PRSJournal

SDN Partner
Partner Organization
Jan 28, 2013
40
0
Status
Watch this space for free articles, videos and other cool content from "Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery," the official journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Check out PRS Resident Chronicles to follow the unique journeys of several young doctors as they go through residency in their respective Plastic Surgery Programs across the country.
 
Last edited:
OP
PRSJournal

PRSJournal

SDN Partner
Partner Organization
Jan 28, 2013
40
0
Status
Thank you to everyone at SDN for allowing us the opportunity to share with ya'll!

To get started, I'll share a few articles and videos today. Let us know what kind of content interests you (Breast? Recon? Cosmetic?) and what type of content (Video? Articles? Video Discussions?)

In Editor-in-Chief, Rod J. Rohrich's video introduction to the January issue, he and Scott Bartlett (Craniofacial Section Editor) discuss Pediatric Dysmorphologies and Syndromes. It's a good overview of a lot of pediatric/craniofacial content in the January issue.

This next video is a classic, but may be of some interest if you are interested in the expert-approach to basic suturing, or if you are training/mentoring any medical students of your own.

Basic Suturing for Medical Students

And, as promised, here are two free articles from the January issue that you may find interesting.

A Paradigm Shift in U.S. Breast Reconstruction: Increasing Implant Rates

A Systematic Review of Antibiotic Use and Infection in Breast Reconstruction: What Is the Evidence?

We'll be back with more later if you like. Feel free to follow us on one of our social feeds for more frequent updates.

Thanks!
 
OP
PRSJournal

PRSJournal

SDN Partner
Partner Organization
Jan 28, 2013
40
0
Status
The February issue just launched yesterday, and I'll share some free Original Articles with you guys a bit later (you can always go directly to PRSJournal.com and scroll down to the bottom to see the free offerings for the month, or read this blog post).

But, I thought that this month's editorial, written by Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Rod Rohrich, and several PS Residents from Yale, would be of great interest to any Pre-Med or Medical Students out there interested in Plastic Surgery.

If you residents know any, please share this article with them!

So You Want to Become a Plastic Surgeon? What You Need to Do and Know to Get into a Plastic Surgery Residency
Nagarkar, Purushottam M.D.; Pulikkottil, Benson M.D.; Patel, Anup M.B.A., M.D.; Rohrich, Rod J. M.D.

Full Text.

PATHWAYS TO PLASTIC SURGERY

It is a truth universally acknowledged that plastic surgery is the most elusive residency in the United States. Unlike most other major surgical subspecialties, there are two well-defined routes to becoming a plastic surgeon—the independent and integrated pathways.1 The integrated pathway consists of 6-year training programs that accept graduating medical students, whereas the independent pathway consists of 3-year training programs that accept graduates of general surgery, neurological surgery, orthopedic surgery, oral and maxillofacial surgery, otolaryngology, and urology residency programs. Both pathways are very competitive—in 2011, only 44 percent of U.S. seniors applying to integrated plastic surgery programs matched into the specialty.2 For comparison, the next lowest match rate belonged to orthopedic surgery, at 77 percent. The competitiveness of the independent pathway has diminished slightly since the training program was lengthened from 2 years to 3 years, but it remains in high demand, with the match rate ranging between 39 and 82 percent over the past 5 years.3,4 Clearly, plastic surgery program directors enjoy a buyer's market. Thus, the obvious question is, What do you need to do to maximize your chances of getting into a great plastic surgery residency? For the answers, we looked at the best available data in the context of the senior author's (R.J.R) 20-year experience chairing a large academic plastic surgery program, and our recent experience in the integrated pathway (P.N. and A.P.), and the independent pathway (B.P.) application process.


THE INTEGRATED PATHWAY

For a medical student applying through the integrated pathway, the first step to becoming a plastic surgeon is being invited for interviews. It goes almost without saying that applicants need to pass some minimum bar just to get their foot in the door. Data published by the National Resident Matching Program2 show that plastic surgery applicants to the integrated pathway (including the ones who did not match) are quite accomplished, with a mean United States Medical Licensing Examination Step 1 score above 240, approximately seven publications each, and a 35 percent Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society membership rate. As a medical student, the first thing you need to do is to be honest with yourself: Do you have the basic prerequisites to be in the running for an integrated program position? If you are already a fourth-year medical student and you cannot clear this bar, there is likely not enough time to improve your grade point average and United States Medical Licensing Examination Step scores—or to compensate for them with more publications. You may be best served by pursuing the independent pathway. In fact, such a decision demonstrates commendable situational awareness. Remember, the integrated and independent pathways are designed to be equivalent, with the final 3 years of training in each pathway being generally identical.

If you have been invited to some interviews, what do you do next? Many ask who the "ideal" candidate is.5–8 There is a consensus in the literature. The ideal candidate:

* Graduates at the top of his or her class.

* Has an excellent United States Medical Licensing Examination Step 1 score.

* Is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society.

* Has published prolifically.

* Is respected by his or her peers.

* Demonstrates maturity.

* Exhibits leadership qualities.

* Has letters of recommendation from giants in the field.

* Has completed rotations at every program with which he or she interviews.

Unfortunately, there are probably only two candidates each year that fit this bill—everyone else is accomplished but not perfect. Fortunately, program directors know that for every Mozart (who composed his first piece at age 6) there is an Einstein (said to have had speech difficulties as a child). The "imperfect" applicant may end up being just as good a plastic surgeon or even better. For example, the senior author (R.J.R.) confesses that he was an imperfect applicant himself but somehow got into a great plastic surgery residency nevertheless.

So how do you stand out in this crowd of excellent candidates?



Follow the link to read the rest of the article!

What do you think? Is this good advice to those seeking to get into Plastic Surgery Residency?
 

Renaissance Man

Saving the World
7+ Year Member
Jan 23, 2010
1,067
68
East Coast
Status
Attending Physician
Is it possible to publish 7 papers while in medical school!? Also would you say that the research has to be in plastic surgery? That is an insane amount of research, IMO.
 
OP
PRSJournal

PRSJournal

SDN Partner
Partner Organization
Jan 28, 2013
40
0
Status
Is it possible to publish 7 papers while in medical school!? Also would you say that the research has to be in plastic surgery? That is an insane amount of research, IMO.
Thanks for your question! Sorry for the delay in getting back to you.

While achieving 7 publications in conjunction with rigorous medical coursework remains an arduous task, it is feasible. With so many great candidates and so few plastic surgery spots, research can be critical in differentiating the applicants.

This serves as the impetus for many plastic surgery applicants taking a dedicated research year. While research in plastic surgery demonstrates interest in the field and enables an opportunity to earn a letter from a plastic surgeon, it is certainly not mandatory.

Plastic surgery programs desire candidates who display an interest in the scientific pursuit, that is searching for a solution to a scientific problem. Please let us know if you have any more questions.
 

Valadi

7+ Year Member
Aug 1, 2010
774
32
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Is it possible to publish 7 papers while in medical school!? Also would you say that the research has to be in plastic surgery? That is an insane amount of research, IMO.
RM, that data was taken from Charting Outcomes in the Match 2011 (http://www.nrmp.org/data/chartingoutcomes2011.pdf).

If you look at the actual data, it is for "abstracts, presentations, and publications." Considering that out of one study you might get all 3, then 7 becomes a much more feasible number. Do not get discouraged! :)
 
OP
PRSJournal

PRSJournal

SDN Partner
Partner Organization
Jan 28, 2013
40
0
Status
If you're interested in a career in Plastic Surgery, then the controversy surrounding permanent weight reduction and abdominoplasty might be of interest. This FREE study from PRS attempts to replace hype with fact.

ABSTRACT:

Background: The question of whether or not abdominoplasty is associated with permanent weight reduction remains controversial. In coalition, should abdominoplasty be used as an adjunct for weight reduction in the overweight/obese patient?

Methods: This retrospective patient case series attempts to determine the most important factors associated with weight reduction.

Results: All patients undergoing abdominoplasty had weight loss beyond that of their resected pannus, with a minimum body mass index reached 11.6 ± 1.7 weeks after surgery. Weight loss is attributed to an increase in satiety by 75 percent (n = 15) of patients. Preoperative body mass index greater than or equal to 24.5 kg/m2 can be used to predict long-term weight loss with a sensitivity and specificity of 92.9 percent and 83.3 percent, respectively. Patients above this threshold achieved significantly more weight loss (−4.5 ± 1.4 percent body mass index) at 1 year compared with their lower body mass index counterparts (p = 0.014), as did those with pannus resections weighing greater than 4.5 lb (p = 0.01).

Conclusions: Abdominoplasty performed on patients with a body mass index greater than 24.5 kg/m2 appears to be linked to sustained weight loss at 1 year. Satiety appears to be a prominent contributing factor, as does the amount of fat resected. Possible neurocrine mechanisms are discussed.

CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic, IV.

Read the full article free here: http://journals.lww.com/plasreconsurg/Fulltext/2013/02000/Weight_Reduction_following_Abdominoplasty___A.36.aspx

What do you think?
 
Last edited:
OP
PRSJournal

PRSJournal

SDN Partner
Partner Organization
Jan 28, 2013
40
0
Status
Is the national attitude toward breast reconstruction changing?

Read this FREE article on PRSJournal.com to find out:

A Paradigm Shift in U.S. Breast Reconstruction: Part 2. The Influence of Changing Mastectomy Patterns on Reconstructive Rate and Method

Abstract
Background: The aims of the current study were to (1) measure trends in the type of mastectomy performed, (2) evaluate sociodemographic/hospital characteristics of patients undergoing contralateral prophylactic mastectomy versus unilateral mastectomies, and (3) analyze reconstruction rates and method used following different mastectomy types.

