Fellowship in Orofacial Pain

The Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery is pleased to offer a one-year fellowship program in orofacial pain. This program provides an additional year of focused training for graduates of accredited US dental schools with a preference for those who have completed a general practice residency (GPR) or other specialty training. The program, which is based at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston, Mass., is designed to provide clinical training in the medical and dental management of orofacial-pain patients. The curriculum consists of clinical rotations in orofacial pain with faculty members and elective rotations through various related departments, including Pain, Physical Therapy, Radiology, Neurosurgery, and Neurology, as well as the Headache Center. Didactic and teaching opportunities are also available. The fellow has the opportunity to apply for a clinical/teaching position at Cambridge Health Alliance to provide supplemental income based on 1½ days of clinical practice per week. Individuals seeking academic or research careers and wishing to supplement their training in orofacial pain will be invited to apply for the Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM)-based master of medical sciences (MMSc) or doctor of medical sciences (DMSc) degree programs after completing their clinical fellowship.

Goals and Objectives

Upon completion of this program, the fellow will have the following knowledge and competencies:

  • A basic understanding of the mechanisms involving pain
  • An understanding of the social, physical, psychologic, physiologic, cultural, and behavioral factors contributing to pain
  • An understanding of the field of orofacial pain and the epidemiologic characteristics of these syndromes
  • Competency in the examination and evaluation of orofacial-pain patients
  • Competency in the diagnosis and management of the orofacial-pain patient
  • Competency to coordinate care for orofacial-pain patients either as a single clinician or within a multidisciplinary team
  • Competency to evaluate outcomes of treatment for orofacial-pain patients.
  • Competency to develop and/or evaluate research projects in orofacial pain.


Since candidates will have had training in general dentistry and/or in one of the dental specialties, the rotations will be tailored to their experience and interests.

  • Clinical rotations in orofacial pain will be with Drs. Shaefer and Keith. [Required 4 hours/week minimum x 1 year]
  • Elective clinical rotations. (Choose 4—one month each)
  • SRH Headache Clinic - Drs. Loder and Biondi - one month.
  • MGH Pain Service - Dr. Kulich, coordinator - one month.
  • MEEI Radiology - Drs. Curtin and Caruso.
  • MGH Physical Therapy - Diane Plante RPT - one month.
  • NGH Neurosurgery - Dr. Mathews - one month.
  • MGH Neurology Headache Clinic.
  • Surgical experience; temporomandibular joint arthroscopy and surgery - Drs. Kaban and Keith (ad hoc)
  • Trigeminal nerve repair - Drs. Kaban and Donoff (ad hoc)

Didactic Training

The MGH Clinical Training Institute will be the main source of didactic programs, and courses will be chosen on the basis of the fellow’s previous training and areas of interest. Two courses are required:

  • Conferences - MGH OMFS Grand Rounds - first and third Wednesdays, 6:00-7:30 p.m. 
  • MGH service meeting - Thursdays, 7:30-9:00 a.m.
  • MGH Pain Service Grand Rounds - Monday, noon to 1:00 p.m.
  • HSDM II Orofacial Pain Course run by Dr. Shaefer. Fellow will attend 75% of presentations.
  • One presentation at an MGH service meeting
  • One presentation at an MGH Pain Program Grand Rounds
  • Teaching opportunities - The fellow will serve as a tutor to the HSDM II Orofacial Pain Course
  • 50 hours of contact time

Fellowship Program Director
Dr. Jeffry Shaefer

Orofacial Pain Faculty
Dr. Jeffry Shaefer
Dr. David Keith

OMFS Faculty
Dr. Leonard Kaban
Dr. Thomas Dodson
Dr. Meredith August
Dr. Maria Troulis

Fellow candidates will have the opportunity to apply for a clinical/teaching position at Cambridge Health Alliance to provide supplemental income based on 1½ days of clinical activity per week.

Fellows will be required to complete a substantial academic research project leading to the acceptance of a paper in a peer-reviewed journal or acceptance of an abstract or poster at a national meeting. The subject matter and suitability of the topic are subject to review by the Training Program Committee.

Potential applicants should send a letter of interest and curriculum vitae to:

Dr. Jeffry Shaefer
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Massachusetts General Hospital
165 Cambridge Street - CPZ 401
Boston, MA 02114