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hamilton_ss

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Hey guys, I'm a current plastic surgery resident in the US. I thought it might be nice to start this thread in an attempt to answer any questions applicants may have as I know information can sometimes be difficult to come by.

I'm happy to answer any questions pertaining to the application process, interview trail, pro/cons of programs (though I certainly don't have intimate knowledge of most of them), how to pick programs, fellowships, career tracks, etc. I'm mainly targeting this towards current and near-current applicants. Frankly, most of these questions would be better answered by residents at your current program, but I know it can sometimes be daunting to ask them random questions for fear of bothering them, tipping them off to interests in other programs, etc. Or maybe you don't have a plastics program at your home institution. Whatever the reason, I'm hoping to provide an anonymous resource.

With that said, I will not reveal personal information about myself except that I am a junior resident at an integrated plastics program in the US. I am busy, but I'll try and check this thread most evenings.

Ask away...
 
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clonoGnic

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Some basic q's: What other fields were you considering, and why IP? When did you decide? Feelings on the job market?
 

hamilton_ss

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Some basic q's: What other fields were you considering, and why IP? When did you decide? Feelings on the job market?

I pretty much only considered surgical specialties from the get go. I considered neurosurg for a period of time, but found the patient population too depressing. I also wasn't particularly interested in the research and anatomy. I landed on plastics for several reasons. First, it offers great variety - craniofacial and hand surgery are two vastly different fields, but you become well versed in each through a plastics residency. In some ways, it's more challenging given the scope of practice. I liked the fact that procedures tend to be "wide open" with great anatomy exposure, as opposed to the shift in most fields towards minimally invasive, laparoscopic, etc. I also found the research aspect of plastics interesting, particularly the 3D printing and immunology/VCA developments.

As for job market - I'm not currently worried. Everyone in my program gets a job and/or fellowship. Academic jobs are obviously much more difficult to come by (in any specialty), but at least once a week we get emails sent to us looking for faculty positions at various institutions. It's also nice to know that, in the worst case situation, you strike it out on your own and make of it what you can. This is a huge safety net that most other specialties don't offer. That said, it's still somewhat far off in the horizon, and I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. To maximize my chances I went to the program that I think will optimize my chance of getting the job I want.
 

clonoGnic

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If no one else will jump in...

How hard did you work in med school? How hard do you work now? (purposefully vague)
 

tvelocity514

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Can you give any advice for the people without a home program please. If they have decent research and 240+ boards, is it a good chance you can still match with doing 3 Aways (let's assume no AOA just in case) and hopefully getting those letters of Rec? Or do you think you would have to do a year of research to match?

Thanks for taking the time to do this
 

hamilton_ss

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Can you give any advice for the people without a home program please. If they have decent research and 240+ boards, is it a good chance you can still match with doing 3 Aways (let's assume no AOA just in case) and hopefully getting those letters of Rec? Or do you think you would have to do a year of research to match?

Thanks for taking the time to do this
Not having a home program certainly puts you at a disadvantage. With that said, good number/scores and doing well on your aways can easily overcome this. You just need to get good letters (which can unfortunately be difficult at some aways as they may only do generic group letters...). What you will miss out on is the behind the scenes phone calls from your mentor to other programs. But plenty of people with plastics programs don't get those perks anyways (and I think it is technically against NRMP rules...).

Research always helps, but an entire year off may not be necessary if you were fairly productive and have a good letter from the PI.

Not having a home program may also disadvantage you minimally at interviews, only because a common question/small talk is, "So how is Dr XXX doing these days?" Overall, it is what it is, and, unfortunately, there;s nothing you can do about it. You may miss out on some small fringe benefits and impactful LORs are harder to come by, but not having a plastics program can also provide you with a nice little narrative on how/why you're interested in the field - another VERY common interview question.
 
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giraffesuptop

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Hey guys, I'm a current plastic surgery resident in the US. I thought it might be nice to start this thread in an attempt to answer any questions applicants may have as I know information can sometimes be difficult to come by.

I'm happy to answer any questions pertaining to the application process, interview trail, pro/cons of programs (though I certainly don't have intimate knowledge of most of them), how to pick programs, fellowships, career tracks, etc. I'm mainly targeting this towards current and near-current applicants. Frankly, most of these questions would be better answered by residents at your current program, but I know it can sometimes be daunting to ask them random questions for fear of bothering them, tipping them off to interests in other programs, etc. Or maybe you don't have a plastics program at your home institution. Whatever the reason, I'm hoping to provide an anonymous resource.