Methods: Mastectomies from 1998 to 2008 were analyzed using the Nationwide Inpatient Sample database. Mastectomies (n = 178,603) were classified as either unilateral, contralateral prophylactic, or bilateral prophylactic. Reconstructive procedures were categorized into either implant or autologous. Longitudinal trends were analyzed with Poisson regression and sociodemographic/hospital variables were analyzed with logistic regression.

Results: Unilateral mastectomies decreased 2 percent per year, whereas contralateral and bilateral prophylactic mastectomies increased significantly by 15 and 12 percent per year, respectively (p < 0.01). Independent predictors for contralateral prophylactic mastectomy (compared with unilateral mastectomy) were patients younger than 39 years, Caucasian and Hispanic race, private insurance carriers, treated in teaching hospitals, and from South and Midwest regions. Contralateral prophylactic mastectomy is the only group with increased reconstruction rates throughout the study period (p < 0.01). Although implant use increased for all mastectomy types, it remains greater in bilateral and contralateral prophylactic mastectomy.

Conclusions: There is increasing use of bilateral mastectomies in the United States, particularly in patients with unilateral cancer. Although implant use has increased for all mastectomy types, they are used most commonly following bilateral and contralateral prophylactic mastectomies. Changing mastectomy patterns are one factor underlying the paradigm shift away from autologous tissue to implant-based reconstruction.

CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Risk, III.
 
OP
PRSJournal

PRSJournal

SDN Partner
Partner Organization
Jan 28, 2013
40
0
Status
Hi! My name is Aaron Weinstein and I do most of the posting for PRS on SDN, Facebook, Twitter, etc. I'm the Managing Editor of digital media and supplements. But, Dr. Rohrich, the E-i-C, and other Ed Board members will chime in from time to time, especially with content-specific questions. So, you have the whole Editorial Office and Editor-in-Chief on the line in this forum!
 
Oct 3, 2012
66
0
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Hi! My name is Aaron Weinstein and I do most of the posting for PRS on SDN, Facebook, Twitter, etc. I'm the Managing Editor of digital media and supplements. But, Dr. Rohrich, the E-i-C, and other Ed Board members will chime in from time to time, especially with content-specific questions. So, you have the whole Editorial Office and Editor-in-Chief on the line in this forum!
Awesome.
Will definitely want Rorich's response!
Now I will be posting content specific questions.
 
OP
PRSJournal

PRSJournal

SDN Partner
Partner Organization
Jan 28, 2013
40
0
Status
Excellent! Feel free to post specific questions. And if you want to pose it directly to one of the Section Editors or the Co-Editor, we can get them to chime in too. There might be a few days delay between question and answer, but we'll get your questions answered!
 
OP
PRSJournal

PRSJournal

SDN Partner
Partner Organization
Jan 28, 2013
40
0
Status

Phloston

Lifetime Donor
7+ Year Member
Jan 17, 2012
3,659
1,350
Osaka, Japan
Is it possible to publish 7 papers while in medical school!? Also would you say that the research has to be in plastic surgery? That is an insane amount of research, IMO.
Thanks for your question! Sorry for the delay in getting back to you.

While achieving 7 publications in conjunction with rigorous medical coursework remains an arduous task, it is feasible. With so many great candidates and so few plastic surgery spots, research can be critical in differentiating the applicants.

This serves as the impetus for many plastic surgery applicants taking a dedicated research year. While research in plastic surgery demonstrates interest in the field and enables an opportunity to earn a letter from a plastic surgeon, it is certainly not mandatory.

Plastic surgery programs desire candidates who display an interest in the scientific pursuit, that is searching for a solution to a scientific problem. Please let us know if you have any more questions.
The # of published papers is irrelevant, and any student overly focused on the # doesn't understand the point of research.

What matters is the substance of the research (i.e. does it help to drive the field forward?)

I'm doing research in novel materials used for craniofacial implants. If I get 3 solid first-author papers during my PhD I'd consider myself lucky.

The only numbers any of us should be concerned about are our Step scores.
 

maxheadroom

Rhinestone Cowboy
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jan 3, 2003
1,317
30
At the bottom of a wishing well . . .
Status
Attending Physician
I was wondering if there was something I could be doing now to help my chances of pursuing plastics. I feel like I am just following the same textbook definition of a pre-med student. Since I know exactly what field I want above all others, I would really like to know if there is anything that anyone can suggest I do to get a leg up?
1. Get good grades and get into medical school. While it's good to have a "long range plan," getting wrapped up with stuff that's half a decade away might distract you from the more important and more immediate tasks. If you don't get into medical school or you end up at a crappy medical school, all of your activities to get yourself on track for Plastics will have been wasted.

2. Do well in medical school. Plastics consistently draws high-achievers out of medical school. I've seen applications from students who were doing lots of activities that they thought would help with their application, but their pre-clinical grades were average and their Step 1 score was unimpressive. Those applications frequently end up in the "maybe" pile (which is a soft "no").

3. Be an interesting person. Study abroad. Develop interesting hobbies. Have fun. In our Integrated program, we interviewed people who had been professional musicians, chefs, dancers, and high-level athletes. And that was just this year. They all had good grades/high scores/research/excellent letters. And they had something interesting/unusual/different. Plastic surgeons tend to be social people who like to talk -- if you're some boring nerd type, we won't want to talk to you for very long in an interview and that's the kiss of death.

4. Go into your third year clerkships with a goal, but keep an open mind. I can't tell you how many "hardcore" students have finally come into the clinical area of their obsession only to find that it really isn't what they wanted.
 
OP
PRSJournal

PRSJournal

SDN Partner
Partner Organization
Jan 28, 2013
40
0
Status
First off, thank you so much for posting these links. I would absolutely love to get a subscription to PRSJ. Unfortunately, I'm what people refer to as "a broke college student." But, I cannot thank you enough for everything you guys hand out for free. I eat up every last bit of it I can get my hands on.

Second, I will apologize ahead of time for sounding incredibly naive and uninformed. However, I am very confident that plastic surgery is the field I want to pursue. I've talked with a few plastic surgeons and searched the deepest parts of the internet in search about the field. I can't get enough of it and find it simply fascinating. Unfortunately, there is very little information out there for people in my position.

I am a second-year biology undergrad. Needless to say, I have a long time before I am anywhere near the field itself. However, I know that plastic surgery is the field I want to pursue. I will be starting clinical research this summer with one of the oncology labs in my town. I am trying to get my credentials for medical school applications in line. The issue that I have is that there seems to be very little opportunity for me to get anywhere near plastic surgery at this stage, nor does there seem to be any information that tells me what I can be doing NOW to prefer for it.

I was wondering if there was something I could be doing now to help my chances of pursuing plastics. I feel like I am just following the same textbook definition of a pre-med student. Since I know exactly what field I want above all others, I would really like to know if there is anything that anyone can suggest I do to get a leg up?

Thank you so much for your help. I know that was a lengthy rant I really appreciate your time.
Hi! This is Aaron Weinstein from the Editorial Office. I've asked several of our Resident Bloggers to chime in with maxheadroom to give you some more thoughts on your initial questions. Great questions, by the way!

While I await their responses, I wanted to thank you for your interest in PRS. We'll continue to post our free offerings here- and on our website (PRSJournal.com) and blogs.

Some more thoughts for you on where to get some free PRS content:

If you have an iPad, download our Free app. Though most of the issues are by subscription only (or for purchase) the first 6-8 issues are on there for free. There are also a few free Cosmetic supplements too, I believe. Check them out!

Finally, we just launched a new journal, PRS GO (Global Open). All open access plastic surgery articles with the same rigorous peer review. Check it out! There are only ~10 articles on there now, but more will be published as this new journal takes off.

Happy Reading!
 
OP
PRSJournal

PRSJournal

SDN Partner
Partner Organization
Jan 28, 2013
40
0
Status
First off, thank you so much for posting these links. I would absolutely love to get a subscription to PRSJ. Unfortunately, I'm what people refer to as "a broke college student." But, I cannot thank you enough for everything you guys hand out for free. I eat up every last bit of it I can get my hands on.

Second, I will apologize ahead of time for sounding incredibly naive and uninformed. However, I am very confident that plastic surgery is the field I want to pursue. I've talked with a few plastic surgeons and searched the deepest parts of the internet in search about the field. I can't get enough of it and find it simply fascinating. Unfortunately, there is very little information out there for people in my position.

I am a second-year biology undergrad. Needless to say, I have a long time before I am anywhere near the field itself. However, I know that plastic surgery is the field I want to pursue. I will be starting clinical research this summer with one of the oncology labs in my town. I am trying to get my credentials for medical school applications in line. The issue that I have is that there seems to be very little opportunity for me to get anywhere near plastic surgery at this stage, nor does there seem to be any information that tells me what I can be doing NOW to prefer for it.

I was wondering if there was something I could be doing now to help my chances of pursuing plastics. I feel like I am just following the same textbook definition of a pre-med student. Since I know exactly what field I want above all others, I would really like to know if there is anything that anyone can suggest I do to get a leg up?

Thank you so much for your help. I know that was a lengthy rant I really appreciate your time.
DreadfulGlory, I got in touch with one of our Resident Bloggers, Jordan Ireton. She has a bunch of thoughts to share with you! Hope you find her answers useful! Jordan was just accepted to Plastic Surgery Residency at UTSW in Dallas. Read more of her thoughts on the medical school/residency process on our blog: PRS Resident Chronicles.

