Our Curriculum

Program Length
The GPR Program consists of 12 months of advanced dental education in clinical dentistry and is conducted primarily within a private practice environment but also with hospital experience at Mission Hospital. An optional second year may be available.

The program begins July 1st and concludes June 30th of the following year. Residents are required to come two weeks in June for organizational and program orientations for which they are financially compensated.

In alignment with MAHEC’s mission, the General Practice Residency (GPR) program offers the opportunity for residents to build their clinical skills in a community health setting while obtaining a Master of Public Health degree (MPH) from the UNC Gillings School's Master of Public Health Program in Asheville. The two year GPR-MPH track is the perfect opportunity for those considering a career in general dentistry and interested in understanding oral health from both a clinician and policy-maker’s perception. Obtaining a degree while practicing dentistry enables the general dentist to assimilate the public health paradigm into their practice and have mentors teach them how to use it to engage their patients and community. This track offers the tools for those interested in becoming not only general practitioners, but also leaders in government agencies, private sector organizations and universities.

Residents will be admitted to the GPR program through the standard process and UNC Gillings School will conduct their own admission process. In the first year, the GPR-MPH resident will be exposed to the same didactic lectures as a typical GPR resident plus the MPH curricular responsibilities. During the second year, the GPR-MPH resident, will continue with the MPH curriculum and will have teaching and mentoring responsibilities as well as complex clinical cases. 

*Applicants who are interested in the GPR-MPH track will need to mention it in their application and let Michelle Pittman know when sending her the applicant supplements.*

UNC Gillings School's MPH Program in Asheville

MAHEC Dental Health Center - Residents spend approximately 35 weeks of their year at the Dental Health Center. The majority of time is spent providing hands-on comprehensive patient treatment. This time is spread out during the entire year to assure continuity of care. During this time residents gain a wide variety of experiences by providing complex dental treatment for primarily ambulatory patients. Opportunities exist for providing comprehensive dental care, including fixed and removable prosthodontics, implant restoration, rotary endodontics, periodontics, implant placement, oral surgery, and advanced operative dentistry. Residents also gain extensive experience in management of patients with complex medical conditions and those with special needs.

Anesthesia - During this rotation, residents actively participate at Mission Hospital through the Department of Anesthesiology. Residents will also receive simulated experiences at the MAHEC Simulation Center. Residents receive experience in physical evaluation of the pre-anesthetic patient, starting and maintaining intravenous lines, oral and/or nasal intubation, monitoring vital signs, maintaining optimum airways, recognizing potential medical emergency situations related to anesthesia, utilizing various equipment/instrumentation for monitoring the anesthetized patient, and patient recovery.

Family Medicine - The residents will be assigned to a block rotation in the Family Practice Service inpatient and Family Health Center rotation with a PGY 2 and/or PGY 3 resident physician in the Family Medicine Asheville Residency Program.

Community Rotation - The residents will participate in providing dental care to a dentally underserved population at our rural health community-based clinic, MAHEC Dental Health Center at Columbus located in Polk County. During this time, they will perform both comprehensive and emergency treatment for patients of all ages.

Pediatric Rotation - During this rotation residents may observe, assist or perform dental procedures on pediatric and IDD patients under general anesthesia and/or as outpatient via the MAHEC’S School Based Program.They will also participate in the pre-surgical assessment and post-surgical follow up care for this patient being seen in the OR.

Oral Surgery Rotation - The residents will work with the OMF residents and Faculty to gain experience in multiple aspects of oral surgery within the hospital setting and oral surgery specialty practice.  They will gain experience working with trauma patients and patients presenting with odontogenic infections that are beyond the level seen in undergraduate dental training.  Experience will also be gained by assisting in the care of patients being seen in the operating room on either an inpatient or outpatient basis.  Residents will be on first call in the Emergency Department at Mission Hospitals for dental trauma and other emergencies during this rotation alongside the OMF residents.

The residents receive a formal course in Physical Diagnosis as well as selected courses during the year at discretion of the Residency Director.  Approximately 100 hours of didactic lecture are given in all specialties of dentistry as well as oral medicine, dental materials, practice management, and infection control. Residents are eligible to attend all MAHEC sponsored Dental Continuing Education programs as well as relevant conferences at Mission Hospital, with Director approval.