Oral Medicine Preceptorship Program


This extended program is specifically designed for the dentist who wishes to gain a scientific background and additional training in the practice of oral medicine. The educational program will focus on all aspects of Oral Medicine including the diagnosis, and primarily non-surgical treatment of diseases of the oral cavity, including the mucosa, salivary glands, and the surrounding structures; as well as comprehensive oral health care services for medically complex patients.

Our Philosophy

Since Oral Medicine provides an essential link between dentistry and medicine, practitioners in this field must possess a thorough knowledge of basic physiological and pathological mechanisms that contribute to health and disease. To become competent in the practice of oral medicine, the clinician must perform a proper assessment of patients including history taking and physical examination, and develop a management plan. The management plan must be evidence-based and consistent with standards of care set forth by the scientific literature.

The educational program will include a didactic program designed to provide the preceptor with the necessary background for the practice of oral medicine. The preceptor will gain knowledge in several areas including medicine, laboratory diagnostics, oral pathology, oral radiology, oral oncology, orofacial pain, pharmacology, nutrition, special care and geriatric dentistry as well as management of medical emergencies in a dental setting through didactic/clinical exposure at the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine. Based on this philosophy, the preceptor will be exposed to integration and synthesis of basic science and clinical knowledge and observe application of this information in diagnostic work up, medical risk assessment for dental care and management of oral medicine patients.

Educational Requirements

The CE preceptorship program in oral medicine is a full time program of three months duration. The preceptorship may be extended for an additional three months contingent upon program director's approval. The curriculum is comprised of didactic assignments, journal clubs, clinical observation and pertinent rotations. The didactic learning experiences include seminars, lectures, workshops, and self-study activities. Although there is considerable flexibility in the selection and sequencing of the didactic and clinical components, each preceptor is required to attend didactic sessions designed to provide the necessary background for management of oral medicine patients. An important part of the CE program is the clinical observation which continues across the entire duration of the CE Preceptorship Program. The clinical exposure will comprise nearly 50% of the preceptor's time.

Description of CE Fellowship Components

The curricular content of the program are listed below and each requirement is briefly described on the following pages. Although a specific time period is allocated for each educational activity, the actual time listed is subject to change.

  • Oral Medicine Seminar Series
  • Oral Pathology Seminar Series
  • Orofacial Pain Seminar Series
  • Clinical Exposure to Care of Oral Medicine patients
    (medically complex, oral mucosal disease, orofacial pain)
  • Oral Medicine Patient Rounds
  • Oral Pathology Experience
  • Oral Radiology Experience

Oral Medicine Seminar Series

This seminar series will focus on reinforcing knowledge of topics within the field of Oral Medicine. The curriculum is designed to review the fundamentals of Oral Medicine including oral mucosal lesions, salivary gland disease, and medically complex patient issues. Emphasis will be placed on applying this information to clinical practice.

Oral Pathology Seminar Series

This program provides a comprehensive review of oral and maxillofacial pathology and consists of introductory presentations, clinical pathologic conferences and histopathologic sessions using a multi-headed microscope. Topics covered in the introductory lectures include evaluation and management of oral mucosal diseases, and evaluation and management of hard tissue conditions affecting maxillofacial region, principles of radiographic interpretation and differential diagnosis of jaw lesions.

Orofacial Pain Seminar Series

This seminar series is offered by the division of Orofacial Pain and focus on reinforcing knowledge of topics within the field of Orofacial Pain and its application to clinical practice. The curriculum is designed to review the fundamentals of Orofacial pain including temporomandibular disorders, musculoskeletal conditions, chemosensory disorders and neuropathic pain disorders.

Patient Care Observation

The preceptor will have the opportunity to observe history taking, diagnostic work up and delivery of oral care to patients with oral mucosal diseases, salivary gland disorders, orofacial pain, special needs and medically complex conditions.

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. The oral medicine preceptor will have the opportunity to observe delivery of oral care to medically complex patients. 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.

Oral mucosal diseases clinic: The oral mucosal diseases clinic provides diagnostic assessment including tissue biopsy and hematologic work up, education, preventive oral care, medical therapy and follow-up care for patients with oral mucosal diseases of local and systemic etiology. These include oral manifestations of systemic disease ( eg. anemia, leukemia, sarcoidosis, lupus, ...), and oral complications of chemo/radiotherapy, immune-based (eg. pemphigus, pemphigoid, lichen planus, erythema multiforme, ...), epithelial ( eg. erythroplakia, leukoplakia, dysplaia, ...) pigmented and reactive oral abnormalities, burning mouth, xerostomia, alterd taste and salivary gland disorders. The oral medicine fellow will be exposed to comprehensive oral care of these patients through interdisciplinary communication between immunology, rheumatology, dermatology, ophthalmology and oral medicine practitioners.

Orofacial pain: The oral medicine fellow will also have the opportunity to attend orofacial pain and special care clinic where patients with acute and chronic orofacial pain and orofacial neurosensory disorders are evaluated and treated.

Oral Medicine Patient Rounds

The rounds takes place in conjunction with the clinical care sessions providing a forum to review chief complaint, diagnostic work up, laboratory and radiographic findings, histopathology, and management strategy for new and follow-up patients seen by the Oral Medicine Service at the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine.