It's great to hear that you are interested in plastic surgery. I'm one of the bloggers for the PRS resident chronicles blog, and I thought I'd weigh in on your questions. Although you are still in college, and have plenty of time until you will need to worry about these things, there are a lot of students who come into medical school interested in plastic surgery. Their interest comes from having a parent or family friend interested in plastic surgery, personal experience with reconstructive surgery, and other areas of exposure. So it is not uncommon to go into medical school with an interest, as you have.

As one of the replies above states, your first priority is to be in as good of a position academically as possible. Getting into medical school is very difficult, so your first step is to do that. For research, try to find a project that will give you a chance to learn the scientific method, get hands-on experience, design a hypothesis, learn how to design logical experiments, learn how to write papers and go through the peer review process, and learn how to troubleshoot experiments or results that do not fit your hypothesis. The topic in my opinion is less important, because you will have a lot of time to be involved in plastic surgery research in the future. As you mentioned, being in an oncology lab this summer is a great place to be to start this process.

It never hurts to learn more about the field, even at your stage. If your school is associated with a medical center, contact the plastic surgery department and see if you can shadow. I did a fair share of shadowing in the OR as an undergraduate, so you won't be alone. It's important to see as much clinical medicine and surgery as you can before medical school, since you will be asked to make a case for why you want to go to medical school. Real life experience is the best way to answer that question. If your school doesn't have a hospital nearby, look up local community plastic surgeons or physicians who may allow you to shadow as well.

I also agree with the post above about keeping an open mind. Don't be set on plastic surgery or any field, because there's no way to know until you try it. Shadow plastic surgery if you can, but more importantly shadow other areas as well. See if you like the OR and try and round with the hospital's medical team or ICU team to experience that side of medicine. It is better to try everything and choose plastic surgery than to decide too early on one specialty and limit your knowledge and experiences.

This past year I've written a lot of blog posts about what it was like being a medical student pursuing plastic surgery as a career, so you may find some insight there. Some that may relate to your questions are the one titled "Office Hours," in August 2012 about spending time seeing patients in an outpatient plastic surgery setting, and another is "The Personal Statement." Don't tunnel yourself just because you want to do plastic surgery; shadow everything, work hard in all areas of medicine when you are in medical school, travel, keep you hobbies, and strive to become a good physician above everything else.

Thanks!

Jordan
 

svt boost

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Mar 9, 2003
10
0
Dallas, TX
Visit site
Status
Resident [Any Field]
First off, thank you so much for posting these links. I would absolutely love to get a subscription to PRSJ. Unfortunately, I'm what people refer to as "a broke college student." But, I cannot thank you enough for everything you guys hand out for free. I eat up every last bit of it I can get my hands on.

Second, I will apologize ahead of time for sounding incredibly naive and uninformed. However, I am very confident that plastic surgery is the field I want to pursue. I've talked with a few plastic surgeons and searched the deepest parts of the internet in search about the field. I can't get enough of it and find it simply fascinating. Unfortunately, there is very little information out there for people in my position.

I am a second-year biology undergrad. Needless to say, I have a long time before I am anywhere near the field itself. However, I know that plastic surgery is the field I want to pursue. I will be starting clinical research this summer with one of the oncology labs in my town. I am trying to get my credentials for medical school applications in line. The issue that I have is that there seems to be very little opportunity for me to get anywhere near plastic surgery at this stage, nor does there seem to be any information that tells me what I can be doing NOW to prefer for it.

I was wondering if there was something I could be doing now to help my chances of pursuing plastics. I feel like I am just following the same textbook definition of a pre-med student. Since I know exactly what field I want above all others, I would really like to know if there is anything that anyone can suggest I do to get a leg up?

Thank you so much for your help. I know that was a lengthy rant I really appreciate your time.
Dreadful Glory,

Thanks for the post--glad to see you are interested in Plastic Surgery. It is a great field.

My name is Eamon O'Reilly, and I am a chief resident in plastic surgery graduating this June, and also a resident blogger for PRS. I haven't been on SDN for some time, but happy to be back!

As Jordan stated, the road to plastic surgery truly starts in medical school. As an undergrad, the most important thing you can do is to prepare yourself for admission to medical school. That means grades, leadership, and research (oh, and don't forget to have fun once in a while too :)) Having a sound academic background of a solid GPA and a good MCAT score is pretty self explanatory, but the research and/or taking an early interest in plastic surgery is not.

Pursuing research and shadowing a doctor is more about the process than it is what kind of research or what kind of doctor you have as a mentor. If you live in a small town, you would be better off following a busy and varied general surgeon to really get a good idea of what surgery itself is like; if you live in a big town, you are more likely to get a good experience with a plastic surgeon. Similarly, no one expects an undergrad, or a medical student for that matter, to have astounding research. It is more important to prove you can do the research, and learn the process. Sure, some medical students get patents, and occasionally and undergrad get published in Nature or Science, but it is pretty darn rare!

Jordan posted some links, but take a read through some of the resident blog posts found here at PRS. I think this gives a really interesting view on being a modern resident.

And finally--it always works out one way or another. Sure that sound a little generic, but if you keep an open mind as Jordan stated, you will find a niche in medicine that fits your personality and skill set. When I was in your shoes I wanted to be a pediatrician. Then, in medical school, I fell in love with general surgery--and of course as a general surgeon I wanted to become a plastic surgeon! Sometimes the circuitous route proves the most scenic.
 
OP
PRSJournal

PRSJournal

SDN Partner
Partner Organization
Jan 28, 2013
40
0
Status
Wow, you guys are amazing.

To start off with PRSJournal,
Thanks for the updated information. I have been using the Ipad App for a little while now. It makes the reading so much easier. And I did not know about PRS Go, but I have read a couple of the articles now and they are incredible. This is a great resource. I can't believe you guys set this whole thing up. This will keep me busy for a little while ;) Above all else, I'm glad to hear that you will continue to offer some content for free. Like I said, I eat it all up (even if I don't understand some of it).

Furthermore, I want to thank you for contacting people for me. The replies are great. If you could give Jordan Ireton my thanks, I would really appreciate it. Along with Eamon, your responses were awesome. You guys covered everything. I had some questions pop up later that I didn't think of when I originally wrote my post, but you guys even answered those.

Honestly, I can't thank you guys enough for replying so quickly. You guys are great.
No problem at all! That's why we're here! Let us know if you have any more questions!

And we'll definitely keep letting you know what's free on PRSJournal.com!

-Aaron
PRS
 
OP
PRSJournal

PRSJournal

SDN Partner
Partner Organization
Jan 28, 2013
40
0
Status
The # of published papers is irrelevant, and any student overly focused on the # doesn't understand the point of research.

What matters is the substance of the research (i.e. does it help to drive the field forward?)

I'm doing research in novel materials used for craniofacial implants. If I get 3 solid first-author papers during my PhD I'd consider myself lucky.

The only numbers any of us should be concerned about are our Step scores.
Phloston, I showed your comments to one of the authors of the paper you're discussing, Anup Patel, MD (who also happens to be one of our Resident Bloggers), and he wanted me to pass on his thoughts.

--Aaron, with PRS

Certainly, plastic surgery program directors favor quality over quantity in terms of research publications. Innovative research that advances plastic surgery forward will be appreciated by any faculty member evaluating you for a residency spot. Attaining a first-author publication shows ability to take a research idea to completion and that much better when it is novel. USMLE scores certainly matter, but candidates must remember that it comprises one of many components including strong letters of recommendation necessary for matching in plastic surgery as the article points out. Please let us know if you have any more questions.
- Anup Patel
 
OP
PRSJournal

PRSJournal

SDN Partner
Partner Organization
Jan 28, 2013
40
0
Status
Hi Everyone!

Aaron here with another free video for you to watch. We don't normally set our Baker Gordon videos free, but for one week we've gone ahead and opened access to Part I of our most recent lecture.

Take a look, and watch Scott Spear discuss "Mastopexy and Small Volume Breast Reduction: Control of Shape."

It'll be free for one week, so watch it this weekend!
 
OP
PRSJournal

PRSJournal

SDN Partner
Partner Organization
Jan 28, 2013
40
0
Status
Attention all Plastic Surgery Residents:

Our Resident Blogger team from Yale (Anup Patel and Ajul Shah) have two research survey opportunities for you.

Help out by participating in both surveys and let your voices be heard!

These results can help shape the future of plastic surgery training.

Either go to their blog post at PRS or get the info below.

Thanks!

--Aaron

Despite the limited hours in residency for activities outside of the hospital, almost all residents in plastic surgery remain committed to the scientific advancement through research. Furthermore, the strong camaraderie among our specialty facilitates collaborative opportunities among residents from different institutions. The diversity in plastic surgery engenders an equally wide range of clinical research projects from molecular genetics to outcomes assessment. Of recent, there has been a growing interest in evaluating the training of residents in the current medical environment and how this can be further improved. Along these lines, we present two plastic surgery survey research projects that we hope our resident readers will take a few minutes out of their busy schedules to complete.


The University of Miami Plastic Surgery Survey:
Value of Mission Trips for Plastic Surgery Residency Training from a Resident's Perspective

This study examines the benefits of mission trips in the training of Plastic Surgery residents. The objective is to determine whether such trips afford residents with a unique learning environment that translates into improvement of skills. It is based on ACGME criteria for international rotations. The goal is to utilize this information to enhance the educational experience of residents during surgical missions trips. This survey has been cleared by the University of Miami IRB. We hope you can take a couple of minutes to help our fellow residents by completing the survey posted here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/HWVNXXK


The Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center and New York University Plastic Surgery Survey: Surgical Simulation and Its Utility in Plastic Surgery Residency Training[/B]
Surgical simulation is at the forefront of surgical resident training. Many surgeons believe that procedures should be learned on a simulated model rather than a human patient. The purpose of this study is to test the effectiveness of surgical simulation by administering an assessment of cognitive knowledge to plastic surgery residents and medical students before and after using a computer based animated simulation model.

