars in the areas of prosthetic dentistry, implant dentistry, periodontology and endodontic therapy provided by faculty. Fellows will also participate in a Journal Club where they will learn how to critically review the literature. Evidence-based protocols will be emphasized when available.

The Fellows are required to attend at least 3 of the 8 clinical sessions provided every week.

Oral Lesions Clinic

The oral lesions clinic provides diagnostic assessment and treatment for patients with oral mucosal diseases of local and systemic etiologyand salivary gland disorders. The Fellow will have the opportunity to observe history taking, physical examination, biopsy procedures and delivery of care to patients with aforementioned problems.

Division of Oral Diagnosis

The Treatment Planning Seminar (DSCI8328) serves to reinforce a Problem Based Learning educational model. The program utilizes small group dynamics to reinforce concepts of data collection through evidence-based critical thinking. Actual patients cases are selected by each student from his/her patient pool for discussion at the seminars.

Every session is self-contained, developing all aspects of a comprehensive treatment plan form patient introduction to acceptance. Separately, one or more learning issues relevant to the case are also researched and discussed among the group.

A PowerPoint format containing pre-operative extraoral and intraoral photographs along with all pertinent histories, radiographs and models is used at each seminar. Each present "role plays" the patient, answering relevant questions posed by the remaining members of the group. This format encourages synergistic learning and development of patient management skills necessary for a successful practitioner.

A Fellow will be expected to become a regular member of the group and be responsible for both participation and presentation, dependent upon the availability of assigned patient case. Alternatively, Fellows would research and present multiple learning issues derived from the other students' cases.

Fellows are required to attend at least one of the four seminars provided every week.

Division of Orofacial Pain

The goal of the Orofacial pain portion of the Fellowship in Diagnostic Sciences is to guide the Fellows' ability to assess the patient by first identifying the source of pain. For this purpose Orofacial pain etiologies (diagnoses) have been divided into the categories of musculoskeletal, vascular, neurogenic and psychogenic.

During the program, Fellows will be introduced to the various aspects of Orofacial pain by way of lecture material as well as selected articles from the literature. They will be required to review these articles for their clinical message as well as the application of their messages to the practice of dentistry. Combined with the lecture material and discussion, they will be expected to have an understanding of the basic concepts of Orofacial pain. They will be able to differentiate non-dental from dental Orofacial pain disorders in order to appropriately treat or refer.

A requirement will be to identify at least one case of musculoskeletal, neuropathic and vascular Orofacial pain and present each of these cases in detail with appropriate scientific basis for their diagnoses and treatment.

The Fellows will be required to attend the Friday lecture and clinic in Orofacial pain.

Division of Nutrition

The primary aim of the nutrition component of the Fellowship in Diagnostic Sciences is to guide the Fellow on the integration of nutrition screening and diet education into dental and oral disease specialty practice. Didactic sessions will focus on nutrition knowledge in relation to patient evaluation, disease (oral diseases and systemic diseases with oral manifestations) processes, and wound healing management and intervention, respectively.

Nutrition lectures will be integrated into the core curriculum relative to the oral and systemic diseases covered, into case conferences and grand rounds and journal clubs. Combined with the lecture material and discussion, the Fellows will be expected to have an understanding of the basic concepts of diet and nutrition risk identification in oral health and disease as well as how to identify patients in need of nutritional intervention and appropriate management and referral.

Medically complex clinic: The Medically Complex patient clinic provides comprehensive oral/dental care for patients with cardiovascular, renal, immune or hematologic compromise, organ transplantation or head and neck malignancy. Emphasis will be placed on medical risk assessment and necessary dental care modifications to prevent or manage problems with hemostasis, sepsis, adverse drug interactions and ability to withstand dental care.

The Fellows are required to attend at least one of the clinical sessions every week.

Division of Radiology

The Fellows will join Course DSCI 8305 on Tuesdays and Thursday for the AM sessions. They will be responsible to fulfill the clinical requirements as noted in the course syllabus namely, procedures related to the acquisition and interpretation of both intraoral and extraoral radiographs.

The Fellows will participate in clinical teaching activities that are appropriate and as directed by the Division Director.

The Fellows will be able to gain and demonstrate proficiency in all aspects of diagnostic imaging at a postgraduate level including but not limited to Digital Imaging and Cone Beam CT. At the end of the training period, the Fellow will take a proficiency exam as part of the evaluation.

