Oral Medicine Externship 

The College of Dentistry at the University of Kentucky (UKCD) provides a unique opportunity for graduate dentists to participate in a clinical Externship in Oral Medicine. Our hybrid program blends patient care provided within the fully accredited Orofacial Pain Program at UKCD and the dynamic activities of the Division of Oral Diagnosis, Oral Medicine and Oral Radiology at UKCD. The program offers unique opportunities to learn and observe intravenous and conscious sedation, oral mucosal disease and orofacial pain management, general dentistry, and management of medically complex dental patients as a post-graduate experience for qualified dentists. In addition, the program is integrated with College’s didactic courses to help advance an extern’s educational experience. 

Beginning in July 2016, up to two, one-year externs will be selected annually. It is also anticipated that several externs will be selected per year who participate for a period of less than one year.

How to Apply

Review the information available below. Download and submit a completed externship application (MSWord).  


To provide the graduate dentist with several opportunities to advance their dental education and clinical experience to a level beyond that accomplished in a one-year general practice residency program. The externship program also provides the dentist an opportunity to experience the practice of general dentistry within a large medical center employing a greater level of physician/dentist interaction. Emphasis is placed on dental management of medically complex patients, diagnosis and management of acute and chronic orofacial pain conditions, conscious and intravenous sedation techniques, and the development of advanced diagnostic skills. Additionally, this program provides graduate level training in the biological sciences, oral medicine, clinical and pathologic correlations, and experiences unavailable to the private practicing dentist or typical AGD resident. 

A significant portion of this program is devoted to observing comprehensive dental care with emphasis on diagnostic techniques and therapeutic skills in elderly populations served at the medical center. These patients are uniquely challenging with complex levels of medical compromise and have diverse oral disease, and frequently require sedation and implants. Case conferences will be held to permit integration of the above skill set. 

Completion of the program results in a Certificate of Clinical Externship in Oral Medicine awarded by the University of Kentucky.


Learning Objectives & Outcomes

Objectives: To educate well-rounded knowledgeable clinicians competent in the diagnosis and dental management of patients who have concurrent medical conditions, simple and moderately complex acute and orofacial pain, mucosal and salivary disorders, and those requiring conscious sedation. 

Outcomes: After finishing the program, externs will be able to understand how to:

  • Take a comprehensive history of the chief complaint(s)
  • Identify medical comorbities and their impact on dental care
  • Conduct a comprehensive clinical exam
  • Assess the need for further diagnostic tests
  • Interpret diagnostic information
  • Provide a list of differential diagnoses
  • Assemble a comprehensive treatment plan
  • Communicate with and refer to other health care professionals as needed
  • Deliver conscious sedation in a safe and effective manner
  • Critically assess the pertinent scientific literature 
  • Discuss and formulate research designs


Craig S. Miller, DMD, MS, Oral Diagnosis, Oral Medicine and Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology Division Chief and Externship Program Director 

Thamer Musbah, BDS, Externship Program Co-Director 

Jeffrey Okeson, DMD, Orofacial Pain Division Chief and Program Director

Isabel Hay, DDS, MS, Orofacial Pain Clinic Clinical Director 

Clinical Experiences and Observational Training

  • Conscious Sedation
  • Geriatrics
  • Hospital Dentistry
  • Oral Cancer and Pre-Malignancy Assessment
  • Oral Medicine
  • Oral Mucosal and Bone Diseases General Dentistry
  • Oral Pathology
  • Oral Radiology
  • Oral Surgery
  • Orofacial Pain
  • Urgent Dental Care
  • Depending on length of stay, can include rotations with Otolaryngology, Rheumatology, Dermatology, and/or Oncology


  1. Applicant must be a U.S. citizen, a lawful permanent resident with a green card, or have or be eligible for a U.S. Visa. 
  2. Applicant must be a graduate of a dental school approved by the American Dental Association or foreign equivalent and a GPA of 2.5 or above in their previous completed degree or residency program. 
  3. Applicant must have 1 year of post-dental school experience (e.g. residency setting) or at least 2 years of private practice experience.  Supportive documentation required.
  4. Applicant must show motivation and interest in the program as indicated by his/her letter of intent.
  5. Applicant must provide: i) an up-to-date CV or resume, ii) government identification with photograph (driver’s license, passport), iii) certified copy of dental degree and transcripts, iii) a letter of recommendation along with the application form, and iv) a personal statement. 
  6. If English is not the native language of the applicant, he/she must show proficiency in the English language as indicated by TOEFL or IELTS scores.
  7. Potential externs will be required to complete an interview approximately three months prior to the anticipated externship start date. 

If the applicant is not a citizen of the United States or a green card holder, the applicant shall need to provide the following for processing of a Visa:

For an I-20 request, the following are required: 

  • Bank statement (in English, no older than 6 months – best if this is a simple statement of how much money is in the account, and not a transaction printout) – this must show ability to fund the full year of study ($18,000 in living expenses, plus the tuition amount)
  • TOEFL scores (or alternative English proficiency, including letter from academic institution or interview done by UKCD)
  • Copy of highest dental degree.

The program will select eligible applicants on the basis of criteria such as preparedness, ability, aptitude, academic credentials, communication skills, and personal qualities such as motivation and integrity. The program will not discriminate with regard to sex, race, age, religion, color, national origin, disability, or any other applicable legally protected status.

Duration & Tuition

The externship will last a minimum of one week, but can be extended for multiple weeks, up to 1 year (i.e., 12 continuous months). No less than 70 percent of the externship program will involve experiences in patient care (including inpatient and outpatient). Approximately 15-20 percent of time is spent in didactic and seminar learning, and about 10 percent is spent in research and scholarly activities. Schedule available upon request.

Externship applications will be accepted at any time. Up to two, one-year externs will be selected annually. It is also anticipated that several externs will be selected per year who participate for a period of less than one year. 

2016 Tuition: 1 week: $995;  1 month: $3,380;  1 year: $19,000 

Rates subject to change. 

Clinical Duties and Patient Contact

Externs will observe through direct patient contact in both inpatient and outpatient settings, and will participate in the differential diagnosis process and help formulate a treatment plan. They should possess adequate communication skills and be proficient in English. Externs will be supervised by a Program Director and/or Primary Attending Faculty. Several dental clinics (i.e., Orofacial Pain/Oral Medicine Clinic, Urgent Dental Care and Comprehensive Care) will provide opportunities to observe patients with: 1) medically complex conditions, 2) acute and chronic orofacial pain, 3) oral mucosal and perioral disease, 4) salivary gland disorders, and 5) orofacial neurosensory disorders that vary in complexity. Externs may also help serve in consultation and the teaching activities of dental students in the Urgent Care Dental clinic at the University of Kentucky. 


Program questions and application materials can be sent to:

Craig S. Miller, DMD, MS
Director Oral Medicine Externship Program

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