With that said, I will not reveal personal information about myself except that I am a junior resident at an integrated plastics program in the US. I am busy, but I'll try and check this thread most evenings.

Ask away...


a plastics attending at my school said that most PP plastic surgeons avoid recon cases altogether and only do cosmetic cases. This sounds like PP plastic surgeons spend 6 years learning many surgeries that will seldom or never use in their practice. Do you agree and your thoughts on this?
What are the most common surgeries in plastics?
Do many plastics attendings choose to be employed by an HMO, hospital, or whatever? If so, what type of cases do attendings in this employment model mostly see?
 

PlasticSurgMD

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a plastics attending at my school said that most PP plastic surgeons avoid recon cases altogether and only do cosmetic cases. This sounds like PP plastic surgeons spend 6 years learning many surgeries that will seldom or never use in their practice. Do you agree and your thoughts on this?
What are the most common surgeries in plastics?
Do many plastics attendings choose to be employed by an HMO, hospital, or whatever? If so, what type of cases do attendings in this employment model mostly see?


Since there is no answer I will also try and help out with this thread from time to time. As with the original poster, I'm currently a PRS resident/fellow whatever you want to call it. I'm a PGY6 in an independent program. Did undergrad and med school at large public institutions and did Gen Surg at a large well thought of program.

1. Your attending states PP PRS surgeons only do cosmetic cases. FALSE. I think this is a largely unfair generalization as I know first hand having an uncle who is a PP PRS surgeon who specializes in breast recon. There are multiple issues at play here that must be taken in context. Public perception of the glamorous posh lifestyle of Dr. 90210's is that all PP guys are staring at themselves in the mirror while doing crunches and figuring out how to cut their scrub sleeves just right to show of their bi's/tri's. Are there some guys like this yes, are all PP guys like this no. Another issue is what type of PRS practice you want to have as there are so many options. Is it nice to have a cash only cosmetic practice that doesn't have to deal with insurance or rounding on inpatients, sure if that's what fulfills you. Can you be new out into practice and survive solo by only taking cosmetic cases, likely not. So it also depends on where you are in your career and if you do good work to gain repeat word of mouth referrals. I think another issue is that some academic attendings dislike the PP guys who don't have to deal with the non-insured, worst of the worst cases that have immense odds/co-morbidities stacked against them before the operation even starts, pressures from the chairman/chief/institution to publish and teach and be productive at the same time. There also seems to be a generalization made by PP guys that the academic guys have it so good because they just have all the residents/fellows do their work for them. As you can see these are all generalizations that are just that, generalization that fit the mold depending on your vantage point.

2. You state that PP guys spend a 6 years learning surgeries they will never use in their practice. Well some spend a whole lot more than that if you do 5 years of Gen Surg, 2 years of research in your Gen Surg residency, 3 years of PRS, and an added 1 year hand/Craniofacial/aesthetic/micro fellowship. Just because you don't do 6 years of mommy makeovers and breast augs and face lifts doesn't mean you've wasted your training on surgeries you won't perform. You have to learn how to handle yourself in the OR, your role as a leader of a large surgical team and the give/take balance needed to be perfected with that responsibility, how to tie square knots (I see PGY3's up to chiefs who still don't appreciate perfecting this most simple of topics in surgery), how to operate efficiently, how to move through clinic efficiently, and how to recognize when something isn't going as expected. There are many things that translate into another, as an example I think my laparoscopic experience in gen Surg translated into making my micro learning curve more shallow. I would also extend that argument to state that if you can reconstruct a face then your learning curve to perform a face lift gets more shallow also. If you spend 6 years reconstructing a breast then an aug shouldn't be too difficult to perform as long as you learn the pitfalls of the specific operation and how to avoid them and fix the complications. The anatomy is the anatomy and it takes time to learn the anatomy and all its variations for so many parts of the human body. Experiences from different surgical fields can be called upon in the OR to borrow ways to think on your feet and solve problems in real time.

3. What is the most common procedure, well this depends on your practice. Like I stated earlier, for my uncle this would be implant based breast recon. For some this would likely be liposuction, for some this could be migraine trigger point releases, it's all relative.

