Scripps Oral Pathology 

2024 Annual Conference

Saturday, October 26, 2024

8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Hilton Del Mar, CA 

15575 Jimmy Durante Blvd, Del Mar, CA 92014

(Attendance will be limited)

8 CE Units

California Dental Board

54,850 Diagnosed Oral/Oropharyngeal Cancer

 11,450 will die as a result (1.24 deaths/hour)

68% 5-year survival (higher than other routine cancers)

*American Cancer Society – “Cancer Facts and Figures 2023”

These statistics are mostly a result of late diagnosis.  Death from ORAL CANCER is preventable if it is diagnosed early.  As practitioners and guardians of our patient’s oral health, it is our responsibility to help prevent our patients from becoming part of these devastating statistics.

Course Description

This is a 8 hour CE course designed to be a review and discussion of common oral cancer lesions found in our clinical practices.  The focus is to expose general dentist, dental specialist, and medical colleagues to a wide variety of head and neck conditions while focusing on the more commonly occurring disease processes that involve the oral cavity and craniofacial bones. Diagnostic mimickers and clinical pathology pitfalls encountered in patient management will also be discussed.

Course Objectives

At the completion of the course, participants should have a strong understanding of the principles of oral disease, oral cancer, and current trends in oral and maxillofacial pathology.  The participants should understand the importance of a thorough examination and be able to form a reasonable differential diagnosis based on the clinical findings.  The clinician should then be able to contribute in the case management of the patient and enhance delivery of appropriate primary oral health care.


7:00 – 8:00



   8:00 – 8:15
Curtis Chan, DDS – Co-Owner
   8:15 – 9:45
“Developing A Differential Diagnosis & Case Review”
Gretchen Folk, DDS, MS – Lab Director
   9:45 – 10:00
   10:00 – 10:15
   10:15 – 12:00
“Common Oral Lesions and Lesions of Clinical Significance”
Lee Slater, DDS, MS – Staff Pathologist
   12:00 – 1:00
   1:00 – 1:15
Afternoon Announcements
   1:15 – 2:45
“Selected Odontogenic Lesions” 
 Brenda Nelson, DDS, MS – Staff Pathologist
   2:45 – 3:00
   3:00 – 4:30
“Clinician’s Guide to Oral Diagnosis and Management of Worrisome Oral Lesions”
Sahar Mirfarsi, DDS – Guest Speaker 
   4:30 – 5:00
Q & A, Closing
 Curtis Chan, DDS – Co-Owner


Dr. Gretchen Folk, DDS, MS – Laboratory Director

Dr. Folk received her DDS from the University of Washington. She completed her Oral Pathology residency training at the Naval Dental School in Bethesda, MD and the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. Upon graduation, she also received a master’s degree in Oral Biology from George Washington University. Gretchen then joined the pathology department at the Naval Medical Center San Diego, where she also served as Department Head of Anatomic Pathology. Dr. Folk has contributed to the head and neck pathology, ENT and oral surgery literature. She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology and a Fellow of the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology. Dr. Folk has been a staff pathologist at Scripps Oral Pathology Service since 2006 and is currently the laboratory director.  

Dr. Brenda Nelson, DDS, MS – Staff Pathologist

Dr. Nelson received her DDS from the University of Minnesota in 1995 and completed an Advanced Education in General Dentistry at Great Lakes Naval Base. As a Naval Officer, she has been stationed in many locations throughout the world. In 2002 she completed her training in Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology in Bethesda, MD, and awarded a master’s degree from The George Washington University. In 2003 she completed a Fellowship in ENT and Endocrine pathology and joined the faculty of the Naval Post Graduate Dental School and The George Washington University. In 2007 Dr. Nelson moved to San Diego and was faculty and staff at the Naval Medical Center for 15 years. She is the author of many journals and text book publications, including the recently released third edition of Diagnostic Pathology: Head and Neck. She is a contributor to the World Health Organization’s recent edition of Head and Neck Tumors and Pediatric Pathology. She is Editor-in-Chief of the Springer journal Head and Neck Pathology, a journal that has over 200,000 international downloads annually. Dr. Nelson is a Diplomate of the American Board of Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology, Fellow of the Academy of Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology and a member of Head and Neck Society of North America

Lee Slater, DDS, MSDr. Lee Slater, DDS, MS – Staff Pathologist

Dr. Slater graduated from UCLA School of Dentistry in 1975.  He received his master’s degree in Oral Pathology from Indiana University in 1982.  During his career in the US Air Force, he served as a staff pathologist in the Department of Oral Pathology at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington DC for 7 years.  Dr. Slater has been a staff oral pathologist at Scripps Oral Pathology Service in San Diego since 2000.  He has had a relationship with the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at Loma Linda University School of Dentistry for 20 years. 

Dr. Sahar Mirfarsi, DDS

Dr. Sahar Mirfarsi, DDS – Guest Speaker, Diplomate American Board of Oral Medicine

Dr. Sahar Mirfarsi received her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree (DDS) from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). She completed her General Practice Residency (GPR) program at the VA in San Francisco. Besides private practice, she has served as an Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor at Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC and a lecturer at UCLA in the Department of Oral Medicine and Orofacial Pain. She completed her Oral Medicine Residency at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine (UPENN). She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Medicine. She is currently a full-time clinician and academician at the Western University of Health Sciences, College of Dental Medicine. Dr. Mirfarsi’s clinical expertise includes diagnosing and managing oral mucosal disorders, salivary gland dysfunction, orofacial pain, temporomandibular disorders, and oral complications related to chemoradiotherapy.

Course Credits

8 Units, Dental Board Of California

Course Fee

Breakfast, Snack included

Doctors – $575     Hygienist/Staff – $225 

Refund Policy:  A full refund of the paid course fee can be requested up to 1 week prior to the course date. (10/19/2024)

Venue Info

The Hilton Del Mar is a 20 min. drive north from the San Diego International Airport (SAN) on Interstate 5. It is conveniently across the street from the famous Del Mar Race Track and the San Diego Fairgrounds. It is located just 2 miles from Del Mar and Solana Beach shorelines.  There is upscale shopping in the immediate area for the shoppers.  October temperatures are very mild ranging in the 60-70 degrees during the day.  There is easy access to many of San Diego’s attractions and culinary spots:

 – Sea World – 20 min. drive
 – San Diego Zoo – 2o min. drive
 – San Diego Zoo/Safari Park – 30 min. drive
 – Balboa Park Museum/Science Center – 20 min. drive
 – Lego Land – 15 min. drive
 – Wine Country – 45 min. drive


Hilton Del Mar, CA. – 15575 Jimmy Durante Blvd, Del Mar, CA  92014

Meeting Room Rate:  $249 Standard Room (1 King or 2 Queens)

                                         (if booked by 9/26/2024)

Room Reservation Tel#: 858-764-6043, Ask for Paulina Rivera