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.