Mary Klingensmith, MD, Vice Chair for Education, shares the training experience you can expect in the Department of Surgery.

While the initial years of training are crucial in building the surgical knowledge foundation, it is also important to begin plastic surgery training concurrently. 

PGY1: The first year of training includes 1-2 months of plastic surgery and 10-11 months of general surgery rotations that provide a solid basis for surgical technique and patient management. 

● PGY2: The 2nd year of training consists of three months of subspecialties (anesthesia, orthopedic hand surgery, oral-maxillofacial surgery) with the remainder of the year with us on plastic surgery. 

● PGY3: The third year of surgical training is primarily plastic surgery rotations during which residents will learn to manage emergency room consults, develop perioperative plans, and gain surgical skills specific to the practice of plastic surgery. They also complete two other subspecialties: oculoplastics and surgical dermatology. 

PGY4-6: The final three years involve full-time plastic surgery training that includes the full range of plastic and reconstructive surgery, advanced training in microsurgery, hand surgery, peripheral nerve and brachial plexus surgery, aesthetic surgery, pediatric plastic surgery, lymphedema surgery, gender affirmation surgery, craniofacial surgery and all aspects of flap reconstruction. Our training paradigm is an apprenticeship approach. Residents spend 1 to 4 months on each rotation. On most rotations, residents are assigned to two attending physicians with a similar focus. These include breast and body reconstruction, advanced microsurgical reconstruction, hand surgery, pediatric plastic surgery, and a rotation at an affiliated community hospital that includes training in aesthetics and cosmetic surgery. See peripheral nerve and cosmetic surgery websites. 

● Chief resident years: Residents will rotate through three resident-run clinics: hand surgery, reconstructive surgery and cosmetic surgery. Although these clinics are overseen by faculty, residents are responsible for preoperative planning, operative management and postoperative follow-up. An independent practitioner presentation at Grand Rounds is part of the hand and reconstructive rotations. Residents rotate through all of these clinics in years 4-6 to provide continuity of care and learning. 

Each year, beginning as a PGY1, residents are required to take the written Plastic Surgery In-Service examination. PGY4-6 residents will participate in annual mock-oral examinations followed by an in-depth evaluation with division faculty. 

Our residents have a rich, diverse, and high-volume operative experience, preparing them well for the fellowship or practice of their choosing.