The residents and medical students will also complete a short questionnaire (provided) about their previous experience with the procedure, computer expertise, and their likes and dislikes following use of the surgical simulator. It is hoped that this will provide clear evidence that surgical simulation is a valuable and powerful tool in training plastic surgery residents in complex procedures. Please contact Naveen Krishnan ([email protected]) for further information in participating.
 
OP
PRSJournal

PRSJournal

SDN Partner
Partner Organization
Jan 28, 2013
40
0
Status
Aaron from PRS here.

Ever wondered how many (wo)man-hours it takes to publish a manuscript in a journal like PRS?

Well, our new Open Access Journal, PRS GO (PRSGO.com), has an aritcle on the subject. An article published in a medical journal about how long it takes to publish an article in a medical journal. How meta is that?

The article is free, as are all articles on PRS GO.

Check it out...the findings may surprise you: How Many Work Hours Are Requisite to Publish a Manuscript?
 
OP
PRSJournal

PRSJournal

SDN Partner
Partner Organization
Jan 28, 2013
40
0
Status


Hi Everyone. Aaron here with our selection of free articles from this month's PRS. Happy Reading!

440 Consecutive Immediate, Implant-Based, Single-Surgeon Breast Reconstructions in 281 Patients: A Comparison of Early Outcomes and Costs between SurgiMend Fetal Bovine and AlloDerm Human Cadaveric Acellular Dermal Matrices
The Contribution of Endogenous and Exogenous Factors to Female Alopecia: A Study of Identical Twins
Social Media Use and Impact on Plastic Surgery Practice
Prospective Outcome Study of 225 Cases of Breast Augmentation

We also feature short-term free articles throughout the month of May. Please read and discuss the following articles:

Breast Reconstruction Modality Outcome Study: A Comparison of Expander/Implants and Free Flaps in Select Patients (Free From April 30 - May 15)
The Role of Different Methods of Nerve Ablation in Prevention of Neuroma (Free From May 16 - 31)


In addition to reading the articles for free above, you can also watch the free video discussion:

Charles E. Butler, M.D. discusses the May Breast article "A Comparison of Acellular Dermal Matrix to Autologous Dermal Flaps in Single-Stage, Implant-Based Immediate Breast Reconstruction: A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis" by Krishnan et al.

Additionally, we encourage you to read the 2013 PSRC Abstract Supplement for free, beginning this month!

The free articles from the two most recent months, can always be readily found on the bottom of our homepage where you see the following logo:



Happy Reading!
 
OP
PRSJournal

PRSJournal

SDN Partner
Partner Organization
Jan 28, 2013
40
0
Status
Hi guys I'm Donnell Moore, Peer Review and CME coordinator for PRS and I will be frequently posting exciting content for you. With that being said I want to bring you a recent entry from our blog, PRS Resident Chronicles. Dr. Anup Patel discusses why the Dallas Rhinoplasty Symposium is a worthwhile experience and compares Dr. Dean Toriumi to basketball great, Michael Jordan. Read below to find out what you missed. Full disclosure: Even though Dr. Rohrich hosts this meeting this blog was not solicited.

The Dallas Rhinoplasty Symposium: A Must for All Residents

by Anup Patel, MD, MBA

When a resident must decide on what educational course to select, the constraints of finance and time are real making it critical that the course opted to attend provides the most "bang for your buck." A myriad of factors influence this decision with the opinions of other residents who have attended the course in the past perhaps being most important. This year I had my sights on the 30th Annual Dallas Rhinoplasty Symposium. Not only had some of our residents raved about the course, but also knew that with Dr. Rod Rohrich chairing the event one's time would be spent efficiently and effectively. After three days with the world's rhinoplasty experts, I assure you this course is the real deal and must be integrated into every plastic surgery residency training curriculum.

On Friday morning, after a lecture by Dr. Rohrich on the "The 10 Essentials Steps of Rhinoplasty," we headed to the anatomy lab to see if we could transform these steps into a reality on the cadaver. The surgical procedures of a rhinoplasty such as delivering the lower lateral cartilages that these experts make look so easy in their books and videos (see links below) proved much more challenging than expected. Anticipating this, the course provides a dedicated faculty member for each cadaver table enabling real-time tips and pointers to overcome the otherwise difficult maneuvers. For example, Dr. Bardia Amirlak assisted me in finding the appropriate plane to separate the upper lateral cartilages from the septum to reach what has been dubbed the "nirvana of rhinoplasty." (Baker Gordon Rohrich Rhinoplasty Video: http://journals.lww.com/plasreconsurg/Pages/videogallery.aspx?videoId=261&autoPlay=true).

The cadaver lab enables one to become much more familiar and facile with gamut of cartilage grafts needed in the armamentarium of an excellent rhinoplasty surgeon. Moves that remain difficult to grasp for the first time on a cosmetic patient such as osteotomies or harvesting of septal graft can be quickly learned from the cadaver lab.

Following the lab, we embarked on a series of lectures by these rhinoplasty experts gaining valuable insight into how they achieve such outstanding results. The in-depth, high-yield lectures accompanied by schematics and videos complemented the cadaver lab perfectly. The videos proved to be a tremendous educational resource with the surgeon who created the video walking the audience through the critical steps of each procedure. For example, Dr. Bahman Guyuron illustrated how he rasped the dorsal hump in an oblique fashion rather than a caudal-cephalad manner to avoid damaging the delicate cartilaginous framework. If one had any questions from the lecture, these could be texted to a number provided by the course enabling immediate answers from these experts.

To drive home points further, the lectures were separated into different topics with each session concluding with a panel discussion. In my opinion, the learning one derives from these experts critically analyzing each other's results is unparalleled. No panelist deterred away from pointing out flaws of his colleague with many jovial debates occurring frequently among Dr. Mark Constantian, Dr. Jack Gunter, and Dr. Rohrich. One event that stood out because of its similarity to the NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest featured each panelist presenting his most challenging rhinoplasty case that was then rated in terms of degree of difficulty to address by the other panelists. Like the judges at the dunk contest, the panelists would raise a numerical card to rate the degree of difficulty of correcting the nasal deformity being presented; this was followed by a similar judging process of the post-operative results. Dr. Dean Toriumi, a Chicago rhinoplasty surgeon, did the equivalent of Michael Jordan's famous free throw dunk, when he presented his amazing results on a patient with a severely distorted cleft nose that drew a huge ovation from the audience. This panel epitomized the course replete with didactics teaching an attendee how to deliver a better rhinoplasty.

Finally, this year commemorated the 30th anniversary of the symposium with a tribute to one of its founding members, the legendary Dr. Samuel Stal. Dr. Gunter, another founding member, delivered a heart-felt message about Dr. Stal describing his willingness to teach at all times. I share this because this is the attitude embodied and embraced by every faculty member at this symposium that ensures you will learn the art of a rhinoplasty. In short, The Dallas Rhinoplasty Symposium is a must for all residents who aspire to conquer the most challenging operation in all of plastic surgery: the rhinoplasty.

References:
Rohrich Link:
http://www.qmp.com/product_dtl.php?QnProductID=153&QsType=B&QnParentSpecialtyID=6&QnSpecialtyID=13&bSubspecialty=Y
Constantian Link: http://www.qmp.com/product_dtl.php?QnProductID=185&QsType=B&QnParentSpecialtyID=6&QnSpecialtyID=13&bSubspecialty=Y
Guyuron Link:
http://store.elsevier.com/Rhinoplasty/Bahman-Guyuron/isbn-9781416037514/
Toriumi Link:
http://www.amazon.com/Rhinoplasty-Dissection-Manual-Book-Video/dp/0781717833

Visit the blog to see images from the symposium and please leave a comment for Dr. Patel.
 
OP
PRSJournal

PRSJournal

SDN Partner
Partner Organization
Jan 28, 2013
40
0
Status
Hi guys Donnell from PRS again and I'm bringing you a sneak peak into our upcoming June issue. This
week we present the introduction to "Jaw in a Day": Total Maxillofacial Reconstruction using Digital Technology" by Levine et al. Read the abstract below, comment and don't miss out on the next issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Background: Tumors of the mandible are complex, often requiring replacement of bone, soft tissue and teeth. The fibula flap has become a routine procedure in large tumors of the jaw, providing bone and soft tissue at the time of the resection. In current practice, dental reconstruction is delayed for 3-6 months leaving the patient without teeth in the interim. This can be disfiguring and anxiety provoking for the patient. In this article, our group presents three patients with benign tumors of the mandible who undergo virtually guided resection, fibula reconstruction, and insertion of an implant retained dental prosthesis in one operation. In addition, we report our early experience using this technique in the maxilla.

Methods/Results: We present a case series of 3 patients with benign mandibular tumors, and 1 patient with a benign maxillary tumor, who underwent total reconstruction using CAD/CAM
technology in a single stage.

Conclusion: In the right situation, total mandibular reconstruction is possible in a single stage.This is demonstrated by the successful outcomes of these patients.

http://journals.lww.com/plasreconsurg/blog/PRSonallySpeaking/pages/post.aspx?PostID=144
 
OP
PRSJournal

PRSJournal

SDN Partner
Partner Organization
Jan 28, 2013
40
0
Status
Hi guys Donnell from PRS again. Are you in search of a mentor? Check out some tips on finding the person who can help your career in the latest addition to our blog, PRSonally Speaking. Dr. Jon Ver Halen gives us his thoughts on mentorship and the easiest way to find the perfect one. Don't miss out and please comment with your own thoughts.

