A Message from the Director

Welcome to the Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) Department of Dentistry! Our general practice residency dates back to the early 20th century, long before the American Dental Association formally accredited postgraduate training programs. Not in any way a fifth year of dental school, the general practice residency at ECMC strongly encourages problem solving and independent decision making. At the same time, our program provides ample supervision and guidance by general dentists and specialists to assure feedback and professional growth.

Our attending dentists and auxiliary staff have extensive experience in helping to prepare residents to advance to the next level of their dental careers. Over 12,000 patient visits per year afford the motivated dental resident abundant opportunities to become a confident and competent general practitioner. Residents work with patients in a wide range of ages and medical conditions that may directly impact on their dental care.

ECMC offers experience in special needs dentistry-the management and oral care of individuals with developmental disabilities, with advanced health conditions such as cardiac, behavioral, or compromised immune systems (such as transplant patients) or geriatric patients with complicating conditions. ECMC residents become very confident and competent treating patients with medical co-morbidities and their expertise becomes a resource for area practitioners.

Eight positions will be available on July 1, 2011, with one of the
positions open to a qualified second year resident. The current stipend is approximately $44,000 ($44,500 for a second year
resident) and health insurance is provided. Three weeks of leave time is also provided, subject to approval by the Program Director. The General Practice Residency Program is fully accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA).

I strongly encourage you to investigate the opportunities for the invaluable educational experience available at the Erie County Medical Center Department of Dentistry. I also invite you to contact me via e-mail at or by telephone at (716) 898-3351 if you have any questions about our residency.

Catherine M. Gogan, D.D.S.
Director of Dentistry and GPR Director
Erie County Medical Center

General Information

The Erie County Medical Center, a Level I Trauma Center in Buffalo, NY, is the sponsor of the general practice residency in dentistry accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. Each year, up to eight residents are accepted into the 12-month program, with one position available in an optional second year.

Mission Statement

The mission of the General Practice Residency at the Erie County Medical Center is to provide training for the graduate dentist in clinical, didactic, and hospital-based dentistry, beyond the experience which is provided through the dental school curriculum. The program will prepare residents to provide oral health care for patients with diverse needs, including those with complex medical and socio-economic histories.

Through the delivery of comprehensive oral health care, residents will receive a broad experience in various specialty areas of dentistry, enabling them to be competent and confident primary care dentists in their future practice careers.

The general practice resident will also receive the training necessary to function as a member of the health care team through his/her experiences in the hospital setting. The resident will be able to assess and provide oral health care for the non-ambulatory patient through communication with physicians and other hospital-based staff, and through training in hospital protocols and the use of hospital-based services.

The dental attending staff engages in direct supervision of residents and provides guidance in treatment planning and the use of techniques and materials not experienced in the dental school setting. The attending staff also participates in formal evaluation of the residents and provides feedback about the residents’ skills and judgment. The attending staff will set a standard for the highest possible quality comprehensive care, demonstrate the role of the general dentist in the hospital setting, and function as a mentor as the resident works toward setting and achieving his/her dental career goals.

Dental auxiliary staff supports the mission of the program by interacting with the residents in a manner that inspires confidence from patients. Staff members teach residents appropriate utilization of the complete dental team to achieve the goal of competent, confident, efficient oral health care.

Overall Program Goals and Objectives

The purpose of the residency is to provide a year of clinical practice and didactic training in one of the most advanced medical facilities in the region. Our newly renovated dental clinic is an integral part of the ambulatory care unit of Erie County Medical Center, a 500-bed regional trauma center, and the training program draws from all resources of the hospital. State-of-the-art equipment includes an electronic dental record, digital radiography and digital intraoral photography. All instruction is supervised by faculty members with hospital or specialty credentials. The goals of the General Practice Residency program at ECMC are to:

Clinical Assignments

General practice residents at the Erie County Medical Center spend the majority of their time providing direct patient care in the Department of Dentistry. The foundation of this patient care is comprehensive in nature and each resident has his/her own family of patients who remains with him/her throughout the training program for most, if not all, of their dental care needs. The scheduling of these patients follows a private practice model.

