After reading my last post over again, I had decided that it is probably best to bring you up to speed. Deciding that radiology is what I wanted to do, I finally had to go through and begin the process. It has been several months since I have sent in my initial application. It didn’t seem too complicated, just like any other application. The radiology program that I’m interested is not part of the PASS/MATCH system that most programs are. So this is where I knew the hurdles would begin. The most frustrating thing about applying to any specialty is getting letters of recommendation. This wasn’t any different. At least as part of the PASS/MATCH system you can have it done electronically and there is no question whether the letters have been delivered or not. This was a bit more old school. Other than that, the application process was rather simple. Straight forward and the norm that you would expect from any specialty.
Next I had to interview. I interviewed with nine faculty members and six residents. It was a very full day, and a difficult eight hours of talking about myself. It felt odd but I suppose this is how residencies are in general. Everyone has a say in who joins. I didn’t think it was bad at all, just a long day. Everyone was professional and very courteous. So for the most part it was enjoyable. After that comes the hard part. Waiting.
So far it’s been about two months since I interviewed and I haven’t heard a word from anyone. I finally decided that I had to call and see if anything has happened. I was informed that no official decision has been made because the faculty will be getting together next week to decide. That being said, I felt a little bit better but I’m also a bit anxious to get an official letter, hopefully, an accepting official letter. I just need to hear some news.
I hope you get in!
Thank you OMFR for having posted this invaluable information about this field. I am a GP with 5+ yrs of practice and planning to apply for the OMFR residency for the upcoming cycle. As you had already faced the same struggles 10 years ago, it is still very difficult for a dentist who was out of school for years to find omfr mentors nearby who can give opportunities to shadow and receive advice on the application. Could you kindly share your experience on how to approach the ofm radiologists and achieve good relationship with then so that they can become good references? If you had your former faculty one of your references, how did you contact them after years of practice outside school? Matter of fact, I am not even sure if they are still at school. I do not have any experience with CT scan in my practice. Should I prepare myself with knowledge in dental CT and MRI prior to contacting them? Do you have additional advice for the prospective residents during their application / interview process? Your advice is greatly appreciated.
For me it was a simple matter of finding some and just having conversations with them. Asking them about their practice. Plus you have to remember OMFR is still in very young, you probably won’t find a huge amount as easily as any other specialty. Try doing a search for oral and maxillofacial radiologist. I think a bunch will show up. Most are happy to discuss their careers.
Thank you OMFR for taking your time to share your advice. As you mentioned, I understand that there are not many oral maxillofacial radiologists, very few in my region all working in academia. I guess I need to travel to get to know the other radiologists in private practice.
If I can study OMFR, I would like to work in a private practice. Do you think taking an extra year to obtain master’s degree in residency is preferred in the private setting?
You could just do a search and see if anyone reads for your state and see if that doc might be local. Or just have even to have a phone conversation with several OMRs. That way you get insight that is more than just what I have to offer.
As far as master’s degree, I don’t think it makes a difference in a private practice. I got mine, I figured I’m already in school, why not go for it? An extra year isn’t that much longer and it’s always good to have to keep any options open.