Division of Oral Pathology

The Oral Medicine/Oral Pathology Microscope Conference is given as a component of the Fourth Year Oral Medicine Rotation. Dental students and Fellows meet with an Oral and Maxillofacial Pathologist to review interesting and challenging biopsies that have been received by the RSDM Biopsy Service either for diagnosis or as a continuing education exercise. Special emphasis will be placed on cell and tissue morphology and how it relates to clinical disease presentation.

The Oral Pathology Quality Assurance and Consensus Conference meets weekly and is attended by the members of the Division of Oral Pathology and is open to Surgical Pathologists, dental students, and dental residents. Its purpose is to review the challenging cases that have been accessioned in the RSDM Biopsy Service over the previous week. Inflammatory/immune mediated and neoplastic lesions are given close microscopic examination as well as those cases requiring ancillary staining techniques. In addition, cases received for continuing education are reviewed and discussed.

Head and Neck Tumor Conference, conducted by the Department of Surgery, Division of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery is a multidisciplinary panel consisting of otolaryngologists, oncologists, pathologists, radiologists, dentists, and allied health professionals who meet to discuss current patients undergoing treatment for head and neck neoplasia. The Fellows are required to attend the Head and Neck Tumor Conference and the Oral Pathology Quality Assurance and Consensus Conference as well as the Oral Medicine/Oral Pathology Microscopic Conference.

RSDM Core Lectures

Research Design & Data Analysis (24 hours)
Microbiology & Immunology (24 hours)
Gross Anatomy (12 hours)
Histology and Pathology (18 hours)

The Faculty:

The following faculty are involved in the Department of Diagnostic Sciences training program:


Harold Cohen, Eli Eliav, Carmine LoMonaco, Muralidhar Mupparapu, Lawrence Schneider, Riva Touger-Decker

Associate Professors:

Rufus Caine, Deborah Cleveland, Mahnaz Fatahzadeh, Samuel Quek, Joseph Rinaggio, Gary Vitaletti

Clinical Professors:

Gary Heir, Richard Pertes

Clinical Associate Professors:

James Delahanty, Samuel Quek, Steven Singer, Diane Radler

In addition to those faculty listed above faculty members outside the Department as well as in the Medical School will also contribute to the program.

Evaluation of Fellows

For satisfactory completion of the program, the Fellow must:

  1. Complete attendance requirements of the program.
  2. Demonstrate clinical competence as determined by the clinical faculty of the Department of Diagnostic Sciences.
  3. Achieve a minimum grade of 70% on a comprehensive written examination at the conclusion of the program.
  4. Submit a written paper of publishable quality. The Program Director and the Fellow will mutually agree upon a topic.

Upon satisfactory completion of all of the above requirements, a Certificate of Completion will be awarded.

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the CE Preceptorship Program in Oral Medicine are expected to have a strong background in the biological and health sciences. Applicants must have a D.D.S. degree or its equivalent from an accredited dental school. Applicants with foreign degrees will be considered individually upon an evaluation of their curriculum vitae and training. The applicant should fulfill each of the following requirements:

  1. Be a citizen of the United States, a non-citizen national, or a foreign national having a visa which permits temporary status in the United States and participation in an educational program.
  2. Possess a DDS/DMD degree or its equivalent (see above).
  3. Demonstrate a proficiency in English through submission of the TOEFL examination score.
  4. Submit a completed application
  5. Attend a personal interview, when possible.

Two-Year Diagnostic Sciences Fellowship/Masters Program

This program combines the Fellowship Program with a Master's Program offered by the Department of Oral Biology.

Two degrees are offered:

The Master of Science in Dentistry program is designed to train students for a career in academic dentistry focused on research. To accomplish this objective, each student completes a thirty-credit program comprising eighteen didactic credits as well as a twelve-credit thesis/research project.

The Master of Dental Science program is designed to give students a more in-depth understanding of the biological processes underlying their clinical specialty. The program is for students who want to learn to interpret the literature, and evaluate and criticize current practices. It is not intended for those students who want to pursue a research-based thesis project. The objective of the program is to enable the students to become critical thinkers and evaluators of the best practices in dentistry. To accomplish these objectives, each student will have to complete a thirty-credit didactic program.

For more information, go to > Dental Masters Programs