4. As for HMO vs PPO vs academic vs becoming a surgical "hospitalist" I have no perspective and can't answer this. The insurance world/environment is constantly changing and worrying about this as a medical student is like stressing over global warming. The only constant is change and you just have to be adaptable to stay relevant. Don't plan your life based on the current climate of insurance or you will likely be sorely disappointed. Set a goal to do in medicine what you truly enjoy, that way you enjoy getting up every morning and the rest will fall into place.

Hope that helps
 
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MediCane2006

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2. You state that PP guys spend a 6 years learning surgeries they will never use in their practice. Well some spend a whole lot more than that if you do 5 years of Gen Surg, 2 years of research in your Gen Surg residency, 3 years of PRS, and an added 1 year hand/Craniofacial/aesthetic/micro fellowship. Just because you don't do 6 years of mommy makeovers and breast augs and face lifts doesn't mean you've wasted your training on surgeries you won't perform. You have to learn how to handle yourself in the OR, your role as a leader of a large surgical team and the give/take balance needed to be perfected with that responsibility, how to tie square knots (I see PGY3's up to chiefs who still don't appreciate perfecting this most simple of topics in surgery), how to operate efficiently, how to move through clinic efficiently, and how to recognize when something isn't going as expected. There are many things that translate into another, as an example I think my laparoscopic experience in gen Surg translated into making my micro learning curve more shallow. I would also extend that argument to state that if you can reconstruct a face then your learning curve to perform a face lift gets more shallow also. If you spend 6 years reconstructing a breast then an aug shouldn't be too difficult to perform as long as you learn the pitfalls of the specific operation and how to avoid them and fix the complications. The anatomy is the anatomy and it takes time to learn the anatomy and all its variations for so many parts of the human body. Experiences from different surgical fields can be called upon in the OR to borrow ways to think on your feet and solve problems in real time.

Hope that helps
This is an overall outstanding post and I quoted what I think is the best part. DO NOT knock the extra time spent in residency in gen surg/ENT/whatever. As someone who did gen surg prior to plastics, I came in to plastics with a good understanding of how to run a service, being VERY comfortable taking care of sick patients, having strong fundamental skills in the OR (working in a small space, tying in a deep hole, tissue handling, laparoscopic suturing - which is basically micro) and this was commented on by all my attendings. Currently I'm in a fellowship where the prior fellow was an integrated resident, and the comments from my attendings have universally indicated that while he may have been more "book-smart" (which no one will accuse me of) I am much more sophisticated in terms of surgical skill.

Bottom line, extra training in "unrelated" stuff is not a bad thing
 
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Rifampicin

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Thanks for creating this thread! I have plenty of questions to ask about PRS.

1. I've always been under the impression that all surgical subspecialties are practically defined by certain anatomical area (e.g. craniofacial, hand, breast recon, etc. for PRS). However, I've heard about "head-to-toe" reconstruction in plastics. Is there such a thing? What do these guys do?

2. Do general surgery-trained (or HN/ENT-trained) plastic surgeons also perform cancer resections?

3. In the treatment of craniofacial defects (e.g. craniosynostosis, Apert's, Crouzon's), what do craniofacial surgeons do and what do paediatric neurosurgeon do? Are microvascular, nerve grafting and other micro stuffs common in craniofacial surgery?
 

JNG41687

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What would be your advice to a MS3 with a 249 step I, 1 none related publication, and a high pass in surgery who figured out they want to do plastic surgery late in the game?
 

PlasticSurgMD

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I am probably just a bit jaded, but maybe we should change this thread title to "Ask a Plastics Resident (Almost) Anything" @hamilton_ss because it will kill my soul a little bit at a time if this thread fills with just people offering up their scores/research and asking what else they can do. I feel like the answers to these types of questions have been answered so many times over. I mean what can you do besides scoring higher on Step 2 and getting a plastics article published, and learning to play saxophone on your own just for fun, or obtaining compromising photos of a program director (joke guys, I don't wanna give any ultra-gunners any ideas)? The only advice I will offer up for these types of questions is this:
1. Don't tell me or anyone you are trying for plastics with ENT or derm as a backup. You won't make any friends acting like a little punk.
2. Don't give up
3. Work harder than the next guy
4. Be real, don't be a douche, taking people in the match who the residents are likely to mesh well with can win over the dude with 74 publications in nature who already thinks he's a professional and doesn't take criticism well. Along the same lines, don't answer an attending's question or argue with an attending and base your stance on "oh by the way a paper I wrote..."
5. Take time to learn about academic plastic surgery, don't be the close-minded integrated applicant that has no idea what your actual 6 years of hard work and consults will entail. Decubitus ulcer consults, check. Never ending strings of dog bites only after midnight at the local children's hospital, check. Becoming the prince of the pannus, check. Having to redo "simple" wound closures multiple times until you get them right (ones that used to pass with flying colors in Gen Surg), check. Getting consulted repeatedly on non-op nasal bone Fx's at 3am, check. Being called by anyone and everyone at any time of the night because they are not comfortable with something on the face" (i.e. Draining pus on the face), check. Going from knowing anatomy well to knowing well how much you don't know about anatomy, check. Going from keeping up by reading 10-15 pages a night to barely keeping up reading 100-150 pages a night, check. Months at a time spent seeing some of the most unfortunate socially stigmatizing syndromic kids while attempting to start your own family. There are so many I could go on forever, just don't be that oblivious guy/gal. Good luck in your endeavors
 
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Spinietzschon

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Hey guys, I'm a current plastic surgery resident

Ask away...

Hello - posted inquiry thread too but I will repeat here: Mathes 2nd edition 8 volume set vs Neligan 3rd edition 6 volume textook set? The 3rd ed looks condensed and less rigorous but I havent been able to get my hands on one of that later edition and don't know if it has valuable updates either or largely just condensing reading length? Thanks!
 
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MediCane2006

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Thanks for creating this thread! I have plenty of questions to ask about PRS.

1. I've always been under the impression that all surgical subspecialties are practically defined by certain anatomical area (e.g. craniofacial, hand, breast recon, etc. for PRS). However, I've heard about "head-to-toe" reconstruction in plastics. Is there such a thing? What do these guys do?

2. Do general surgery-trained (or HN/ENT-trained) plastic surgeons also perform cancer resections?

3. In the treatment of craniofacial defects (e.g. craniosynostosis, Apert's, Crouzon's), what do craniofacial surgeons do and what do paediatric neurosurgeon do? Are microvascular, nerve grafting and other micro stuffs common in craniofacial surgery?

I'll chime in again...

1. I think some degree of specialization definitely occurs in plastics, especially at academic centers, but the vast majority of plastic surgeons are "head-to-toe" surgeons. That's not to say that every surgeon can do a frontofacial advancement in a syndromic 6 year old on Monday, a bilateral DIEP on Tuesday, followed by a facial reanimation and a lower extremity lymph node transfer, but most plastic surgeons are comfortable operating all over the body when it comes to general reconstruction. Then you kind of find your "niche" that you do well, and try to focus on that, but it doesn't mean you necessarily stop doing general recon, trauma, etc. For example, a guy who specializes in microvascular breast recon is probably also going to be in the ER call pool and get face/hand trauma, decubs, lower extremity recon, etc

2. There are definitely old school surgeons who still do big cancer whacks, node dissections, etc and then do the recon but for the most part they are a dying breed. Apart from skin cancer excisions, plastic surgeons usually work in conjunction with a surgical oncologist on those cases. A big reason for that is referral patterns - most of those cases go through the surgical oncologists first, and you don't want to piss off your referring docs by stealing their cases. Not to mention that if you are doing big cancer resections, you need to be up to date on all the cancer literature, know the medical oncologists, etc and for most plastic surgeons it just isn't worth it.

3. It depends on the specific operation, as well as the individual neurosurgeon and plastic surgeon. For example, let's take a standard fronto-orbital advancement. With one of my attendings the plastics team preps, drapes, opens the scalp, exposes the skull, marks out the bone flap, and then NSG scrubs in, takes off the bone flap, strips the dura off the bandeau, and leaves. We then contour the bandeau and bone flap, plate, and close. With my other attending, we don't even go to the OR until NSG has the skull exposed and we mark the bone flap and bandeau. But to speak in generalities, plastics handles the soft tissue and the bony reconstruction, Neurosurg does all the intracranial stuff.