When not assigned to comprehensive care dentistry, the resident in the Department of Dentistry will be scheduled to treat patients who have requested an urgent or episodic appointment. This is frequently where the resident learns to diagnose, manage, and treat patients with complex histories or special needs.

Clinical assignments outside the Department of Dentistry include those in the Departments of Anesthesiology, Family Medicine, and Emergency Medicine. The resident on anesthesiology rotation will spend approximately 100 hours in the operating room under the direction of the Department of Anesthesiology. The general practice resident will learn to assess anesthesia risk, understand the rationale for use of various pharmacological agents administered for anesthesia, recognize the influence of significant medical history on planned treatment, and be able to assess the patient’s peri-and post-operative status.

Residents assigned to Family Medicine will spend one week working with a team of physicians in the Department of Family Medicine. Through this assignment, residents observe and participate in the process of medical history acquisition, medical risk assessment, the ordering and interpretation of clinical laboratory studies, physical examination, and consultation with physicians and other members of the health care team in order to understand the relationship between oral and systemic health.

As part of an assignment in the Emergency Department at ECMC, residents receive training and experience in assessing oral and maxillofacial trauma and acute oral infection, as well as experience in the management of these conditions.

Competencies and Proficiencies

1. Patient assessment and diagnosis - train to proficiency

2. Planning and providing multidisciplinary comprehensive care-train to competency

3. Obtaining informed consent - train to proficiency

4. Promoting oral and systemic health and disease prevention - train to proficiency

5. Sedation, pain and anxiety control - train to foundational experiences (novice), but beyond level of DDS/DMD training

6. Restoration of teeth - train to proficiency

7. Replacement of teeth using fixed prostheses - train to competency

8. Replacement of teeth using complete removable prostheses - train to competency

9. Replacement of teeth using partial removable prostheses - train to competency

10. Periodontal therapy - train to competency

11. Pulpal therapy - train to competency

12. Oral surgery, hard and soft tissue - train to proficiency

13. Treatment of medical and dental emergencies - train to competency

14. Medical risk assessment - train to competency

15. Request and provide consultations - train to proficiency

Training in Specialty Areas

While the faculty at the ECMC General Practice Residency are primarily general practitioners, residents receive didactic and/or clinical training from faculty with specialty or advanced training in the following areas:

Didactic Program

One of the principle sources of didactic training for the ECMC GPR is participation in the city-wide Residents’ Conference. This program, sponsored by the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, is a cooperative year-long course in which all GPR and AEGD residents from Buffalo-area programs participate.

The topics presented provide training and information essential to both types of post-doctoral general dental education noted above. Current literature reviews and scientific support are emphasized in areas including but not limited to dental implantology, fixed and removable prosthodontics, periodontal therapy, endodontic therapy, oral surgery, evaluation and treatment of dental emergencies, pain and anxiety control utilizing both behavioral and pharmacologic techniques, oral mucosal diseases, medical emergencies, and occlusal disorders.

In addition to the weekly Residents’ Conference, the following sessions also provide didactic training:

Miscellaneous Program Information

Program Benefits

While the general practice residency is sponsored solely by the Erie County Medical Center, salary and benefits are administered through University Dental Resident Services (UDRS) at the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Graduate Medical and Dental Education. Current benefits can be reviewed on this website:

Application Process

We welcome your application to our program. There is no minimum GPA for consideration, but successful candidates are able to demonstrate solid clinical and interpersonal skills. To be eligible for the ECMC General Practice Residency, you must have graduated from a U.S. or Canadian dental school accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). The Erie County Medical Center is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate as to gender, race, or ethnic background.

Those considering the ECMC GPR program are strongly encouraged to visit our facilities and meet current residents and staff members to fully appreciate the opportunities available.

