There is a perception that the training pathway for oral and maxillofacial surgery (OMFS) is unduly long and arduous, as consultant oral and maxillofacial surgeons must be doubly qualified (that is, hold degrees in medicine and dentistry) and be holders of two higher fellowships.
We reviewed the data regarding the average age of National Training Number (NTN) holders and GMC data on the year of first registration and the year of entry onto a specialist surgical list for all 9 surgical specialties.
The results showed the average age of the surgical SpR populations ranged from 33.5 to 38.2 years with an average age of 36.14 years. OMFS SpR's average age is 37.69 years. The GMC data showed the average number of months from full to specialist registration ranged from 90.83 months to 135.24 months, with OMFS surgeons having the lowest average.
These data suggest that OMFS surgeons are of a similar age to other surgeons whilst in training. In addition, they have the shortest transit time between full GMC registration and entry onto the specialist list. The length of this training even with dual qualification is similar to other surgical specialties.