The answer to your second question depends on what you mean by "common". Certainly you will see more of those at a big academic referral center than at BFE community hospital, but the indications for microsurgery are a lot more limited in peds than adults. I'm a fellow at one of the busiest programs in the country, and 6 months in we've only done a handful of micro cases - lower extremity recon, total palate reconstruction, digit replant, etc. Bottom line is you are probably not going to learn a ton of micro in a craniofacial fellowship, but if you're already reasonably facile after your residency it's a good tool to have in your armamentarium.
 
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MediCane2006

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I am probably just a bit jaded, but maybe we should change this thread title to "Ask a Plastics Resident (Almost) Anything" @hamilton_ss because it will kill my soul a little bit at a time if this thread fills with just people offering up their scores/research and asking what else they can do. I feel like the answers to these types of questions have been answered so many times over. I mean what can you do besides scoring higher on Step 2 and getting a plastics article published, and learning to play saxophone on your own just for fun, or obtaining compromising photos of a program director (joke guys, I don't wanna give any ultra-gunners any ideas)? The only advice I will offer up for these types of questions is this:
1. Don't tell me or anyone you are trying for plastics with ENT or derm as a backup. You won't make any friends acting like a little punk.
2. Don't give up
3. Work harder than the next guy
4. Be real, don't be a douche, taking people in the match who the residents are likely to mesh well with can win over the dude with 74 publications in nature who already thinks he's a professional and doesn't take criticism well. Along the same lines, don't answer an attending's question or argue with an attending and base your stance on "oh by the way a paper I wrote..."
5. Take time to learn about academic plastic surgery, don't be the close-minded integrated applicant that has no idea what your actual 6 years of hard work and consults will entail. Decubitus ulcer consults, check. Never ending strings of dog bites only after midnight at the local children's hospital, check. Becoming the prince of the pannus, check. Having to redo "simple" wound closures multiple times until you get them right (ones that used to pass with flying colors in Gen Surg), check. Getting consulted repeatedly on non-op nasal bone Fx's at 3am, check. Being called by anyone and everyone at any time of the night because they are not comfortable with something on the face" (i.e. Draining pus on the face), check. Going from knowing anatomy well to knowing well how much you don't know about anatomy, check. Going from keeping up by reading 10-15 pages a night to barely keeping up reading 100-150 pages a night, check. Months at a time spent seeing some of the most unfortunate socially stigmatizing syndromic kids while attempting to start your own family. There are so many I could go on forever, just don't be that oblivious guy/gal. Good luck in your endeavors

The next time someone asks me a WAMC question I'm directing them to this post. A+
 
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droliver

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For example, let's take a standard fronto-orbital advancement.

LOL, using that case as an example as a "standard case". It's an extraordinarily small # of plastic surgeons doing that type of case in academics or private practice anymore. People that do that type of surgery are usually 100% pediatric practices these days in most places. In many areas, most maxillofacial surgery cases (particularly adult) are now performed by oral surgeons.
 
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MediCane2006

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LOL, using that case as an example as a "standard case". It's an extraordinarily small # of plastic surgeons doing that type of case in academics or private practice anymore. People that do that type of surgery are usually 100% pediatric practices these days in most places. In many areas, most maxillofacial surgery cases (particularly adult) are now performed by oral surgeons.

Haha fair enough, at my center we do so many of these that it's considered "bread and butter" compared to some of the more complicated craniofacial cases (box osteotomies, monoblocs). However, the question asked was specifically directed to craniofacial surgical treatment of syndromic synostoses cases, for which a FOA is a pretty "standard" operation.
 

droliver

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Haha fair enough, at my center we do so many of these that it's considered "bread and butter" compared to some of the more complicated craniofacial cases (box osteotomies, monoblocs). However, the question asked was specifically directed to craniofacial surgical treatment of syndromic synostoses cases, for which a FOA is a pretty "standard" operation.

I think you'll see quite quickly in practice, that those type of super tertiary cases you do in peds, micro, and hand during residency really are clustered in just a few people's hands afterward (usually by choice). Very few people even really dabble in simpler procedures like cleft lip as the multidisciplinary clinics require you to essentially be predominantly peds focused to make it work financially.
 