Finding a Mentor
by Jon Ver Halen,MD

The authors write, "An even greater problem is that many studies do not define mentorship before they ask subjects to describe their experiences, so it is impossible to know whether the relationship they discuss is in fact a true mentorship." So what is a mentor? There is a strict definition of "mentorship" with regard to the NIH career-development awards that Dr. Kevin Chung discusses in his article, ""Mentorship: Concepts and Application to Plastic Surgery Training Programs". Outside of this, the lines are blurred. As a person who has been a mentee, a mentor, and contributor to the proposed YPS Collaborator and Mentor database, I offer up some observations on mentorship.

1) I was looking at Table 1, and thought to myself, "who in the world meets these criteria?" I have worked with only a handful of people in my life who meet them. If we set the bar so high, it is no wonder that there are too few mentors!

2) If you want someone to mentor you, look for someone with an established track record in mentorship. Old dogs don't learn new tricks. Don't expect that your scintillating conversational skills, intellect, or groundbreaking research proposal are going to suddenly inspire that otherwise reclusive senior faculty member to decide to take you under his wing.

3) As Dr. Chung writes, institutional support of mentorship is rare. Such a lack of foresight will ultimately hurt these organizations. Consider this: If my current employer is telling me one thing, but my closest mentor is guiding me in the opposite direction, which direction do you think I will lean? For institutions with a specific "culture" and history, this lack of investment contributes to inefficiency, worker dissatisfaction, and turnover. It is well established that a lack of promotion, advancement and recognition is one of the leading causes job dissatisfaction. Institutions need to invest in programs to mentor and develop their junior staff members. Sadly, it doesn't take long the exodus of disenfranchised faculty members to take an organization from the black to the red&#8230; and then remnants of the faculty practice group is "realigned" with (read: purchased by) a hospital system with a better track record.

4) I have found something that I call mentorship (and which is perhaps more appropriately called "collegial support") from those who are just a few years senior, or junior to myself. We are all comfortable in our skins. We are not trying to compete with each other, and are not afraid to lend a hand when necessary. We collaborate. Call it "simpatico". I have had near strangers help me with career advice, give me assistance on research projects, and recommend me for advancement. In turn, I have done the same for junior colleagues. Whatever you want to call this phenomenon, I have found it to be one of the single most rewarding experiences of my professional career. As a shameless plug: get active with the YPS Forum! This is what we are all about!

5) Mentorship used to be a way for people to be introduced to leadership roles. But the world has changed, and is much more transparent. Nearly everyone has access to information, research and support nearly-instantaneously, and we frequently network with distant colleagues remotely to ask for assistance. So what is mentorship in the Internet age? And what is the end goal of mentorship? Is it to give mentees the tools to "embark on an independent career"? Medical students often have a well-established record of research, entrepreneurship, technical ability, and/or service qualifications even before they begin residency training. Do these people need "mentors"? Or do they need "colleagues"?

6) Ultimately, what is the easiest way to find a mentor? Just say, "I need some help." If you can make a cogent statement of 1) what you want to do, 2) what you can do for yourself, 3) what you can't do for yourself, and 4) who you need to help you (and why they need to help you), I think you can get started. I have received extraordinary assistance from people well outside my own area of expertise after doing this. It takes a lot of self-confidence and practice to be comfortable with this. But it is certainly one of the best ways to grow your career, and leverage your own personal strengths for the good of your community.
 
Last edited:
OP
PRSJournal

PRSJournal

SDN Partner
Partner Organization
Jan 28, 2013
40
0
Status
Breast Reconstruction&#8212;It's Not Just About Breasts


by Jordan Ireton

Angelina Jolie's opinion article in the New York Times this week has essentially gone viral. It supports the recent trends in breast reconstruction highlighted by Cemal et al. in the March issue of PRS demonstrating that an increasing number of women are opting for bilateral mastectomies. They are doing so despite being diagnosed with unilateral cancer or for purely preventive reasons. Angelina's article also reminded me of an experience I had a couple years ago. I was assisting with a mastectomy, and one of the surgeons asked the resident, "if you had ductal carcinoma in situ, would you opt for a lumpectomy and radiation or just go for a mastectomy, knowing that the survival rates are the same?" Without much hesitation, she said "mastectomy." He replied "Why? It seems like such an easy choice to just have a lumpectomy, because it saves most of the breast."

The reason I bring this up is because this is exactly what Angelina Jolie and the changing trends in breast reconstruction are saying, and that is: it is not always about breasts. The idea of losing one's breast, a symbol of femininity, is a tragic thought. However, for some women what matters more than her breasts is being there for her children and grandchildren, not worrying about recurrence or going through cancer treatments, and not having cancer define her life. Some choose to take the risk because they feel comfortable with it, and that is a perfectly acceptable decision. The treatments can very successful, and surgery itself is not benign. There are others, however, who would choose an entirely preventive path. As Angelina states "cancer is still a word that strikes fear into people's hearts, producing a deep sense of powerlessness." For many women, the decision is not about how she survives but rather how she lives. If a woman knows that she is likely to hear the words "you have cancer" or "you have a recurrence" in the future, regardless of survival rates, there are many today who would choose to avoid it for the sake of themselves and their loved ones.

What does this mean for breast reconstruction? The first is that breast reconstruction is gaining a voice. More and more women are sharing their experiences and encouraging others to make their own decisions about the process based on the newest results and technologies. The title of Angelina's article, "My Medical Choice," highlights this concept. Knowing that "the results can be beautiful," women are opting for prevention and are finding support for this decision. Angelina's article is directed to the public and says that she is proud of her decision and has nothing to hide, giving support to thousands of women who have already chosen this path.

The second impact that Angelina's article may have is the emphasis on reconstruction as a symbol of femininity itself. To sacrifice her breasts for the sake of preventing cancer that could someday take her away from her children is a very maternal and feminine concept. For many, being a woman means protecting her family, and preventive mastectomy may serve that purpose for some women at high risk. Angelina stated that she does not feel less feminine after the procedure, which is a fear that a number of women have about undergoing reconstruction. Seeing that a celebrity, known for her physical appearance and acting, feels just as feminine after undergoing reconstruction will likely encourage more high-risk women to consider the procedure.

In conclusion, this article is a wonderful personal account of Angelina Jolie's experience with preventing breast cancer. It is a story that is felt by both men and women who have been a part of the tragedy of cancer. Knowing that reconstruction can produce a beautiful result will hopefully serve as an empowering concept for those considering the procedure. The article speaks to the success of advances in breast reconstruction techniques and outcomes, as well as the courage of those who share their experience with others.
 
Last edited:
OP
PRSJournal

PRSJournal

SDN Partner
Partner Organization
Jan 28, 2013
40
0
Status
Hi Everyone! Aaron with PRS here.

The June issue just went up on the website today. You know what that means! A whole new slew of free articles. Read 'em while they're free!

•Jaw in a Day: Total Maxillofacial Reconstruction Using Digital Technology
•Are Systemic Antibiotics Indicated in Aesthetic Breast Surgery? A Systematic Review of the Literature
•Nonfatal Sport-Related Craniofacial Fractures: Characteristics, Mechanisms, and Demographic Data in the Pediatric Population
•The Role of Gene Therapy in Regenerative Surgery: Updated Insights
We also feature short-term free articles throughout the month of June. Please read and discuss the following articles:

•Infection following Implant-Based Reconstruction in 1952 Consecutive Breast Reconstructions: Salvage Rates and Predictors of Success (Free from May 29 - June 10)
•215 Mandible Fractures in 120 Children: Demographics, Treatment, Outcomes, and Early Growth Data (Free from June 11 - 20)
•The Role of Silicone Granulomas in Recurrent Capsular Contracture: A Review of the Literature and an Approach to Management (Free from June 21 - 30)

In addition to reading the articles for free above, you can also watch the free video discussion:

Maria Siemionow, M.D., discusses the June Experimental article "Nerve Transfers for Facial Transplantation: A Cadaveric Study for Motor and Sensory Restoration" by Audolfsson et al.

Additionally, we encourage you to read the 2013 PSRC Abstract Supplement for free!

Happy Reading!
 
OP
PRSJournal

PRSJournal

SDN Partner
Partner Organization
Jan 28, 2013
40
0
Status
Hi guys Donnell from PRS again with a new read from our blog, the PRS Resident Chronicles. Are your preparing for a transition as well? Read, comment and join the conversation as Dr. Eamon O'Reilly bids farewell and introduces our newest blogger, Dr. Jacob Unger.

by Eamon O'Reilly, MD

This week marks the start of my ninety-six month of residency&#8212;the start of another transition into a new phase of life. This week also marks the last time I see my fellow chiefs switch rotations, and is the last hatch mark on the blackboard for our junior residents as they transition into their senior and chiefs years. It is a period of apprehension and life changes, a time when people are a bit nervous about the future, me included. How can I transition into this new future, one full of new challenges and fears?

It also marks the end of my time as a resident PRS blogger, but serves as an introduction to our newest blogger, Dr. Jacob Unger. The first time I met Jacob he was a newly minted second year resident at UTSW, all smiles and exuberance. He had just done forty pull-ups in a row on General Surgery's home turf, the famed Parkland general surgery lounge. It wasn't enough to beat them on the ABSITE that year; we had to also make it a physical victory. Of course, being a Navy guy and just having gotten back from overseas myself, I goaded him into immediately following up with push-ups to exhaustion, and he did them all with that same smile on his face. I knew then that Jacob was my kind of resident.

Jacob is transitioning this summer into a senior resident, the first of his two chief years as our model grows from a five to a six year program. He will start at Parkland as the reconstructive chief resident, with new faculty and obstacles and all of the heartache and time that comes with it.