The ECMC GPR program participates in the PASS application service. The deadline for receipt of applications at the ECMC is November 15. When applications are received, each is reviewed by the Resident Selection Committee of program faculty; successful applicants will be invited for an on-site interview. Personal interviews are required as part of the application process. The interview visit enables the applicant to further view of the hospital and its resources while providing the faculty an opportunity to assess the individual attributes and aspirations of the applicant. After the interview, the Selection Committee will meet again to determine if the applicant will be offered a position in the program.

Since ECMC does not participate in the National Matching Service at this time, a ranking of applicants by the Selection Committee is created based on objective data (GPA, transcripts), letters of recommendation, the application essay, and the interview. Successful applicants are notified by mail and must respond by mail to accept their position in the program. Again, while not a Match program participant, ECMC honors the outcome and intent of the Match and will not enroll a dentist who has been matched to a participating program.

Optional Second Year

The ECMC Department of Dentistry is pleased to offer an optional second year of general practice residency training to those who have successfully completed a one-year program. Along with demonstrating competency or proficiency in the 15 areas noted in the first year program, the second year resident is also expected to achieve competency or proficiency in the following areas:

1. Management of advanced special needs/medically compromised patients - train to proficiency

2. Clinical supervision/education - train to competency

3. Operating room dentistry - train to proficiency

4. Practice administration - train to competency

5. Clinical research - train to competency

Residency at ECMC

While every general dental residency program is different, the ECMC program is distinguished by its focus on general, preventive, and restorative dentistry, while providing a concentration in oral surgery/exodontia. Every program is also unique in its opportunity to work with certain seasoned professionals. At ECMC, the attending dentists are highly experienced practitioners who strive to create a comfortable professional environment for residents to practice what they’ve learned while discovering new techniques and methodologies to address immediate problems.

Residents also assist the Center’s medical doctors with internal patients, enabling each resident to learn first hand the various aspects of each department within the hospital. Every patient has a different set of problems, which the resident is encouraged to solve and to relieve patient pain, whenever necessary. In addition to patient treatment, residents attend continuing education classes and hear guest speakers who address current developments and trends in the profession.

Many of our patients have suffered years of dental neglect. Thus, when patients present with a severe toothache or an abscess, residents take advantage of that opportunity to suggest the importance of dental treatment to their overall health. Often these patients require very complicated treatment plans involving everything from extractions to fillings to dentures. Residents work together with the attending dentists, go over the x-rays and come up with a plan together while discussing the treatment options with the patient.

This residency provides a thorough understanding of treating emergency, disabled, and geriatric patients. Residents may also treat patients with mental disabilities, seizure disorders, dementia, physical handicaps, or other problems that don’t allow the patient to recline in a dental chair. These procedures take place in the operating room in a surgical environment with general anesthesia.

It is understood that recent graduates from dental school have had minimal training in efficiency and maximizing use of chair time. Patients are scheduled by clerical staff to accommodate this inexperience early on. But in a very short time, ECMC GPRs become much more productive and both comprehensive and urgent patients are scheduled in a manner that most closely emulates the private dental practice

Living and Working in Buffalo

Set on the north end of Lake Erie in the western region of New York State, Buffalo is the state’s second largest city and boasts a wealth of historic and cultural interest. Western New York is home to over two million people and offers outstanding theatres, art galleries, museums, architectural treasures, sports, cultural diversity, and countless opportunities for recreation and enjoyment in its waters, woods, cascades, and canyons. Buffalo is strategically located just across the Niagara River from southern Ontario, Canada, less than two hours from Toronto, and within easy driving distance of Montreal, Quebec City, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston. Affordable housing, a reasonable cost of living, and short commutes provide the opportunity for a fulfilling life minus the fast lane stress.

For more information on Buffalo history, attractions, entertainment, and cultural resources, visit Current information on desirable housing for dental residents is available through the ECMC Department of Dentistry.

Contact Info

Dental Center
Suite 150
462 Grider Street
Buffalo, NY 14215
8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

General Information:
(716) 898-3189

Emergency/After Hours:
(716) 898-3000

(716) 898-3351
E-mail the Director