Studies & Degrees in Oral Medicine
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Oral Medicine Study Programs
Oral medicine is a specialized field closely related to dentistry studies. It works to diagnose and treat oral disease and infections using pharmaceuticals. Many oral medicine studies focus on the ongoing treatment of chronic oral diseases, such as cancer. It is not related to the surgical aspect of dentistry, since its treatments revolve around medication.
The only places to study oral medicine are in a medical school or more specific school of dentistry, and it can often be a subset of a dentistry degree. To become a specialist in oral medicine, it is almost always necessary to achieve a bachelor’s degree in medicine first. Oral medicine programs are typically offered only at a graduate level in a master’s program. These courses also require a residency or internship at the conclusion of the course. Remember, this is a medical study, which means only higher education institutions will provide adequate training.
Skills, Qualifications, and Prerequisites for Studies in Oral Medicine
Almost all Oral medicine programs available for students exist in higher educational institutions at the master’s level. This means that candidates must first gain admission to an accredited college or university, usually by completing secondary school and passing an entrance exam or aptitude test. Students must then achieve a bachelor’s degree in a field related to oral medicine (this can be anything from a biology degree to dental hygiene, but it must be applicable to this eventual study).
Candidates for a course in oral medicine should be dedicated to the study. It can take as many as 8 years to achieve a full education in oral medicine, so students should be sure of their interest here – and at the least, in the general dentistry field. They should also have a high intelligence and aptitude for science and medicine, and pay close attention to detail (especially during diagnosis and prescription).
Communication and interpersonal skills are key for an oral medicine specialist. Not only do they work closely with clinical patients, but they also provide ongoing care to people with chronic disease. They should be able to establish a good rapport and ongoing relationship with patients.
Skills and Qualifications Acquired from Studies in Oral Medicine
Students will acquire a multitude of skills on their way to oral medicine studies, especially depending on their bachelor degree. Oral medicine itself will provide individuals with essential skills in the following areas:
- Basic dental hygiene and care.
- Stomatology and medical dentistry technology.
- Anatomical development and structure of the mouth, teeth, gums, tongue and bones of the face.
- Types of oral diseases and infections, both chronic and temporary.
- Symptoms and diagnosis techniques of oral diseases and infections.
- Types, uses, effects and doses of oral medications.
- Research methods for pharmaceutical companies.
- Fundamental aspects of patient care.
- Human psychology (especially in sick patients).
Sometimes, this study will be paired with studies in maxillofacial education, which relates to the bones of the human face.
Careers for Studies in Oral Medicine
Many students of oral medicine move on to become oral medicine specialists, which negotiate the tricky region between general dentistry and medicinal treatment. They work in clinics, and private practices to provide oral care to patients or aid in medicinal research for oral pharmaceuticals and diseases. These careers can be obtained in government or private research facilities, clinics, private practices or pharmaceutical companies. Sometimes, these individuals return to school as professors in the medical field.