Resident and Program Director Perceptions of Aesthetic Training in Plastic Surgery Residency: An Update

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Background:This is the third survey exploring the quality of cosmetic training in plastic surgery residency. We focused on determining: (1) the applied modalities and extent of resident exposure; and (2) resident confidence in performing variable cosmetic procedures.Objectives:To analyze trends in resident exposure and confidence in aesthetic plastic surgery procedures from the standpoint of program directors (PDs) and residents.Methods:The survey was developed and e-mailed to 424 residents enrolled in the ASAPS Residents Program and 95 PDs. Both independent and integrated programs were included. The questions were posed in a five-point ranking format. Univariate statistical analysis was used to examine all aspects. The results were analyzed in relation to our previous surveys in 2008 and 2011.Results:Thirty-three PDs (34.7%) and 224 (52.8%) residents responded. Residents felt most confident with abdominoplasty, breast reduction, and augmentation-mammaplasty. Facial aesthetic procedures, especially rhinoplasty and facelift, were perceived as “challenging.” The three most preferred modalities of aesthetic education were, in descending order, residents' clinic, staff cosmetic patients, and cadaver dissections. Both residents and PDs felt a need for more training especially in facial procedures. Only 31.5% of residents who planned to focus on cosmetic surgery felt ideally prepared integrating cosmetic surgery into their practice (compared to 50% in previous surveys).Conclusions:Despite improvements observed from 2008 to 2011 published surveys, there are still challenges to be met especially in facial cosmetic procedures. It is suggested that resident clinics and cadaver courses be universally adopted by all training programs.

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