A Seventh-day Adventist Organization

Advanced Specialty Education Program in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Program Director

Jayini Thakker, DDS, MD
Program Director of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

For a list of other Faculty for the Advanced Specialty Education Program in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, click here.

General Information

Accreditation status: "Approval" (next accreditation 2017)
Length of program: 4-years or 6-years in residence
Number of applicants accepted each year: Two (2) for the 6-year program, one (1) for the 4-year program
Applications accepted as of: January 1st each year
Application deadline: September 15, 2016
Program start date: July 1, 2017

Application Method

Loma Linda University application: An LLU online application is mandatory for each program residency, one for the 4-year and one for the 6-year if you are interested in both programs.
PASS application: A PASS application is mandatory
Match application: A Match application is mandatory

Contact Information

Program phone number: (909) 558-4671
Fax number: (909) 558-0285
Email: vquihuis@llu.edu

Oral and maxillofacial surgery clinic
The Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery clinic located within the School of Dentistry.

Dr. Alan S. Herford, Department Chair
Dr. Alan S. Herford, Department Chair.

Program Description

Mission statement: The mission of Loma Linda University Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery is to train residents to become competent oral and maxillofacial surgeons and to fulfill their individual goals for a professional career as oral and maxillofacial surgeons.  Additionally, it is the mission of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery to instill in our graduates a spirit of life-long learning and professional improvement as well as a calling for “Service Above Self.”

The Advanced Specialty Educational Program in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery is designed to prepare the resident for the practice of the specialty and provide the foundation for the continued acquisition of knowledge and skills. Clinical surgical health care delivery and basic science research are emphasized. The resident is introduced to research methodology and teaching to develop an increased awareness of their importance in assessing clinical procedures and patient management. The content of the program conforms to the Standards of the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) and is designed to prepare the surgeon for certification by the American Board of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery.

A four-year and six-year residency program is available. Two (2) six-year residency positions are available each year. In addition up to two (2) four-year positions may be offered in order to maintain two (2) residents per year completing the program. Residents in the 6-year program will also complete medical school and a one-year general surgery internship. The residency program starts on July 1.

Graduates of the residency program are educationally qualified for certification by the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

The goals of the Advanced Specialty Education Program in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery are:

Goal 1

To prepare the resident for competent delivery of health care.

Goal 2

To prepare the resident for continual acquisition of skills and knowledge to improve health care.

Goal 3

To prepare the resident for certification by the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

Goal 4

To provide the background for stimulation of academic achievement should the resident wish to enter into a teaching career.

Goal 5

To enable the resident to practice the full scope of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in a competent and skillful manner based on a thorough knowledge of the basic sciences.

Goal 6

To integrate oral and maxillofacial surgical care with other medical and dental specialties into the health care delivery system.

Goal 7

To conduct clinical investigation and/or research studies.

Goal 8

To encourage the resident to practice the specialty based upon the highest moral and ethical standards.

Goal 9

To provide residents the opportunity to achieve a high degree of clinical proficiency in their specialty.

Goal 10

To provide extensive surgical experience of a broad nature.

Goal 11

To provide competence in the administration of inpatient and outpatient general anesthesia, local anesthesia and sedation techniques.

Goal 12

For the administrative training to provide the resident with the basic skills and tools required to manage their practice.

Goal 13

To provide competence in resident communication skills. Training will include public speaking, lecturing, writing, and improving the resident's critical thinking providing a foundation to become an effective student and mentor.

Goal 14

To provide residents with the skill to proficiently assess and treat problems of the maxillofacial region.  This includes dentoalveolar surgery, maxillofacial trauma, reconstructive surgery, pathology and orthognathic/craniofacial surgery.

Goal 15

To demonstrate the importance of life long learning and to encourage promotion of faculty.

Two Master's Degree Tracks Available

Loma Linda University School of Dentistry offers two master's degree tracks for graduate students/residents enrolled in the advanced education certificate programs.

Master of Science (MS) degree track

The Master of Science (MS) degree track can be invaluable to students who wish to pursue an academic career in clinical dentistry, research, and teaching. The didactic and clinical components of the certificate program fulfill the academic requirements for the MS degree. Candidates must be admitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS), conduct a graduate level research project, write a thesis, and hold a public thesis defense. Students have five years from the date of acceptance of the certificate program to complete the requirements for the MS degree.

Candidates who meet the admissions requirements must submit an application to FGS through the Office of Advanced Dental Education and that application must be supported by the applicant's program director.

Master of Science in Dentistry (MSD) degree track

Graduate students/residents may elect to apply for the Master of Science in Dentistry (MSD) degree track.  The MSD degree track is intended to provide individuals with an advanced degree widely recognized as having completed a dental specialty program.  Applicants must be recommended for admission to this degree track by their program director and subsequently approved for admission by the Assistant Dean for Advanced Education. The MSD degree is awarded upon successful completion of the certificate program, completion of an approved graduate research project, and submission of a report of that research project in the form of a publishable paper in the format of a journal selected by the candidate and approved by the program director.  Candidates must also hold a public presentation of their research in a format similar to a thesis defense.  All the MSD requirements may be complete during the program but no later than one year from the candidate’s program completion date.

