Plastic Surgery Residency Program Curriculum

Clinical Rotations

During the first 18 months of residency, plastic and reconstructive residents rotate on general surgery services, including:

  • Burn surgery critical care
  • Emergency general surgery
  • Pediatric
  • Surgical oncology
  • Transplant
  • Vascular

Residents are also expected to acquire knowledge in the field of urology in at least the following ways:

  • Didactic lectures and clinical conferences
  • Through self-study, guided by attending supervision and in the care of patients in the clinic, hospital and operating room

Rotations on sub-specialty services include:

  • Anesthesia
  • ENT
  • Mohs surgery
  • Plastic surgery service
  • Orthopedics
  • Urology

Plastic Surgery Service

Residents spend a total of two months during the second year in the general surgery private practice setting at nearby Forsyth Medical Center, as well as one month in a plastic surgery private practice and one month on an oculoplastic rotation.

The last two years are spent entirely on the plastic surgery service. Residents receive vast clinical training in reconstructive surgery, including:

  • Breast reconstruction
  • Burn reconstruction
  • Hand surgery
  • Microsurgery
  • Pediatric and craniofacial surgery

While on service, a resident’s time is divided between both inpatient and outpatient operative experiences. Plastic surgery residents are responsible for a resident reconstructive clinic supervised by the faculty.

Chief Year

The chief year at the School of Medicine includes a chief resident clinic that has been in continuous operation for more than 20 years. This clinic occupies a specific and protected period of time encompassing one full day of each week during the chief resident year. The day is divided equally into clinical and operative segments run by the two chief residents in each year’s class.

Patients are not assigned individually to a resident but are instead treated as shared patients throughout the process. On the initial day of consultation, the chief residents interview patients and obtain preoperative photographs, then determine operative plans in accordance with the patient’s wishes. Members of the faculty and attending surgeons help review and finalize the operative plans. During the procedure, intra-operative attending input and aid is readily available when requested.

Conferences and Didactics

Our residents are closely integrated with the plastic surgery department through involvement in:

  • Monthly journal clubs
  • The Business of Medicine course
  • Visiting professor lectures
  • Weekly core curriculum conferences
  • Weekly faculty or guest lecturers
  • Monthly anatomic dissections
  • Weekly hand conference
  • Weekly research conference
  • Yearly mock oral exams
  • Yearly in-service exams

Research Opportunities and Presentations

We encourage residents to take advantage of the many opportunities available in both basic science and clinical research throughout the six years of training.

During the second and third year, residents get three months of protected time for the pursuit of research interests. Many of these projects develop from ancillary interests during the first three years and include all arenas of plastic and reconstructive surgery including, but not limited to, the evaluation and implementation of new techniques and devices.

Residents are required to complete a significant research project to present at the national meeting and participate in the annual resident research day.