Dental Residency Program
The VA Medical Center located in Memphis Tennessee, capital of blues and barbeque, is part of the VISN 9 VA Healthcare Network. The hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission. The VA Medical Center in Memphis consists of one main campus located at 1030 Jefferson Avenue including a 60-bed Spinal Cord Injury Unit and several satellite outpatient clinics.
The Memphis VA Medical Center is a tertiary care facility classified as a Clinical Referral Level I Facility. It is a teaching hospital, providing a full range of patient care services, with state-of-the-art technology as well as education and research. Comprehensive health care is provided through primary, secondary, and tertiary care, in areas of medicine, surgery (including cardiovascular and neurological surgery), psychiatry, physical medicine and rehabilitation, spinal cord injury, neurology, oncology, dentistry, and geriatrics. Specialized outpatient services are provided through general, specialty, and subspecialty outpatient clinics including a women's health center. Services are available to more than 196,000 veterans living in a 53-county tri-state area (Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi).
The VA Medical Center at Memphis is primarily affiliated with the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis. The facility offers residency training in all major medical and surgical specialties and subspecialties. Associated Health Training is offered in nursing, psychology, audiology and speech pathology, social work, dietetics, and pharmacy. Each year, the facility trains approximately 397 individuals in residency slots. Additionally, training is provided to 383 medical and dental students and 434 nursing and associated health trainees.
The Dental Service conducts a year long Dental General Practice Residency (GPR) Program - accepting three residents annually. The residency program has been active continuously since 1958 and is fully accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation. The Dental Service plays an integral role within this medical center and is valued for its interaction with the other healthcare professions. Some of the services that the dental service provides are: examination of inpatients in response to appropriate consultations, collaboration with the medical and surgical staff for the diagnosis and treatment of patients with oral conditions, providing dental treatment to outpatients with medical disabilities for which treatment is considered necessary, and participating in educational opportunities for students, residents and dental staff.
The Memphis VA Medical Center GPR program is a demanding, highly structured program. The dental resident spends approximately 70% of his/her time in the dental clinic rendering comprehensive care to both inpatients and outpatients. Our patient population is diverse, ranging from healthy young recently discharged veterans to medically compromised patients whose problems may include oral cancer, cardiac, respiratory, endocrine, renal and/or neurological complications.
The remainder of the dental resident's time (30%) is divided among the following areas:
- Dental inpatient and same day surgery care - 5%
- Operating room - 5%
- Off-service rotations - 10%
- Seminars/didactics - 10%
Patients eligible for treatment are assigned to the residents for comprehensive care. Due to the nature of dental eligibility, a resident's ability to complete a comprehensive treatment plan for an eligible patient is not based upon the patient's ability to pay for their dental care. Therefore, the dental resident will have ample opportunity to render comprehensive prosthodontic care as well as molar endodontics and periodontal surgery. All disciplines of dentistry are practiced with the obvious exception of pediatric dentistry. The residents work with a chair-side assistant in developing their own daily patient schedules and scheduled in-service rotations in periodontics and oral surgery are staffed by specialty assistants. Quarterly evaluations assure a good caseload mix. Residents also treat patients presenting for emergency care.
The stipend for general dentistry residents is approximately $50,000 per year. The cost of living in Memphis is very affordable, the weather is moderate in winter, warm in the summer and the quality of life is good. Cultural activities are diverse.