Operatory inside the oral and maxillofacial surgery clinic
Operatory inside the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Clinic.

Panorex and lateral ceph x-ray machine
Panorex and lateral ceph x-ray machine located in the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Clinic.

Application and Admission Process

Postdoctoral Application Support Service (PASS) - The Advanced Specialty Education Program in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery participates in the PASS application service of the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) allowing applicants to apply to multiple participating institutions using one standardized format. PASS application

Loma Linda University Application - In addition to the PASS application, applicants for the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Program must complete a direct Loma Linda University application.  LLU online application

The Postdoctoral Dental Matching Program (Match) - The Loma Linda University Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery also participates in the Match program to help to identify and "match" the preferences of applicants and the advanced education program a using rank order list of the applicants and the program. http://www.natmatch.com/dentres

Invitation to Interview - A select number of completed applications from PASS, which meet the minimum admissions requirements, are reviewed (refer to Admissions Requirements below). The top candidates are invited for an interview by a selection committee composed of department faculty and outside faculty/administrators and chaired by the program director. A separate interview is conducted by representatives of the Loma Linda University School of Medicine.

Admissions Decisions - The program director presents the rank order for admission for discussion and approval by the Graduate Admissions Committee at the end of the winter quarter. That rank order is then submitted to the Match Program. Applicants and programs will receive the results of the "Match" directly from the Match Program.

Acceptance - Candidates are offered acceptance through the Match.

Background check - Accepted students must complete a background check in order to register and begin the program.

Health Clearance Information and CPR Training for Incoming Graduate Students and Residents - All individuals accepted into an Advanced Education Program must receive a health clearance from Student Health Service before they are permitted to start their program. A health clearance includes passing a PPD (tuberculosis), Hepatitis B, and MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) test. In addition, all incoming graduate students/residents also must undergo Health Care Provider CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) training and obtain certification prior to the start of their program.

How to obtain information regarding policies on blood-borne and infectious diseases:
Federal OSHA (www.osha.gov) In search menu type: Bloodborne Pathogens 1910.1030
State Cal/OSHA (www.dir.ca.gov) In search menu type: Bloodborne Pathogens Standards 5193

Admissions Requirements

The following information and documentation are required for all applications to the Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Program:

1.  Transcript(s) - from all post-secondary institutions from which the applicant received credit whether or not the work pertains to their LLU degree.  Only official transcript(s) will be accepted.  An official transcript is one that is submitted directly from the school, college, or university to Loma Linda University.  Transcripts that are hand-carried or mailed by an applicant, even if in a sealed envelope, cannot be considered official and will be recorded as still missing.  Transcripts should be mailed directly to: Admissions Processing, 11139 Anderson Street, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA 92350.

Applicants who have transcripts from non-US dental schools must submit a translated course-by-course transcript report from one of the following agencies (See International Transcript Information):

  1. World Education Services (WES) *
  2. American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO)
  3. Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc (ECE)
  4. American Education Research Corporation (AERC)

* If ordering an evaluation from WES, the applicant should select Loma Linda University from the drop-down list of recipient institutions as opposed to writing in an address. LLU does not need the additional ICAP service from WES. If their WES report is only for LLU the applicant should order the basic (non-ICAP) course-by-course report.  The electronic WES report to LLU will already include copies of the evaluated documents, however these document copies are not the Official transcripts/mark sheets that LLU requires to be sent directly from the issuing institution.

2.  Official Degree Certificate (for all international applicants) - Any foreign transcript (or mark sheet) that does not list on it the graduation information, including the actual degree earned, must be supported by an official degree certificate or school-verified copy of the degree certificate mailed directly from the issuing institution to Admissions Processing, Loma Linda University.

Applicants who are uncertain as to whether or not their transcript lists graduation information and degree earned should contact their school before requesting a separate degree certificate.

3.  GPA and Class Rank- A cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher.  GPA and class rank can be submitted through the Institutional Evaluation on PASS.

4.  National Board Dental Examination (NBDE) - Successful completion of the National Board Dental Examination Part I and Part II (when available) is required of all applicants. A score of 86 or higher is required on Part I of the National Boards if taken after Jan. 1, 2007.  For tests taken prior to that date, an NBDE Part I score of 90 or above is required.  Please allow plenty of time for  NBDE score report requests to be processed by the ADA.  We cannot accept NBDE scores reported in a Dean's letter as an official report of test results.  Request NBDE scores

5. National Board Medical Examination (NBME) - Applicants must take the National Board Medical Examination (NBME) Comprehensive Basic Science Exam and have their official test results reported to Loma Linda University by the application deadline.  Please visit the NBME website for further information:  http://www.nbme.org/students/Subject-Exams/subexams.html.

