Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Oral and maxillofacial surgery—is it time to rethink the long training pathway?

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: (Published 29 February 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i1148

Rapid Response:

REPOST - Over 99% of those responding and all the Council members of the British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery support dual degree training for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

This response is a repost because our first reply has been lost from the BMJ system but a copy has remained available here

We would like to thank the many colleagues both within and outside our specialty who contacted us directly in response to the recent article (1) published in BMJ Careers on 5th March 2016, and to Tom Moberly for making it Editors’ Choice.

We were overwhelmed by the support, enthusiasm and thoughtfulness of messages received in support of the need to rapidly resolve the future training in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (OMFS) before it is too late. The article has reached the highest levels in the land.

We were reassured that out of the huge number of responses, all but one recognised that the future of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (OMFS) should not be a single degree specialty of either medicine or dentistry, but that both continue to be required.

Furthermore, and at least as important, it was unanimously agreed at the Council meeting of the British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (BAOMS) held on Wednesday 23rd March 2016, that our future should remain a dual degree specialty.

Our patients need and deserve the knowledge and skills delivered by surgeons with the unique skill set that only both medical and dental degrees can provide. We realise this unique pathway sets those who regulate OMFS and the Government who share the cost of training with our trainees, the task of designing and funding a UK OMFS programme fit for the 21st Century. We need to ensure that our specialty attracts and support future trainees in order to deliver OMFS specialists of the highest quality in the most efficient way for our patients.

We cannot risk discovering the point at which fiscal pressures become an insurmountable barrier for trainees, and with problems already apparent with national recruitment we fear that this could be approaching rapidly. With loss of salary protection in the new junior doctors’ contract, pension implications and other issues after completing a second degree, we are actively engaging with government at the highest level possible to try and secure a smooth passage for the future.

OMFS is a great specialty and the sooner we can get security and recognition for the long and arduous training addressed the better before it becomes too late.

Peter A Brennan, President, British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons
Patrick Magennis, Deputy Chairman of Council, British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

Reference: Brennan PA Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery: is it time to rethink the long career pathway BMJ Careers 5 March 2016:375

Competing interests: Both of those responding are on the Council of the British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (BAOMS)

25 May 2023
Peter A Brennan
Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Patrick Magennis
University of Portsmouth
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Department, Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust