Becoming an oral pathologist is a long and arduous process that requires dedication and hard work. It starts with obtaining a bachelor's degree, followed by dental school and becoming a licensed Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS). After that, the future oral pathologist will spend three years in residency training, learning to specialize in oral pathology. Currently, there are 14 programs in the United States that offer this type of training.
Oral pathologists are increasingly opting for alternative careers due to financial security, the lower availability of jobs and job satisfaction. One of the authors has chosen this career path and has offered personal opinions on the scope, opportunities and advantages of working in this industry. A person with a degree in oral pathology is duly qualified to carry out research, since they are sufficiently trained to carry out these types of projects in a 3-year postgraduate course. The practice of oral and maxillofacial pathology includes research, the diagnosis of diseases through clinical, radiographic, microscopic, biochemical or other tests, and the treatment of patients.
In addition, this branch is considered the embodiment of research work in the field of dentistry, since there is often enormous experience in understanding the pathogenesis of diseases in the body. One of the most attractive alternative career paths for oral pathologists is medical writing and publishing. This field offers not only a multitude of professional options, but also job satisfaction and decent status for an oral pathologist in the corporate sector. A master's degree in oral pathology is becoming less and less interesting, especially for male dentists, not only because of the scarce academic professional opportunities compared to other dental specialties, but also because of the lower generation of income.
The Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology (AAOMP) represents the dental specialty that identifies and treats diseases affecting the oral and maxillofacial regions and investigates the causes, processes and effects of these diseases. The lower chances of obtaining academic positions have been largely attributed to the massive increase in the number of oral pathologists who fainted over the past two decades, in proportion to the increase in job offers for this position in dental schools. After successfully completing the three-year residency program, the resident will be eligible to take the Oral Pathology Board & certification exam of the United States Maxillofacial Pathology Board. During this period, they will be encouraged to dedicate time to appropriate research, either in a basic science laboratory or in a retrospective clinicopathological report.
Seeking alternative professional options has become an imperative need for specialists in oral dental pathology to survive in the current scenario. This alternative career path can offer an excellent balance between work and personal life, which can be a little difficult while maintaining a private office where he must work on weekends and adjust his work schedules according to the availability of his patients. Upon successful completion of the residency program, they must apply for permission to take the certification exam before the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology or before another relevant approved board if they are in another country.The 3-year residency program is fully approved by the Council on Dental Education of the American Dental Association and qualifies them for examination by the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology. During this period they will be taught medical history, oral exam and prescription writing from a board-certified oral pathologist's perspective.