The General Practice Residency program offered by the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System is a one-year advanced dental education program that adheres to the guidelines of the Commission on Dental Accreditation. Its primary objective is to equip residents with the necessary skills to manage the total oral healthcare of patients with diverse needs, including complex health issues. The program takes place in a hospital setting and provides an opportunity for residents to understand the link between oral and systemic health and collaborate with other healthcare professionals.
The residency program commences on July 1 and concludes on June 30 of the subsequent year. Residents are supervised by a dedicated team consisting of full-time general dentists, an oral surgeon, prosthodontists, and part-time endodontists and periodontists. They receive comprehensive dental care from veterans, giving residents exposure to most aspects of general dentistry. Additionally, the program offers advanced experiences in endodontics, periodontal surgery, prosthetics, implant placement and restoration, and oral surgery.
In areas where clinical experience is limited, such as pediatrics and orthodontics, the program has a robust didactic curriculum to complement learning. Monthly literature reviews and patient care conferences help strengthen residents’ decision-making abilities and clinical understanding. As part of the program, residents are also required to work outside of general medicine and anesthesiology, providing further opportunities to work with medically and psychiatrically complex patients.
VA Pittsburgh places a strong emphasis on high-quality patient-centered care and expects residents to enthusiastically support its mission of serving veterans as part of an integrated healthcare team. This program offers a comprehensive educational experience that prepares residents for a successful career in general dentistry.
In conclusion, the General Practice Residency program offered by VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System is an excellent opportunity for aspiring dentists looking for advanced dental education that prepares them for managing patients’ total oral healthcare needs. With its focus on patient-centered care and hands-on experience working with medically complex patients, this residency program equips graduates with essential skills needed for success in their future careers as general dentists.