Oral Pathology Experience

Oral Medicine Preceptor will receive advanced training in oral pathology and enhance their diagnostic skills by participating in the oral pathology service at the RSDM. The preceptor will also learn about tissue processing procedures and slide preparation. The Oral Medicine/Oral Pathology Microscope Conference is held complementary to Oral Pathology Seminar Series and is a forum for microscopic review of biopsies submitted to RSDM biopsy service as well as interesting cases presented for learning and discussion of histopathology. The goal is to enhance participant's skills in microscopic interpretation and reaching a definitive diagnosis of diseases affecting oral and maxillofacial region.

Oral Radiology Experience

The preceptor has the opportunity to attend didactic seminars in diagnostic head and neck radiology discussing X-ray equipment, Digital Imaging basics, radiation biology, radiation protection principles and radiographic manifestations of local and systemic diseases in the head and neck region.  This experience provides fellows with the opportunity to enhance their knowledge in selection and interpretation of standard as well as advanced imaging modalities such as intraoral radiographs, panoramic radiology, plain films, digital radiography, tomography, sialography, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, scintigraphy and cone beam CT. Radiology case review sessions are complementary to radiology seminars and provide an interactive forum to discuss challenging/interesting radiology cases and help reinforce diagnostic radiology principles.

Division's Ongoing Academic Activities

In addition to didactic core program, the preceptor will have the opportunity to attend in a variety of academic activities offered by the Division of Oral Medicine.

Division of Oral Medicine Literature Review (Journal Club)

The journal club is a dynamic forum for critical thinking and examination of pertinent, current scientific literature.  Residents and fellows in the division of oral medicine will meet regularly month to discuss and critique an assigned article with focus on evidence - based practice of dentistry and medicine. Presentations are made by each participant on a rotating schedule.

Tumor Board

A multidisciplinary forum where otolaryngology/head & neck surgery, radiology, pathology, radiation/hematoncology, oral medicine and dentists meet to discuss comprehensive management of current patients with head and neck cancer. During this multidisciplinary approach, discussion will focus on diagnosis and treatment modalities.

Case Presentation

All residents and fellows in the Division of Oral Medicine actively participate in case presentation sessions. This is an opportunity for students to present documented cases related to the dental management of medically complex patients.

Treatment Planning Seminar

Through small group discussions and case-based learning, residents, fellows and faculty discuss comprehensive oral/dental management of medically complex patients referred to the Oral Medicine Clinic. The fellow will also have the opportunity to attend the weekly treatment planning seminars offered through the Division of Oral Diagnosis aimed at reinforcing relevant concepts to clinical practice.

Advanced Topics in Dental Medicine

A series of post-graduate seminars relevant to medical and dental science are presented by the division faculty or invited speakers. Advanced topics focused on clinical dentistry including endodontics, periodontics, prosthodontics and implant dentistry are presented and discussed in an open forum.


Rutgers School of Dental Medicine is located on the Newark Campus of University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. The medical and dental schools, graduate school of biomedical sciences, and the University Hospital are grouped together on an attractive campus with convenient private parking. The Division of Oral Medicine maintains a separate clinical facility on the "D" level of the dental school.

The Faculty

The following faculty members in the department of Diagnostic Sciences are involved in the Oral   Medicine CE Fellowship Program. Many other University faculty members outside the Department including faculty of the Postgraduate Core Curriculum also contribute to the training   program.

Mahnaz Fatahzadeh, DMD, MSD
Associate Professor
Director, Oral Medicine CE Fellowship Program

Harold V. Cohen, DDS
Director, Division of Oral Medicine

Gary M. Heir, DMD
Clinical Professor
Division of Orofacial Pain

Samuel  Quek, DMD, MPH
Associate Professor
Director, General Practice Residency Program

Richard Pertes, DDS
Clinical Professor
Director, Orofacial Pain Fellowship Program

Lawrence Schneider, BDS, PhD
Division of Oral Pathology

Evan Spivack, DDS
Clinical Associate professor
Director, Special care Treatment Center

Riva Touger-Decker, PhD, RD
Professor & Director, Division of Nutrition


Please consult Continuing Education website regarding the fees for the CE Preceptorship Program.

Evaluation of Preceptor

The preceptor must attend the required didactic and clinical requirements of the CE program. A Certificate of attendance will be awarded upon completion of the program.

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:

· Be a citizen of the United States, a non-citizen national, or a foreign national having in his/her possession a visa permitting temporary status in the United States

· Be a dentist who has a D.D.S. degree or its equivalent (see above)]

· Submit a completed application to the Division of Oral Medicine

· Original copy of transcripts and ECE/WES equivalent

· Demonstrate a proficiency in English through submission of the TOEFL/IELTS examination score

· Attend a personal interview ,when possible.

Upon satisfactory completion of all of the above requirements, a Certificate of attendance will be awarded.
For further information please contact:

Program Director, Mahnaz Fatahzadeh DMD, MSD Tel: 973-972-1956

e-mail: fatahza@sdm.rutgers.edu