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University of Pittsburgh    
2023-2024 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
  Jun 14, 2024
2023-2024 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog

General Practice Residency

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Program Description

The General Practice Residency (GPR) Program, sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), offers a one-year program that provides residents with postdoctoral clinical and didactic experiences. Based in the UPMC Montefiore Dental Center on the UPMC Presbyterian/Shadyside Campus, the program enrolls a combined total of three (3) residents each year. Residents completing the GPR earn a Certificate of Training.

Program Philosophy

Guided by the philosophy that oral health is an integral and interactive aspect of total health, residents engage in approximately nine months of comprehensive dental care.  The remaining three months are spent on rotations in anesthesia, emergency medicine, internal medicine, and oral and maxillofacial surgery.

Curriculum and Content

In addition to intensive exposure to hospital-based dentistry, the program provides clinical and didactic training across a range of dental specialties, including endodontics, periodontics, implant dentistry, prosthodontics, oral and maxillofacial surgery, oral pathology/oral medicine, head and neck oncology patients, transplant and cardiothoracic surgery patients  and treating patients with complex medical histories. Instruction is also provided in ancillary topics pertinent to dental practice, such as patient evaluation and physical examination, emergency medical care, treatment of traumatic dental injuries, inpatient care and hospital organization, and a multitude of other medical and dental subjects.

In addition to the delivery of clinical care in the UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside Dental Center and Hospital, the residents will rotate through the UPMC Mercy Hospital Emergency Department, Catholic Charities of Pittsburgh Free Care Dental Center and The University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine Interdisciplinary Implant Center.

Journal Club, treatment planning conferences, resident portfolios and off-site local and national dental meetings are also part of the program content.

Residents will be required to provide 24-hour, on-call emergency services as scheduled by the residency director. Short-range and long-range pagers will be provided to each resident. Residents are not often required to remain in-house, but usually take call from home.

Goals and Objectives of the Program

The General Practice Dental Residency Program is designed to provide training beyond the level of pre-doctoral education in oral health care, using applied basic and behavioral sciences.  Education in this program is based on the concept that oral health is an integral and interactive part of total health.  The program is designed to expand the scope and depth of the residents’ knowledge and skills to enable them to provide comprehensive oral health care to a wide range of population groups.  The goals of this program are derived from the Commission on Dental Accreditation’s (CODA) Standards for Advanced Education Programs in General Practice Residency.

Specific to the UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside Dental Center General Practice Residency Program, the program will prepare each resident to:

  • Triage and treat a variety of emergency dental conditions
  • Plan and provide multidisciplinary comprehensive oral health care using advanced dental treatment modalities
  • Direct and promote disease prevention activities
  • Manage the delivery of oral health care to patients with complex histories
  • Provide consultative evaluations and treatments of patients admitted within the UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside hospital system who are referred to our service
    • Surgical (Cardiothoracic, Orthopedic, etc) clearance
    • Transplant clearance
    • Medical service and ICU patients
    • Trauma patients
  • Apply concepts of patient and practice management and quality improvement that are responsive to a dynamic health care environment
  • Function effectively within interdisciplinary health care teams
  • Apply scientific principles to learning and oral healthcare
    •Critical thinking
    • Evidence/outcomes-based clinical decision making
    • Use of technology-based information retrieval systems
  • Utilize the values of professional ethics, life-long learning, patient centered care, adaptability and acceptance of cultural diversity in professional practice
  • Understand the needs of communities at large and engage in community service

Supervision and Progressive Responsibility

The UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside Dental Center is a resident-driven clinic. Residents must be supervised either directly or indirectly, with direct supervision immediately available (i.e. attending dentist is in the hospital or other site of care and is immediately available to provide direct supervision). Much of the learning process and the development of progressive responsibility is based on teaching by example under supervision. Supervision and close observation provide the ability of the program director to ascertain when a resident is ready and able to assume progressive autonomy and responsibility. Each resident must know the limits of their scope of authority and the circumstances under which they are permitted to act with conditional independence as well as their skill set and experience. Attending doctors always maintain professionalism within this relationship and will encourage residents to practice with increasing autonomy while freely seeking guidance from the attending at any time the resident believes it to be helpful to the care of the patient. This relationship is designed to be reciprocal and fundamental to the residents’ successful progression.

Application Process

Those interested in making application to the program may do so through the American Dental Education Association’s Postdoctoral Application Support Service (PASS).  This program participates in the National Dental Match.

For additional information about the application process, please contact

GPR Coordinator, UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside Hospital
OMFS/GPR Dental Residency Programs

Application Deadline

October 15 of each year

Benefits, Stipend, Tuition & Fees

While in the program, residents receive UPMC Health System’s postgraduate trainee stipend. 

Benefits include 10 days (80 hours) paid time off, 3 days (24 hours) of paid time off for job-search-related activities, healthcare insurance for the trainee and dependents. The option is also offered for inclusion in 401K, healthcare spending account, dependent care savings accounts and other modest benefits.


Research is encouraged and supported, but not a formal part of the program.

If you would like to make an appointment, or have a question about your treatment here, please contact our patient care coordinators at 412-648-6730.

If you are a dentist or physician who would like to refer a patient to the UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside Dental Center, please call 412-648-6328 or fax the referral to 412-648-6505.

stgraduate trainee stipend and benefits package. Those interested in making application to the program may do so through the American Dental Education Association’s Postdoctoral Application Support Service (PASS)

For additional information, please visit


The general practice dental residency program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at 312-440-4653, or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL, 60611. The Commission’s web address is

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