I usually offer benign platitudes, but there is one nugget I think routinely valuable: do not be afraid to be scared

And I am guessing if he is anything like the rest of us during these periods of transition, he will be a touch nervous, exciting, and ready for the change. Luckily Jacob is a phenomenal resident, selfless and smart, a leader, and technically good in the OR&#8212;if not distracted once in a while. This will change, of course, once he transitions into the chief role!

Being the administrative chief resident, my residents often call me for advice, and the requests definitely pick up at the end (mostly people wondering or nervous about their schedule for next year!) I usually offer benign platitudes, but there is one nugget I think routinely valuable: do not be afraid to be scared. When June 30th roles into July 1st, you will not have all the answers, and that is ok. You may feel a bit lost or overwhelmed in the OR as a new second year just starting, or as a chief dissecting that flap for the first time by yourself. But thankfully, just as you transitioned into that new role, so did someone else above you. Take hope that this proves you can do it too&#8212;so even if you are apprehensive starting that first day, we all know you can do it.

This year I hope Jacob shows you not only his victories and triumphs, but his fears and failures. And as the year progresses, and Jacob is ready to transition yet again, I also hope he serves as a model for our future residents by showing it is ok to be afraid of the future, as we all have the tools to overcome our trepidation.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Navy, Department of Defense, or the United States Government.

Read Jacob's first entry to the PRS Resident Chronicles here.
 
OP
PRSJournal

PRSJournal

SDN Partner
Partner Organization
Jan 28, 2013
40
0
Status
Hi guys Donnell from PRS again. Dropping by to point you to more free content from PRS Journal. Check out the abstract from "Mentorship: Concepts and Application to Plastic Surgery Training Programs" by Kevin Chung et al. If you are looking for a mentor or hoping to become a mentor PRS has you covered. Read the abstract and follow the link for the full text.

Background: Countless articles have demonstrated and emphasized the importance of mentoring in academic medicine. However, the upcoming role of mentors in the evolving medical field is poorly defined. As translational medicine, collaboration, and health care priorities change, so too must the goals and use of mentoring. The aims of this article are to demonstrate key aspects of effective mentoring in academic plastic surgery, show institutions how to cultivate mentoring relationships among their faculty and trainees, and provide direction for how to optimize the future use of mentoring to best prepare the next generation of plastic surgeons.

Methods: The authors reviewed the current literature regarding mentorship and the evolution of academic plastic surgery.

Results: Mentors not only facilitate their protégés' entrance into the field and future success, but can also attract medical students and residents to careers in research and reduce the racial and gender discrepancies in plastic surgery and academia. Ideally, faculty should undergo some form of training before they enter mentoring relationships. This will ensure that they are aware of their specific duties as mentors, are able to communicate with mentees, and can avoid potential pitfalls.

Conclusions: Mentorship is a tool. If used correctly, it can help recruit and retain talented physician-scientists to plastic surgery to satisfy the growing demand. This will require institutions to actively support mentorship, provide opportunities and resources for training mentors, and enable faculty to allocate time to this vital pursuit.
 
OP
PRSJournal

PRSJournal

SDN Partner
Partner Organization
Jan 28, 2013
40
0
Status
Hi SDN Future Plastic Surgeons! Aaron here with a new blog post you might find interesting.

If you're curious at all about the burns rotation in your residency, read this week's PRS Resident Chronicles by Yale residents Anup Patel and Ajul Shah: "Burns: The Ultimate Reconstructive Challenge"

Most plastic surgeons find the reconstruction of soft-tissue deficits one of the most challenging, but equally as rewarding, interventions that they perform for patients. It comes as no surprise that plastic surgeons are routinely consulted regarding reconstructive efforts for patients who have suffered burns. Thus, residents need to be adequately trained not only in management of the burn patient during the acute treatment phase, but also able to perform reconstructive procedures necessary for long-term success. To this end, we rotate at the Bridgeport Burn Center (BBC) working under the guidance of Dr. John Schulz, Dr. Alisa Savetamal, and Dr. Richard Garvey.

During our internship and 4th year of the integrated plastic surgery, we spend time at the BBC, which is the only dedicated burn center in Connecticut. This set-up enables us to witness and treat a plethora of burns injuries, ranging from the COPDers smoking while connected to their home O2 to acid burns to electric burns. At the BBC, we participate in all phases of patient care: the moment they present in the ED all the way to the OR and ICU. This robust teaching model hones your skills to manage and treat burn patients.



Under the guidance of Drs. Savetamal and Schulz, we become adept in the management of the ICU patient from placing central lines to bronchoscopy exams. In the operating room, we learn how to release burn contractures and escharatomies. In addition, Dr. Garvey brings a wealth of experience from treating burns in Liberia - his experience teaches us when to apply a skin-substitute versus autogenous split-thickness skin grafts. If you are able to demonstrate competency, all three provide you a tremendous amount of autonomy. With Salam El-Kassis, the burn fellow, one can collaborate on a number of burn-related research projects. The different experiences engendered by their commitment to treating burn patients significantly advances our surgical maturation.

The burn experience at home then translates in treating burn patients overseas. For example, Dr. Grant Thomson, our plastic surgeon specialized in hand and microsurgery, leads an annual trip to Honduras where many patients travel long distance to receive care.

Unfortunately many patients, including some sustaining functional loss of their hands from burn contractures, do not have the financial resources to come to the hospital despite the free surgical care being delivered by Dr. Thomson’s team. While the global surgical burden of disease remains high, it is decreasing with plastic surgeons’ commitment to treat patients on the international level.

In our next piece, we will discuss how the PRS Resident Blog’s global following helped connect the charity Cents of Relief (www.Cents of Relief.org), Dr. Thomson’s charity (www.handhelp.org) and teacher with the relentless drive to ensure his student living with a hand burn contracture finally receive the healthcare he deserves.
Drs. Shah and Patel are more than happy to answer any questions you may have as well. So leave some Q's and we'll get their A's!
 
OP
PRSJournal

PRSJournal

SDN Partner
Partner Organization
Jan 28, 2013
40
0
Status
Hi Everyone! Aaron with PRS. The July issue of PRS is up, and that means our latest batch of free offerings are now available for you to read without having to go to the library. So enjoy these free PRS articles and videos straight from your computer!

Let me know if you have any questions or if there are any other articles in this issue that a bunch of you want to read and I'll see what I can do!


•Surgical Anatomy of the Middle Premasseter Space and Its Application in Sub–SMAS Face Lift Surgery
•Known Preoperative Deep Venous Thrombosis and/or Pulmonary Embolus: To Flap or Not to Flap the Severely Injured Extremity?
•Severe Infectious Complications following Frontal Sinus Fracture: The Impact of Operative Delay and Perioperative Antibiotic Use
•Trends in Autologous Fat Grafting to the Breast: A National Survey of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons
•The Incidence of Vitamin, Mineral, Herbal, and Other Supplement Use in Facial Cosmetic Patients

We also feature short-term free articles throughout the month of July. Please read and discuss the following articles:

•Fat Grafts Supplemented with Adipose-Derived Stromal Cells in the Rehabilitation of Patients with Craniofacial Microsomia (Free from June 28 - August 1)
•Prospective Comparative Clinical Evaluation of 784 Consecutive Cases of Breast Augmentation and Vertical Mammaplasty, Performed Individually and in Combination (Free from June 28- August 1)

Read, share and discuss these hot articles through the month of July and beyond, courtesy of PRS. Your thoughts, opinions and ideas are very important to the on-going conversation.

In addition to reading the articles for free above, you can also watch the free video discussion:

Jonathan Cheng, MD, discusses the July Hand article "A Systematic Review of the Literature on the Outcomes of Treatment for Recurrent and Persistent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome" by Soltani et al.
 
OP
PRSJournal

PRSJournal

SDN Partner
Partner Organization
Jan 28, 2013
40
0
Status
Hi guys Donnell from PRS again and I'm back to present our newest addition to the PRS Resident Chronicles. Read Jordan Ireton's take on the being a plastic surgeon and pick up some advice that may save you an explanation.

by Jordan Ireton

Dr. Peter Neligan, of the University of Washington, published an article this week titled "Being a plastic surgeon requires a lot of explaining." The article is dedicated to those in my position, the new group of medical students-now-physicians who have tackled all obstacles to match in plastic surgery and will now begin their residencies in just a few weeks. He uses the article to offer advice: "when asked what you do, simply say that you are a surgeon." The reason for this advice is that most people do not understand what plastic surgeons really do. Most believe that plastic surgery equals cosmetic surgery. Few understand the fact that cosmetic surgery is a small part of a field that is incredibly vast, something that even fellow surgeons do not have a true appreciation for. In his words, "some say that plastic surgeons are the last general surgeons."

Since moving to Dallas to begin my residency at UT-Southwestern, I have experienced this sentiment a few times. I'm still on vacation, so I've spent much of my time golfing at a local public golf course. Each morning the course staff members greet me with a smile, "Hey Dr. Jordan!" Yesterday, the owner asked me, "so what kind of a doctor are you?" I replied, "I'm in training to be a plastic surgeon." His smile seemed to fade and he looked a bit confused, and then he said "oh! Wouldn't have expected that! Goin' for the big bucks, huh!"

This isn't the first time that someone is surprised that I chose the field of plastic surgery, since I don't seem "the type." I do not take it personally, because it is exactly along the lines of what Dr. Neligan's article is about. Most people associate plastic surgery with excessive cosmetic surgery and money, something that pop culture and television have significantly contributed to. Dr. Neligan describes how most people have no idea that there is more to plastic surgery than just cosmetic surgery. I agree, and I would add that it means they have a poor understanding of the complexity and the true nature of cosmetic surgery, as well!

