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: Residents spend 1-2 months on plastic surgery and 10-11 months on general surgery rotations that provide a solid basis for surgical techniques and patient management. All clinical experience in the required ABPS Content Areas outlined below are achieved during PGY1 with General Surgery:

Abdominal surgery
Oncologic/Breast surgery
Pediatric surgery
Surgical critical care
Surgical oncology (non-breast)
Transplant
Trauma management
Vascular surgery
Acute Burn

● PGY2: Residents achieve the required ABPS Sub-Specialty Content Areas clinical training in anesthesia, orthopedic hand surgery, and oral-maxillofacial surgery, with the remainder of the year spent with plastic surgery. 

● PGY3: The residents’ training focuses primarily on plastic surgery during the 3rd year while learning to manage emergency room consults, develop perioperative plans, and gain surgical skills specific to the practice of plastic surgery. They also achieve clinical training in the remaining two ABPS Sub-Specialty Content Areas: 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 the cosmetic surgery clinic. Although this clinic is overseen by faculty, residents are responsible for preoperative planning, operative management and postoperative follow-up. 

Each year, beginning as a PGY1, residents are required to take the written ASPS Plastic Surgery In-Service Examination in March. PGY4-6 residents will participate in mock-oral examinations twice per academic year, 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.