This page uses javascript to enable Google Analytics.

Skip Navigation
Multi Photo Banner
Education Header Image

Externship Program

Program Description

The Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Externship Program at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) is based at all the affiliated hospitals in the Texas Medical Center (Ben Taub General Hospital, Memorial Hermann Hospital, Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital, Houston Methodist Hospital, The University of Texas School of Dentistry, and the Smith Tower OMS Faculty Practice). Externs will receive exposure to extensive maxillofacial soft and hard tissue trauma, major tumor and reconstructive surgery, tracheotomies, infections, dentoalveolar surgery, and outpatient anesthesia. A large emphasis will be placed on providing the extern with first-hand experience in exodontia, pre-prosthetic surgery, repair of lacerations, incision and drainage of infections, and trauma. Externs will be expected to participate in all aspects of the residency program, including inpatient and outpatient care, presentations on rounds, writing of notes, in-house call, and participation in all departmental conferences. Externs are also expected to take trauma call, observe the schedule, avoid scheduling other activities while on rotation, and to display initiative and an active interest in learning.

The UTHealth Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Program is the largest in the nation, based in the world's largest medical center, and it is the only program in Houston -- the fourth-largest city in the U.S. As a result, the scope of training is broad, and the number of cases impressive.

For those who are interested in academic careers, opportunities exist to spend time with our residents on the OMFS-PhD track. In addition to the four-year/certificate and the six-year/certificate/MD tracks, the department also offers a six-seven year /PhD/certificate track culminating with a PhD from either the renowned Rice University Department of Bioengineering or The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Qualified applicants may also pursue a medical degree after obtaining the PhD. Externs are encouraged to explore such diverse educational opportunities and visit Rice and the GSBS.


Accommodations, including a bunk beds and showers, may be available at Ben Taub General Hospital for a maximum of two externs per rotation. Meals, laundry services, scrub attire and white lab coats are not provided. A list of nearby lodging facilities can be provided by the department.

Application Requirements

Acceptance to the externship program is highly competitive, especially in the summer months. Applicants who accept an offered position are expected to honor their commitment. All applicants must be enrolled in their third year of a U.S. or Canadian dental school curriculum prior to starting their externship and must be in at least the top one-third of their class. Outstanding and motivated second-year students may also be considered on an individual basis. The following supporting documents are required:

  • Letter of support from the Dean of Student Affairs stating that the applicant is in good standing, and the school liability insurance policy will cover the student's activities while he/she rotates with us
  • Letter of recommendation from a teaching dental school faculty member, preferably from the Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Department
  • Dental school transcript with documentation of class rank
  • Affidavit of completed background check
  • Photo of applicant (passport size)
  • Proof of the following:
    • Immunizations (Negative TB test administered within last 12 months or a negative chest X-ray, MMR, DPT, Hep B (completed series of three))
    • Liability insurance coverage
    • Training in infection control and HIPAA
    • Current CPR training

NOTE: Many Offices of Student Affairs will provide the information listed above in a certified letter, which is acceptable and usually avoids delays.

As mandated by Texas state law, the seasonal flu vaccine in now required for all visitors who will be in a clinical or hospital setting.

It is required that students from countries other than the U.S. contact the UTHealth Office of International Affairs before coming to Houston. This will avoid confusion concerning travel and visa issues. In addition, students arriving in Houston must check in with the Office of International Affairs prior to coming to the School of Dentistry. 

Application Deadlines

There is no established application deadline as positions are available year round. In general, we recommend applying at least 4 months in advance. For the summer months, however, applicants are encouraged to apply at least 6 months in advance due to the large number of applicants and limited available slots. Applicants who are accepted will be offered one of the dates requested, wait listed and offered an alternate date, or wait-listed for the remainder of the year. On occasion, there will be last minute cancellations and consideration will be given to all applications.

Recent Externs

Recent externs were enrolled at the following institutions:

  • Baylor College of Dentistry
  • Boston University
  • Columbia University
  • Harvard School of Dental Medicine
  • Loma Linda University
  • Louisiana State University
  • Medical College of Georgia
  • Marquette University
  • Tufts University
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of California-Los Angeles
  • University of California-San Francisco
  • University of Detroit
  • University of Florida
  • University of Michigan
  • University of North Carolina
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Sidney
  • University of South Carolina
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Texas-San Antonio
  • University of Toronto
  • University of Washington
  • University of Western Ontario
  • Virginia Commonwealth University

Externship Program Committee


Nagi Demian, DDS, MD
Associate Professor; Chief of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Memorial Hermann Hospital