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Mar 31, 2010
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I remember reading a similar thread on plasticseducation.com when I was applying and thinking it was pretty helpful. Since that site is down, figured I'd start a thread here.

So to help out next year's applicants...I'll start:

School: midwest, state school
Home plastics program? Yes
Class rank: top 10-30%
AOA: nah
Step 1: 240's
Step 2: 250's (programs had this score on my app)
Away rotations: none
Letters of rec: 4, all from plastic surgeons (chair, ex-PD, assistant PD, well known cosmetics faculty)
Programs applied to: 33
Interview invites: 9
Interviews attended: 9
Programs ranked: 9
Matched: Yup, to #4 (not my home program)
Other info: Had another degree listed as well, brought up frequently on interviews. Didn't think I had great numbers- I think letters of rec really helped me out. Have faith people, if I can do it then anyone can.
 
Feb 28, 2010
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School: avg private school
Home plastics program? No
Class rank: 7/~160
AOA: yes
Step 1: 264
Step 2: pending (took it late, only UCSF Cincy and Albany require it)
Away rotations: 3
Letters of rec: 5, home chair, 3 away chairs, 1 vice-chair (all household names)
Publications: 5 in print (basic sci + plastic surg), a lot of papers pending, 4 presentations
Programs applied to: 51
Interview invites: 23
Interviews attended: 20
Programs ranked: 20
Matched: #1 (didn't rotate here)
Other info: on interviews people seemed to care about my undergrad experience, research, and plastic surgery mission trips.

i hate giving unsolicited advice but oh well - first off, try your best to have the ante to play the plastic surgery game (high step 1 and aoa). if you don't, it's not the end of the world. there are numerous other ways to help yourself get in.

be very careful as to what you say or do on interview days, little things make a big difference in terms of whether or not a person is high on a rank list. always show interest in the program and do not discuss other programs. even saying something like "my wife wants to live here because her family is here" can make a big difference. the key is to sell yourself to the program and make it seem like youre a perfect fit. getting into this field is difficult and competitive so you have to do whatever it takes to stand out. for some reason residents from different programs assess every applicant with the following question, would i want to be working with this person at 3AM on a call night. if you can come off as a chill, friendly person that has everything together, then you're fine. just remember you're always being judged and watched, even at conferences a year or two before the interview season begins.

on aways, go balls out, you have to be on top of your game every day and prove to the program that they want you more than anybody else. you're spending a lot of money to do an away so don't mess it up. minimize sleep and read as much as you can beforehand and during the away. also dont make a big fuss about eating or doing other things you have to get done. be prepared all the time, show initiative and enthusiasm, have an insane work ethic, and dont rub anybody the wrong way. make sure you help out with everything and do all the little things without being too annnoying. always have the "a's" of a surgeon...affable, available, etc. make sure you get face time with all of the important people. a lot of what you have to do on an away is common sense but its very difficult to put it into practice without discipline and determination.

lastly and most importantly, in life and in this process, don't take anything for granted and always maintain your integrity. there'll be applicants that are exactly like you but also donated a kidney. or the biggest chair in the country says "a person like this only comes around once every century." so it's best not to assume you're great or you're def going to get in. stay humble, keep your head down, and work hard.
 
Sep 10, 2009
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I appreciate you guys taking the time to posts this stuff, I hope more people follow suit.
SD
 

amacatak11

10+ Year Member
Feb 12, 2009
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Medical Student
School: Mid-tier school w/ a strong plastics program
Home plastics program? Yes
Class rank: No class rank
AOA: No
Step 1: 215
Step 2: 245 (this was reported to all schools on ERAS)
Away rotations: 1
Letters of rec: 5: 1 Home program chairman, 2 strong names from home program, 1 junior faculty from home program, 1 chairman from away rotation
Publications: None published - 2 active plastics projects; a couple of other projects in other departments
Programs applied to: 50
Interview invites: 8
Interviews attended: 8
Programs ranked: 10 (2 gen surg)
Matched: #1 (didn't rotate there)
Other info: For those of you who are reading this who want some REAL encouragement... this is it! My step one is significantly lower than pretty much anyone else who will post on here (and admit it), but I knew that going in and I didn't let it stop me! I worked my butt off, and got strong letters and evals in all my clinical rotations. I think it was the letters that were my best asset overall. Plus - once you get the interview - everyone's on the same level... so if you interview well and have a good personality you can rise to the top of a programs list! Good luck!
 
Apr 8, 2010
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School: Mid-tier school w/ a strong plastics program
Home plastics program? Yes
Class rank: No class rank
AOA: No
Step 1: 215
Step 2: 245 (this was reported to all schools on ERAS)
Away rotations: 1
Letters of rec: 5: 1 Home program chairman, 2 strong names from home program, 1 junior faculty from home program, 1 chairman from away rotation
Publications: None published - 2 active plastics projects; a couple of other projects in other departments
Programs applied to: 50
Interview invites: 8
Interviews attended: 8
Programs ranked: 10 (2 gen surg)
Matched: #1 (didn't rotate there)
Other info: For those of you who are reading this who want some REAL encouragement... this is it! My step one is significantly lower than pretty much anyone else who will post on here (and admit it), but I knew that going in and I didn't let it stop me! I worked my butt off, and got strong letters and evals in all my clinical rotations. I think it was the letters that were my best asset overall. Plus - once you get the interview - everyone's on the same level... so if you interview well and have a good personality you can rise to the top of a programs list! Good luck!
Hi, thanks for sharing. I am M3 now and trying to figure out my app. Can I ask you where you did your interviews? I have a very similar stats (don't have step 2 yet, but anticipate to be better than my step 1, and we don't have plastic residency here, but I've been interacting with the plastic faculty since 1st yr). so far, my surgery attendings have been encouraging me to go for the passion. I picked out some programs I like, avoiding ivy schools (being somewhat realistic) and some that I want to do aways. I need some direction on programs that I should consider and overall many things about the process. If you prefer me to email you instead, let me know. Thanks.
 
Jul 14, 2010
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Thank you for sharing your stories! Gives me some hope...I'll look forward to hearing from others as well.
 

jdh19

10+ Year Member
Apr 12, 2009
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Thanks for starting this. I am an M3 interested in plastic surgery, but have not completely decided. Neurosurgery is my other interest. I have two questions.

My research experience so far is in surgical correction of scoliosis and biochemistry research of glioblastoma. I'm heavily invested in both. I've done this with the intent of going into neurosurgery, but plastics has been looming large as a possibility lately. If I decide on plastics, should I pursue plastic research or is any research good research?

My second questions is about overseas humanitarian plastic surgery. I am interested in spending time doing work in other countries but have not found much in the way of opportunities before and after graduation. Does anyone have any information about organizations or trips for medical students, residents, or full fledged doctors that are specifically plastics related?
 
Nov 6, 2011
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Middle of M3 year, currently interested in pursuing integrated/combined PRS residency

School: mid tier private school
Home plastics program? no. gen surg plastics fellowship, but no integrated or combined residency.
Class rank: unknown
AOA: not voted on yet
Step 1: 259
Step 2: haven't taken yet
Publications: 3 publications, two case reports and 1 ENT paper. Two plastics related papers in production.

Looking for advice on how I should structure my time beginning May 2012 ( applying for March 2013 match). For example, when should I do aways, when should I take step 2, do I have enough research, how competitive are my stats so far etc.