Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Why specialise in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery?

The specialty is defined as “the surgical specialty that includes the diagnosis, surgical and related treatments of a wide spectrum of diseases, injuries, defects and aesthetic aspects of the mouth, teeth, jaws, face, head and neck.” It is an internationally recognised surgical as well as a dental specialty.

The specialty works closely with others in the multidisciplinary management of patients with head and neck disorders and provides comprehensive management in facial trauma and maxillofacial pathology.

Career Prospects

The service based at Christchurch Hospital covers acute and elective outpatient and inpatient care, with referrals accepted from primary care as well as other specialties. A busy on-call service manages acute infections and facial fractures, whilst elective referrals cover a wide spectrum of mouth and jaw conditions, providing extensive experience for trainees in the specialty as well as broad experience for those considering general practice.

Medical Kaimahi (staff) in our service

Our department presently has 5part-time specialist consultant Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.

There are 2 advanced RACDS trainees in full-time registrar posts, one full-time non-accredited registrar and the service is supported by a dental house surgeon who participates in the on-call roster as well as daily activities.

Responsibility for day-to-day inpatients is shared with a PGY1 or 2 medical RMO appointed to support the service.

All about our service

Medical RMOs allocated to the service predominantly have responsibility for day-to-day care of inpatients, although attendance at outpatient clinics and operating sessions is encouraged, as well as departmental teaching and audit sessions.

Training in our service

Regular departmental radiology and pathology audit sessions are held, teaching sessions and journal clubs relevant to the specialty.

Prerequisites for training positions in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in Australia and New Zealand include registered medical and dental degrees, and completion of a minimum of 12 months of Surgery in General at PGY2 or beyond. Information is available from the Board of Studies Handbook Part A


Trainees in the specialty are required to complete a clinical research project and also encouraged to present at specialty meetings and conferences.
Opportunities exist for completion of a part-time M Med Sc with the Christchurch School of Medicine, University of Otago.

SMO / Kaimahi (staff) support

Supervision and support for specialty trainees and RMOs allocated to the department is provided by the consultants, both on a daily basis and during appointed on-call activities.

Advantages to training at the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Canterbury District Health Board

Trainees are exposed to a wide spectrum of the scope of the specialty and are supervised through a formal assessment of clinical skills, towards eligibility to sit the specialty Fellowship with a view to vocational registration.

Advanced trainees are encouraged to rotate to other clinical training centres in Australia and New Zealand.


Mr Jason Erasmus
Clinical Director
Email: jason.erasmus@cdhb.health.nz 

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