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Orthodontic residency changes

Ortho ClinicThe construction is complete, the new residents are selected, and HSC-Baylor College of Dentistry’s graduate orthodontic program is ready to expand to a three-year program this summer.

The program, formerly 27 months long, was extended to three years to help both residents and patients and to stay current with national trends, says Dr. Phillip Campbell, graduate-clinic director and holder of the Robert E. Gaylord Endowed Chair in Orthodontics.

Typically it takes about 30 months to treat a difficult orthodontic case, he says. New HSC-BCD residents will be able to see most patients from start to finish. “You learn more when you start treatment and end treatment,” Campbell says. “It will really be a much broader education.”

The program also will resemble more of a group practice setting in orthodontics.

“I envision real role-playing for private management settings, such as budget and overhead,” Campbell says. “Those generally aren’t taught in residency and we hope to add that.”

In the orthodontic clinic, four chairs have been added to bring its total to 18. By eliminating the former cabinetry, the new configuration should enhance teaching, explains Campbell, because residents can easily gather to observe a case.

Ortho PatientAnother program goal is to add a mentorship element, in which residents are paired with local practicing orthodontists. Campbell says there is already interest from orthodontists who would like to participate, including several part-time faculty members.

The mentorship would add a welcome facet to a challenging program, which requires a research component and the completion of a master’s thesis by all residents. “The research adds a lot to the program,” Campbell says.

Due to limited slots and numerous applications, the program is highly selective; only six residents out of 252 applicants were selected for this summer’s incoming class.

Those six residents, together with the six returning ones, will likely spend a lot of time on the college’s seventh floor in the department’s three new seminar rooms. Each room includes six study carrels for the residents, with one room designated for each class.

 “Former residents say the program was stressful, it was busy, but it was a great education,” Campbell says. “When they’re out in the community, they see how well they’re educated.”

Ortho Ribbon Cutting