MediCane2006

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I think you'll see quite quickly in practice, that those type of super tertiary cases you do in peds, micro, and hand during residency really are clustered in just a few people's hands afterward (usually by choice). Very few people even really dabble in simpler procedures like cleft lip as the multidisciplinary clinics require you to essentially be predominantly peds focused to make it work financially.

Oh no question, which is what's making the job search so stressful right now....
 
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PlasticSurgMD

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Is there any chance of obtaining a rotation in any of the programs as a medical student in order to improve my chance of matching?

If you are applying for integrated PRS spots, I think you'd be in the minority to not do a rotation so yes there is a chance of obtaining a rotation.
 
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Ps: Whats your best advice for a medical student who is at my stage? Thank you so very much!
 

mdphdperson1

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can you describe what characteristics of a residency program I should look? Rank by reputation or other criteria? If I want to do PP cosmetics vs Academic Recon? Is it always best to go to the best program?
 
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PlasticSurgMD

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can you describe what characteristics of a residency program I should look? Rank by reputation or other criteria? If I want to do PP cosmetics vs Academic Recon? Is it always best to go to the best program?

In regards to choosing a program based on whether you want to do private practice vs academics, I would say that either way you're going to have to go through an ACGME approved (if you want to eventually be board certified by the ABPS) "academic" residency/fellowship which is what real academic plastics will be like. If you think you're going to be some cosmetic wonder child straight out of fellowship with people lined up knocking down your door for boob jobs and rhinos then I'd do some self-reflection and see if 6 years of decubitus ulcers and the likes is something you could endure to get to your crystal palace. Also just be sure that the program directors know on your interview day that you are interviewing for Derm also as a backup in-case PRS doesn't work out. Dude it's quite simple, rank the program you enjoy on your interviews and rank the program you see yourself meshing well with the current residents/fellows. No one can create your rank list for you, its too much of a specific/personal thing all the way down to your personal situation/desires/personal characteristics.

I would point you toward these articles and you can refer at the articles they cite for even further reading:


An Objective Scoring System and Simple Mathematical Algorithm for the Plastic Surgery Applicant to Rank Residency Programs Based on Personalized Preferences
Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery:
February 2013 - Volume 131 - Issue 2 - p 314e–315e
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e318278d801
Hammoudeh, Ziyad S. M.D.

Fixing the Match: A Survey of Resident Behaviors
Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery:
September 2013 - Volume 132 - Issue 3 - p 711–719
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e31829ad2bb
Nagarkar, Purushottam A. M.D.; Janis, Jeffrey E. M.D.

So You Want to Be an Evidence-Based Plastic Surgeon? A Lifelong Journey
Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery:
January 2011 - Volume 127 - Issue 1 - pp 467-472
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e318203a2dd
Rohrich, Rod J. M.D.; Eaves, Felmont F. III M.D.

The Plastic Surgery Match
Predicting Success and Improving the Process
Jeffrey R. Claiborne, MD, J. Clayton Crantford, MD, Katrina R. Swett, MS, and Lisa R. David, MD, FACS
Ann Plast Surg 2013;70: 698Y703

Hot Topics in Surgical Education - Association for Academic ...
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct...dgdFsh86jmLEzp2kQ&sig2=DaAaS-uanO62AZ8vbpoZ-Q

The Surgical Residency Interview: A Candidate-Centered, Working Approach

Heather Seabott, BA,* Ryan K. Smith, BA,† Adnan Alseidi, MD,,† and Richard C. Thirlby, MD,,†
Departments of *Graduate Medical Education; and †Surgery, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington
J Surg 69:802-806. © 2012

Good Luck
 
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PlasticSurgMD

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Ps: Whats your best advice for a medical student who is at my stage? Thank you so very much!

Make good grades, don't be annoying on your rotations, be likable, do research, score well on standardized test, get good letters of rec, and don't post a new thread seeking completely vague generalized information every time you have a thought. It will also help to do your rotations in the US with prominent people in the plastics community as opposed to doing random rotations in Japan unless they are very well known. Just put your head down and excel at your current stage and kill the USMLE tests. Spend less time on student doctor and more time on USMLE World.
 