Cosmetic surgery, in my opinion, is simply a form of reconstructive surgery. It was a great moment when I realized how similar a facelift was to a cervicofacial flap for melanoma reconstruction or to a face transplant. Whether the patient requires breast reconstruction after breast cancer, or simply wishes to improve the aesthetics of her breast, an implant can be used for both. The techniques and principles required to perform a cosmetic rhinoplasty can be applied to the trauma patient who suffers severe facial injuries, or to the child who fractures his nose playing baseball. The high level of knowledge of the body's anatomy that is required to perform muscle flaps and burn reconstruction is also needed to safely perform liposuction and tummy tucks. It is all the same, with a goal of improving the patient's life in some way or another. And plastic surgeons do it all.

Although I agree with Dr. Neligan that reconstructive surgery is an unsung and underappreciated component of plastic surgery, I disagree that when asked what we do we should simply say we are "surgeons." This article argues that there is a need for education. We should proudly state that we are plastic surgeons, and use that opportunity to educate the public and our colleagues. Perhaps we could give them an example of the types of procedures we do, and they may share that with others. Plastic surgery is a mysterious field that will always spark interest in others. As Dr. Neligan states, being a plastic surgeon simply requires "a lot of explaining" and a "dash of good humor."
 
OP
PRSJournal

PRSJournal

SDN Partner
Partner Organization
Jan 28, 2013
40
0
Status
Hi Everyone,

Aaron with PRS and PRS Go here, happy to announce that ASPS is now accepting entries for the 3rd annual Residents Bowl at PS 2013.

Hosts: Chad Tattini, MD and former Jeopardy! Champion Hatem Abou-Sayed, MD

Winning isn't everything, but we are keeping score. Saturday and Sunday, teams of four compete to answer questions on case studies covering the core curriculum of plastic surgery.

A great review and fun, too. Individual and group registrations accepted. Build your teams now. Can you unseat 2012 champions from UTSW?

Winners get eternal-glory, bragging rights and 4 iPad minis from PRS GO!

PRS is putting the GO in San DieGO!
 
OP
PRSJournal

PRSJournal

SDN Partner
Partner Organization
Jan 28, 2013
40
0
Status
Hi guys Donnell from PRS again. Blogger Jordan Ireton revisits her first two weeks of residency and stresses the importance of teamwork. How was your first day as a resident? Read, comment and stay tuned for more free content from PRS.

by Jordan Ireton

The first two weeks of residency have now come to an end. I can't believe how much I have learned in just fourteen days. My first day was an overnight shift on call, and every page that I received was a new problem that I had never solved before. I would take out my Ipad and search my "on call" manuals for answers. Now that I'm a seasoned two-weeker, it is almost funny that I even had to look up such simple problems. My first-night fear of insulin, potassium, and hydromorphone is now gone.

To what do I owe this fast learning? Teamwork. I take teamwork very seriously, and have always felt at home in team-based environments. My first night on call I relied heavily on many people other than myself who knew more than I did from years of experience. These people were the nurses, the techs, my fellow interns who came from many different backgrounds, and of course my senior residents.

My mother and sister are both nurses. Because of that I've always known that when I was a doctor I would treat nurses with respect, as all people should be treated, and to work with them as colleagues in the care of my patients. This is exactly what I sought out to do on my first night, and without them I would have struggled. "Doctor, what do you want to do?" they would ask me. "(long pause)&#8230;.what do you want to do?" I would ask them. This allowed me to provide effective, efficient treatment for my patients, and it prevented me from falling behind on my other patients' needs.

I also relied heavily upon my own plastic surgery co-residents. As a plastic surgery intern, I assumed that I would be largely off the radar of the other plastic surgery residents. Surprisingly, this was not the case. The moment the four of us arrived in Dallas we were taken into the team, receiving advice from faculty to PGY 2's through 6's. Nearly all of my co-residents (and there are over twenty of them) reached out to the four of us interns to make sure we were prepared for the first few weeks. We met up before Day 1, where they answered our hundreds of questions and provided us with reassurance that we would do well. The day before I started, one of the PGY 2's in our program spent her entire Sunday going over the electronic medical record with us in a way that was specific to the rotations we would be starting. A lifesaving move for that first night on call.

For those medical students applying in plastic surgery for next year, my advice would be to prepare for that first day by seeking the knowledge and advice of your senior residents. The plastic surgery residents aren't always in the loop when it comes to orientation for general surgery rotations, so you will often need to find out the information for yourself. Those who have been there before are the best resource you have.

Being an intern is a rite of passage in medicine and surgery. I feel privileged to have this experience. I have described it as "fun, fast-paced, frustrating, CRAZY, frustrating, and exciting" to those who ask me what it's like. I look forward to many more experiences of a lifetime, with the best team I could ask for.
 
OP
PRSJournal

PRSJournal

SDN Partner
Partner Organization
Jan 28, 2013
40
0
Status
Hi Everyone, the August issue of PRS is here, and there are a bunch of great articles and videos that you can access on PRSJournal.com for free.

Check them out here:

•Evidence-Based Value of Subcutaneous Surgical Wound Drainage: The Largest Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
•Effectiveness and Safety of Independent Pediatric Nurse Practitioners in Evaluating Plagiocephaly
•Outcomes Analysis of Patients Undergoing Autoaugmentation after Breast Implant Removal
•Analysis of Satisfaction and Well-Being following Breast Reduction Using a Validated Survey Instrument: The BREAST-Q
•A Nationwide Analysis of the Relationship between Hospital Volume and Outcome for Autologous Breast Reconstruction (Free From July 30 - August 15)
•Prevalence of Dupuytren Disease in The Netherlands (Free From August 16 -31)
•Subglandular Breast Augmentation with Textured, Anatomic, Cohesive Silicone Implants: A Review of 440 Consecutive Patients (Free From July 30 - August 31)

Plus: David A. Hidalgo, MD, discusses the August Cosmetic article "Subglandular Breast Augmentation with Textured, Anatomic, Cohesive Silicone Implants: A Review of 440 Consecutive Patients" by Lista et al. Watch the video!

And, if you're thinking more abstractly these days, help yourself to TWO Abstract Supplements, entirely for free:

•2013 European PSRC Abstract Supplement
•2013 PSRC Abstract Supplement


If there's an article that most of you are interested in that's not free, hit up me or Donnell on this forum and we'll see what we can do!

Happy reading!

Aaron with PRS
 
Jun 14, 2013
12
1
Status
1.
3. Be an interesting person. Study abroad. Develop interesting hobbies. Have fun. In our Integrated program, we interviewed people who had been professional musicians, chefs, dancers, and high-level athletes. And that was just this year. They all had good grades/high scores/research/excellent letters. And they had something interesting/unusual/different. Plastic surgeons tend to be social people who like to talk -- if you're some boring nerd type, we won't want to talk to you for very long in an interview and that's the kiss of death.
Get off your high horse Mister. We are all nerds here. Just because plastics is a competitive specialty doesn't mean you are entitled to be an *ss about it. For a competitive specialty that has the luxury of recruiting gifted people, you should be interested in hiring those that are focused on promoting the science of your field rather than focusing on the irrelevant BS that you mentioned in your list.

Mentality like this is the very reason I am not applying to plastics, even though I am a highly competitive candidate in every way.
 
Last edited:

maxheadroom

Rhinestone Cowboy
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jan 3, 2003
1,317
30
At the bottom of a wishing well . . .
Status
Attending Physician
Get off your high horse Mister. We are all nerds here. Just because plastics is a competitive specialty doesn't mean you are entitled to be an *ss about it. For a competitive specialty that has the luxury of recruiting gifted people, you should be interested in hiring those that are focused on promoting the science of your field rather than focusing on the irrelevant BS that you mentioned in your list.

Mentality like this is the very reason I am not applying to plastics, even though I am a highly competitive candidate in every way.
I'm not sure what offended you about my post. My point is that we want people in our specialty who have done things besides just focusing on grades and research. Yes, Integrated Plastics has the great luxury of picking from super-high achievers. Why do we like people who have demonstrated excellence in other areas of their life (sports/music/art)? They've demonstrated an ability to focus on a very specific talent and develop it. That's more or less the same as residency. If they've already proven an ability to develop other talents that way, why wouldn't we be interested in their ability to do it as a Plastics resident? My advice was to a pre-med who needed to get the message that there are lots of things that make a good applicant to my program. When we convene our rank meeting, we spend a lot of time talking about which students were interesting/seemed fun/had unique experiences/would be enjoyable to train for six years. If you make it to the interview, you've more or less demonstrated that you're a smart, hard-working, driven student. If you want to make yourself stand out, work on some other parts of yourself besides just being AOA/Step 1 > 235 with research.

I'm sorry that you've had a bad experience with Plastics. In general, I think that we tend to be fun people who do cool cases (of course, I'm a bit biased).
 

Winged Scapula

Cougariffic!
Staff member
Administrator
Lifetime Donor
15+ Year Member
Apr 9, 2000
39,559
28,080
forums.studentdoctor.net
Status
Attending Physician
Get off your high horse Mister. We are all nerds here. Just because plastics is a competitive specialty doesn't mean you are entitled to be an *ss about it. For a competitive specialty that has the luxury of recruiting gifted people, you should be interested in hiring those that are focused on promoting the science of your field rather than focusing on the irrelevant BS that you mentioned in your list.

Mentality like this is the very reason I am not applying to plastics, even though I am a highly competitive candidate in every way.
Not that maxheadroom needs my help, but I'm stymied by your response as well.

The fact of the matter is that all competitive program applicants have good grades, research and LORs. What sets PRS and other competitive specialties apart, IMHO, is that those who match are often pretty interesting people outside of the OR and office and are still able to advance the science and practice of their field.