6.  English Proficiency Exam - Regardless of nationality or citizenship, an applicant whose native language is not English or whose secondary education has been given outside the U.S. is required to pass one of the following English proficiency tests:

  1. TOEFL scores are valid for two years from the test date.  The institution code for Loma Linda University is 4062. TOEFL minimum scores are: 80 - Internet-based test , 550 - Paper-based test, including a minimum final score of 5.0 on the TWE part (Test of Written English)
  2. IELTS scores are valid for two years from the test date. LLU minimum score is 6.5
  3. MELAB LLU minimum score is 77

7.  Letters of recommendation - Three letters of recommendation from individuals who have known and worked closely with the candidate are required in support of an application.  Letters of recommendation are valid for no more than two consecutive years for the same program.  Letters of recommendation also must be program specific (ie, support an applicant for the actual program to which he/she is applying).  Electronic notifications to the recommenders are sent out after submitting the online application.  Alternatively, an applicant applying to the program through PASS may use their Personal Potential Index (PPI) evaluation report, Professional Evaluation Forms (PEF), and Institutional Evaluation Form (IEF) for their LLU application as well.  Applicants who would like to use their PASS letters of recommendation should leave the recommendation section of their LLU online application blank and after submitting the application, the PPI evaluations will be matched up.

Important Instructions for the Transmittal of Official Documents

All official documents must be mailed from the issuing institutions. Applicants must not mail originals or official copies of transcripts, GRE scores, National Dental Board scores, and TOEFL scores themselves.

An application is not considered complete until all required supporting documents have been received. Only completed applications go to committee for consideration. This policy holds true for both U.S. and non-U.S. applicants. So please apply early.

2015 Graduation Dinner
From L-R: Drs. Glenn Green, Justin Weaver, Ayleen Rojhani, Luiza Portnoff, Ryan Falke, Alan Herford (chair), Nathan Latimer, Andre Guerrero Fernandes, Michael Pace, Katina Nguyen, and Jason Rogers.

Ms. June Barrientos and Ms. Victoria Quihuis
Administrative office staff (from L-R): Victoria Quihuis and June Barrientos.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition is waived for those accepted into the 4-year program. Individuals admitted to the 6-year program must pay School of Medicine tuition and fees for the three years of medical school enrollment. No tuition or fees are charged for the final three years.

Overview of the 4-Year Certificate Program and the 6-Year OMS/MD Combined Program in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

4-Year Program­ (36 months OMS, 12 months off-service rotations)

Year 1 - Resident on Oral and maxillofacial surgery service 5 months. (Training includes off-service; Anesthesia 5 months; which includes one (1) month Pediatric anesthesia rotation, and Medicine two (2) months.)

Year 2 - Resident on Oral and maxillofacial surgery service 7 months. (Training includes off-service; General Surgery 5 months which includes ICU rotation.)

Year 3 - Resident on Oral and maxillofacial surgery service 10 months. (Training includes off-service; two (2) months off-service rotating ENT/HNS one (1) month and Plastics one (1) month.)

Year 4 - Resident final 12 months on Oral and maxillofacial surgery service.

Residents receive stipends for their entire PGY years of OMS.  Residents have No Tuition for four years.

6-Year Program (36 months OMS)

Year 1 - Residents enter the second year of study in the Loma Linda University School of Medicine. (This first training year includes two (2) months in OMS)

Year 2 - Residents continue in the third year of medical school.

Year 3 - Residents continue in the fourth year of medical school. (Training includes four (4) months of OMS and two (2) months in the Department of Anesthesia, which includes one (1) month Pediatric anesthesia rotation.)

Year 4 - PGY-1 year of general surgery (Training includes three (3) months in the Department of Anesthesia.)

Year 5 - Oral and maxillofacial surgery (OMS)

Year 6 - Oral and maxillofacial surgery (OMS)

Applicants accepted to our OMS/MD training program receive advanced standing at Loma Linda University School of Medicine. At the conclusion of three years of medical school, there is a one-year general surgery internship, which provides additional experience and fulfills the requirements of licensure in those states requiring one post-graduate year of medical residency. The remainder of the program satisfies the requirements for the Advanced Specialty Education Program in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, which requires at least 30 months of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery experience.

Residents receive stipends for their entire PGY-1 year of surgery and the final two years of OMS. Medical school tuition must be paid by the student for three years.

Required courses for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery can be found in the University Catalog.


Study may extend beyond the stated program length for those pursuing a Master of Science (MS) degree or the Master of Science in Dentistry (MSD) Degree.

OMS Clerkship

 A 1- and 2-week clerkship is available for dental students in U.S. dental schools in their 3rd and 4th year.  For more information, contact June Barrientos at jbarrientos@llu.edu or (909) 558-4671.