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deleted745951

Make good grades, don't be annoying on your rotations, be likable, do research, score well on standardized test, get good letters of rec, and don't post a new thread seeking completely vague generalized information every time you have a thought. It will also help to do your rotations in the US with prominent people in the plastics community as opposed to doing random rotations in Japan unless they are very well known. Just put your head down and excel at your current stage and kill the USMLE tests. Spend less time on student doctor and more time on USMLE World.
I am very grateful for the advice and will treasure it. Will do. Take care :) .
 

Grurik

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How many go through an integrated program not able to learn microsurgical technique? In an academic setting, how much of the practice is microsurgery? For the GS track, I would assume there is some sort of self selection which one go into plastics, the integrated track is mostly based on academic merits.

When do plastic surgeons operate on skin cancers, and when are they left for dermatologists? What other tumors are commonly removed by plastic surgeons? Parotid?
 
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timetraveling

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Wowzers. I googled 'plastics resident' after seeing Larry Mellick MD (the ER doc from Georgia who posts on YouTube) have a lot of consults with plastics guys. Didn't know Plastics did all of this! Definitely adding this to my short list.
 

Alakazam123

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Not having a home program certainly puts you at a disadvantage. With that said, good number/scores and doing well on your aways can easily overcome this. You just need to get good letters (which can unfortunately be difficult at some aways as they may only do generic group letters...). What you will miss out on is the behind the scenes phone calls from your mentor to other programs. But plenty of people with plastics programs don't get those perks anyways (and I think it is technically against NRMP rules...).

Research always helps, but an entire year off may not be necessary if you were fairly productive and have a good letter from the PI.

Not having a home program may also disadvantage you minimally at interviews, only because a common question/small talk is, "So how is Dr XXX doing these days?" Overall, it is what it is, and, unfortunately, there;s nothing you can do about it. You may miss out on some small fringe benefits and impactful LORs are harder to come by, but not having a plastics program can also provide you with a nice little narrative on how/why you're interested in the field - another VERY common interview question.

Does the research HAVE to be in plastics? What if there's some amazing neuroscience research going on about optic degeneration, and you got your name on a few papers. Would that be alright?
 

Alakazam123

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Hey guys, I'm a current plastic surgery resident in the US. I thought it might be nice to start this thread in an attempt to answer any questions applicants may have as I know information can sometimes be difficult to come by.

I'm happy to answer any questions pertaining to the application process, interview trail, pro/cons of programs (though I certainly don't have intimate knowledge of most of them), how to pick programs, fellowships, career tracks, etc. I'm mainly targeting this towards current and near-current applicants. Frankly, most of these questions would be better answered by residents at your current program, but I know it can sometimes be daunting to ask them random questions for fear of bothering them, tipping them off to interests in other programs, etc. Or maybe you don't have a plastics program at your home institution. Whatever the reason, I'm hoping to provide an anonymous resource.

With that said, I will not reveal personal information about myself except that I am a junior resident at an integrated plastics program in the US. I am busy, but I'll try and check this thread most evenings.

Ask away...

1. What if I do research in neuroscience instead of plastic surgery but get a good volume of papers published, is that still good?

2. Is it worth doing a fellowship? Does it pigeonhole your practice?
 

Ijustwantdownloadpicture

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Hey guys, I'm a current plastic surgery resident in the US. I thought it might be nice to start this thread in an attempt to answer any questions applicants may have as I know information can sometimes be difficult to come by.

I'm happy to answer any questions pertaining to the application process, interview trail, pro/cons of programs (though I certainly don't have intimate knowledge of most of them), how to pick programs, fellowships, career tracks, etc. I'm mainly targeting this towards current and near-current applicants. Frankly, most of these questions would be better answered by residents at your current program, but I know it can sometimes be daunting to ask them random questions for fear of bothering them, tipping them off to interests in other programs, etc. Or maybe you don't have a plastics program at your home institution. Whatever the reason, I'm hoping to provide an anonymous resource.

With that said, I will not reveal personal information about myself except that I am a junior resident at an integrated plastics program in the US. I am busy, but I'll try and check this thread most evenings.

Ask away...
Don't you remember: was any non-US img matched PS?
 

MicrobeParade

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1. What if I do research in neuroscience instead of plastic surgery but get a good volume of papers published, is that still good?

I'm wondering this as well. I have an offer from the Ortho department at my alma mater (where I hope to return for residency) and wonder if I should do the Ortho one or see if they can direct me to their Plastics department.
 
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