interview with plastics program director at Brown

Discussion in 'Plastic Surgery' started by zpdoc, Nov 13, 2002.

  1. zpdoc

    zpdoc Senior Member
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    hey guys, I was searching around and found this interview randomly. It sheds some interesting light on what some PD's are looking for in applicants:



    (1)What do you find most exciting about the field of plastic surgery?



    The fact that each patient is different, and each patient requires a

    different solution. This makes the specialty always interesting and always

    challenging.



    (2) What is your typical week like? How much time is devoted to

    teaching, academics, and surgery?



    Since I run a training program, a certain amount of time each week doing

    administrative tasks. I take care of a lot of patients, usually with

    residents and students involved, and at any one time I'm usually writing a

    paper or two. My workweek is 100 to 115 hours, some of which is done at

    home. My wife thinks this is too much, and I always feel it will become

    less, but it never seems to.



    (3) What are some of your interests outside of plastic surgery and

    teaching?



    I'm a musician, and usually play several times a week, and also sing in a

    choir. I play tennis and golf, and love to read outside medicine -- usually

    history.



    (4) What advice would you give a first year medical student who

    approaches you and says, "I want to be a plastic surgeon".



    Spend time on the plastic surgery service-- get to know your plastic

    surgeons and what they do.



    (5) Although many advisors tell students to keep an open mind through

    the first two years of medical school, many residency programs like to

    see research and an early commitment to plastic surgery. Is it is 'too

    late' to become interested in plastic surgery in the 3rd and 4th year of

    medical school?



    No, not at all. Good research in any field -- any evidence of productive

    academic activity -- will be looked upon favorably, but you should become

    involved to some extent with the plastic surgeons in your institution to

    demonstrate that your interest in plastic surgery is not completely

    abstract, and does have a foundation in real experience. Also, it helps to

    have a recommendation or two from plastic surgeons.



    (6) The list of integrated programs appears very dynamic and ever

    changing. What trends have you seen among the integrated/combined and

    independent programs? And what has been the impetus behind these

    changes?



    Clearly the trend in plastic surgery has been towards integrated/coordinated

    programs, at least partly because the pool of applicants from General

    Surgery seems to have dwindled, and the applicants from medical school are

    so very good.



    (7) What advice do you give to a fourth year medical student applying

    for a PGY-1 plastic surgery position? How would you assess whether or

    not a student should 'risk' not matching in this highly competitive

    match?



    There are still plastic surgery programs taking applicants from General

    surgery, so I would suggest that besides the PGY-1 positions, you should

    apply to the best General surgery programs you could get into. That way, if

    you fail to match in plastic surgery, you still have the option of applying

    for plastic surgery programs from General surgery. You also might fall in

    love with General surgery and stay there!



    (8) Comparing the traditional route (general surgery plus a fellowship

    in plastic surgery) and the integrated/combined model:

    (a) What model makes the better plastic surgeon?

    (b) Are there any striking disadvantages of either path?



    Both models make good plastic surgeons. For many years we trained one

    traditional resident side-by-side with a coordinated resident, and found

    that at the end of the residency, everything had leveled off-- we could not

    tell the difference. There are no striking disadvantages of either path--

    only differences of logistics that can be taken advantage of by individuals

    with different requirements.



    (9)Generally speaking, what makes a good plastic surgeon?



    Below are a list of traits. On a scale of one to five, one being

    'minimally important' and five being 'essential' to a good plastic

    surgeon or plastic surgeon resident, how would you rate the following

    traits or characteristics?



    _3__ intelligence



    _4__ artistic ability



    _4__ dexterity/technical skills



    _4__ visual-spatial skills



    _4__ compassion and empathy



    _4__ communication skills



    _5__ dedication and hard work



    _4__ ability to get along with others



    ___ (Other)_________________



    (10)Please describe some of the strengths of your program. Why should a

    student apply to Brown's program?



    The Brown program is very nicely rounded, with good clinical experience

    throughout the range and scope of plastic surgery, a very strong research

    program, a dedicated attending staff, and a superb group of fellow residents.

    Besides, Providence is a great place to live and train.



    (11) Generally speaking, what do you look for in an applicant? And what

    do you NOT look for?



    Dr. Edstrom, regarding the list below, could you please rate the

    following on a scale of one to five with respect to the selection

    process (again, one being minimally important and five being essential).





    __4_ USMLE Step I



    __4_ USMLE Step II



    __4_ Class Rank



    __4_ Clinical evaluations



    __4_ Letters



    __4_ Research experience



    __2_ Geographic location (that is, do you tend to select from the

    East Coast, etc.)



    __3_ The medical school the applicant attended



    __2_ The undergraduate school the student attended



    __4_ AOA membership



    (12)What electives do you like to see students taking in the fourth

    year? What advice do you give students who choose to do only plastic

    surgery electives during their fourth year to "improve" their chances of

    __3_ The medical school the applicant attended



    __2_ The undergraduate school the student attended



    __4_ AOA membership



    (12)What electives do you like to see students taking in the fourth



    __3_ The medical school the applicant attended



    __2_ The undergraduate school the student attended



    __4_ AOA membership



    (12)What electives do you like to see students taking in the fourth

    year? What advice do you give students who choose to do only plastic

    surgery electives during their fourth year to "improve" their chances of

    matching?



    I don't think which electives an individual takes are of particular

    importance. Take what interests you and best rounds out your experience.

    But see question 13 below.



    (13) Does doing an audition rotation at Brown guarantee a courtesy

    interview or improve a student's chances of matching at Brown?



    There is no question that a good candidate improves his chances by spending

    a month with us here in Providence. Just the opposite for a weaker

    candidate.



    Dr. Edstrom, below are some of the nuts and bolts behind our database.

    It has been my experience that these are some of the most commonly asked

    questions by medical students.



    How many students generally apply to your program per year?____150____



    How many students do you generally interview per year? ___25 to 30____



    How many PGY-1 positions are available per year? ___2____


    It has been my experience that these are some of the most commonly asked

    questions by medical students.



    How many students generally apply to your program per year?____150____



    How many students do you generally interview per year? ___25 to 30____



    How many PGY-1 positions are available per year? ___2____



    What are your average USMLE Step I scores? ____we generally will not

    interview a candidate under 225, with some exceptions.___



    What is the class rank of the typical student interviewed?___upper quarter__



    What medical schools have you matched in the last five years?



    BU, Yale, Northwestern, Loyola, UT Southwestern, Alabama, Ottawa,

    Mount Sinai, and University of Massachusetts (Worcester).



    Regarding letters of recommendation: How many do you prefer? How many

    is too many? From what department(s)? And from whom (department head

    versus someone who knows the student very well).



    See below. In general we like to see letters from plastic surgeons,

    indicating actual experience in plastic surgery, and evaluation by people we

    know.



    Perhaps the most important question, Dr. Edstrom: How do we apply?



    We are now part of the ERAS system, and that makes the application process

    easier for all of us. The student performs the application process only

    once, and sends its two as many programs as he wishes -- for a fee, but no

    extra work.
     
    ccakmakoglu likes this.
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