The 21st century requires the ability to bring to bear highly specialized knowledge on a sound general base is yet more acute. The complex position of oral and maxillofacial surgeons makes a contemporary education scheme yet more difficult to achieve.
21st century education thus must require: 1. Substantial academic achievement in biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics (4 years PSE). 2. A broad basic education in the core contemporary medical sciences including anatomy, physiology, pathology, systems in health and disease, behavioural sciences and medical social sciences (2–3 years). 3. Clinical medicine including extensive understanding and experience with the breadth of systemic disease and its treatment (2 years). 4. Dental medicine including extensive expertise in dental diseases, oral medicine, oral pathology, restorative dentistry, growth and development (2 years). 5. General clinical surgical education managing the surgical patient in a variety of clinical settings with colleagues engaged in other surgical specialties (1 year). 6. Comprehensive achievement of knowledge and skill in all aspects of oral and maxillofacial surgery (3 years).
In our century, this 14 years educational experience will result in the educational achievement consistent with the complexity of the contemporary oral and maxillofacial surgery environment. Most graduates will be 32 years of age or older and will seek additional education through fellowship, continuing education, individualized lifelong learning and volunteerism. This session will detail the rationale and necessary components of that education and will point out the important shortcomings of education that lacks any of these essential components.