I might be biased here too but maxheadroom is far from a condescending jerk IRL or on-line: he's an erudite, compassionate, friendly, respected man with a very wide range of interests and skills outside of the OR. He's pretty easy on the eyes as well. ;)
 

maxheadroom

Rhinestone Cowboy
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jan 3, 2003
1,317
30
At the bottom of a wishing well . . .
Status
Attending Physician
I might be biased here too but maxheadroom is far from a condescending jerk IRL or on-line: he's an erudite, compassionate, friendly, respected man with a very wide range of interests and skills outside of the OR. He's pretty easy on the eyes as well. ;)
Aw, shucks. Now you made me blush.
 
OP
PRSJournal

PRSJournal

SDN Partner
Partner Organization
Jan 28, 2013
40
0
Status
Hi everyone,

This is Aaron with PRS again. It's great to see a lively dialogue going back and forth on this forum. Some very interesting thoughts brought up.

To add to the fray, I point to the newest post from one of our Resident Bloggers, Anup Patel from Yale:

A Political Decision for All of Us to Make.

Overview:
I recently had the chance to attend the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) Presidential Summit meeting. Gathering at the lovely Drake Hotel, nestled in downtown Chicago with Lake Michigan in the backdrop, attendings and residents alike gathered to discuss a gamut of topics ranging from how to improve education to garnering a strong political voice. Filled with breakout sessions and interactive discussions, all in attendance endeavored to improve our outreach as plastic surgeons navigating the field through the future vicissitudes generated by the current healthcare landscape. This piece serves to generate awareness among residents about the ASPS, PlastyPAC, and the Plastic Surgery Foundation (PSF).
Once you get into a PRS residency program - whether you're a self-confessed nerd, a musician, a mountain climber, or all of the above - what involvement can you (and should you) have in the world of plastic surgery politics?
 
OP
PRSJournal

PRSJournal

SDN Partner
Partner Organization
Jan 28, 2013
40
0
Status
Hi SDN! Aaron Weinstein, Managing Editor of PRS, here with a few articles that I think you'll find really applicable to you...as they're kind of about you!

First, in PRS this month, we had an article called "Fixing the Match: A Survey of Resident Behaviors" by Read the full study here free, on me.

Background: The authors studied residency applicant attitudes toward rank list creation, communication with programs, and the impact of these factors on their performance in the Match.

Methods: An anonymous, 26-question, multiple-choice, online survey was distributed to the program coordinators of every Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education&#8211;accredited program participating in the National Resident Matching Program for whom e-mail addresses were available. The survey addressed five areas: (1) demographics and interview characteristics, (2) preinterview and interview factors, (3) postinterview contact, (4) importance of various factors in rank list creation, and (5) Match outcome. Survey responses were analyzed with Microsoft Excel.

Results: A total of 1179 responses were received. It was not possible to calculate a response rate, because the number of residents receiving the survey was not known. The majority of respondents (78 percent) reported postinterview contact with a program. A large portion of respondents (42 percent) considered such contact to be important in the creation of their rank lists. Half of all respondents admitted to exaggerating their interest in a program during or after an interview. The majority of respondents (87.5 percent) received no assistance in covering the costs of "second-look" visits to programs.

Conclusions: Applicants may be modifying their rank lists in response to post-interview contact from programs; furthermore, they usually have no assistance in paying for the cost of second looks. To level the playing field for students and programs alike, the authors propose that the National Resident Matching Program modify residency interview rules to (1) disallow any postinterview contact between programs and students, and (2) disallow second looks.
Secondly, check out "Generation Y and the Integrated Plastic Surgery Residency Match: A Cross-sectional Study of the 2011 Match Outcomes " by Gloria R Sue and Deepak Narayan. Read this PRS GO article here.

Background: Plastic surgery is the most competitive specialty in medicine. We sought to identify factors associated with the successful match of generation Y applicants into integrated plastic surgery residency.

Methods: We utilized the most recent data from the Charting Outcomes in the Match published by the National Resident Matching Program in 2011. We had data on US senior or independent applicant status, Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) status, attendance of top 40 medical schools, advanced degree status, and number of contiguous ranks within plastic surgery. Our main outcome measure was match status.

Results: A total of 81 out of 197 applicants (41.1%) successfully matched into integrated plastic surgery in the 2011 main match. US seniors matched at a significantly higher rate compared to independent applicants (44.0% vs 24.1%, P = 0.044). Matched US seniors were more likely to have AOA membership compared to unmatched US seniors (45.9% vs 27.7%, P = 0.014) and attend a top 40 medical school (52.7% vs 35.1%, P = 0.022). There were no differences in terms of advanced degrees between matched and unmatched US seniors. Unmatched US seniors were more likely to have 3 or fewer contiguous ranks of plastic surgery residency programs than matched US seniors (86.2% vs 68.9%, P = 0.007).

Conclusions: US senior status, AOA membership, and attendance at a top 40 medical school are predictors of matching into integrated plastic surgery. Program directors need to be aware of the background of the millennial applicants to recruit and maintain top residents.
What do you think about these two articles? Do they accurately reflect your experience so far?
 
OP
PRSJournal

PRSJournal

SDN Partner
Partner Organization
Jan 28, 2013
40
0
Status
Hi guys Donnell from PRS again. Check out the newest blog from the PRS Resident Chronicles and stay tuned for more free content. Let us know what we can do better to help residents and improve PRS.

Research fellowships along the path to residency: time wasted or time well spent?

By Andre Alcon

Here at Yale, most medical students take a break from medical school in order to participate in a one-year research fellowship. In fact, every student is required to submit a thesis before graduation. Students typically take time off after their clinical rotations with the hope that the knowledge and experiences gained during those rotations will make their projects more clinically relevant. The program “is designed to develop critical judgment, habits of self-education, and application of the scientific method to medicine.” I couldn’t agree more; however, during my rotations, I was surprised by the lack of support Yale medical students received from some of the residents they worked with for choosing to do a research year…”That’s so unnecessary…what a drag...a waste of time…I don’t understand it...” It’s well known that scientific research and clinical practice are intimately intertwined, but if that’s so then why is taking a year to do research such a terrible idea? Is it an unnecessary waste of time, particularly as it pertains to plastic surgery?

A familiar face can go a long way, especially in a new, fast-paced environment like away rotations.

There’s no doubt that there are benefits to doing independent research. All medical students are excellent critical thinkers; that’s how we got to where we are. But designing and conducting your own experiments, analyzing the data, and then relating it back to clinical practice is no easy task. Furthermore, seeing it through to publication in a respectable journal shows an immense amount of commitment and responsibility. Of course I don’t expect to become an expert researcher in one year’s time, but my experiences this year will hone my ability as a future surgeon to recognize and conduct quality studies. Many medical students like myself already have extensive research experience from college and may question the need for an additional year of experience. However, after three years of medical school I would be willing to bet that students will find themselves approaching their projects with a drastically different mindset, including a much better understanding of its relevance to the field of plastic surgery and its feasibility given the current trajectory of our healthcare system. Some may argue that journal club-styled classes during medical school can achieve some of the same goals such as developing critical thinking and lifelong learning skills, but there are many more benefits that go along with being an active member in the research community.

Then there’s the big question everybody wants to know the answer to: is a year of research necessary to match in plastic surgery?

From a more practical perspective, a year off provides more time to get to know faculty and residents, which makes things a bit easier when you rotate through the department the following year. Equally important, working with a good mentor in plastic surgery can be enormously helpful as you plan your away rotations and apply for residency. Not only can they vouch for you with letters of recommendation, they can also guide you towards programs better suited to your personality and interests. Finally, more projects mean more opportunities to present your work at national conferences, which provides exposure to students, residents, and faculty from other institutions. Plastic surgery is an especially small field, so it’s likely that you’ll see the same individuals during your away rotations and interviews. A familiar face can go a long way, especially in a new, fast-paced environment like away rotations.

Of course, taking a year off to do research has its disadvantages. Many medical schools don’t have the same amount of funding or support staff as Yale. That being said, a wide range of foundations and societies offer grants or one-year research fellowships for exactly this purpose. Of note, students more interested in clinical research have better flexibility to work during their third and fourth years of medical school in which case an additional year of research may be unnecessary. They must keep in mind however, that projects must compete with rotations, residency applications, and interviews. Then there’s the big question everybody wants to know the answer to: is a year of research necessary to match in plastic surgery? It’s certainly not necessary. My guess is that most students matching into plastic surgery did not take a year off during medical school to do research. Your chances are probably pretty good if you have all the necessary components of a strong application- high scores, good letters of recommendation, and a solid work ethic. But for many, that’s not enough as every year applicants are more and more competitive. Thus, the publications or accolades you get during your extra year of research may be the distinguishing factor that gets you the position you’re looking for.

Indeed, taking a research year is not for everyone. Students may not have the money, interest, or support to do so. However, those considering it should not be discouraged by superiors who think that a year of research is a waste of time. It’s a valuable component to medical school education and can open a number of doors to students interested in plastic surgery. Maybe it’s my own bias as I embark on my own research year or the result of training at Yale, but I’m optimistic about the year ahead. I will spend most of my days toiling with culture flasks and lab rats for a tissue-engineering project, but my year of research will be more than just time spent under a fume hood. I will be building critical relationships with faculty and residents that will push me to strive toward my full potential as a surgeon-scientist and open my eyes to the possibilities that lie ahead. So if you’re thinking of “wasting” a year of your life on research, don’t be myopic; instead think of all of opportunities that it could provide- it may in fact some of the best time you will ever “waste” along the path to residency.