A National Curriculum of Fundamental Skills for Plastic Surgery Residency: Report of the Inaugural ACAPS Boot Camp

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The Inaugural American Council of Academic Plastic Surgeons Plastic Surgery Boot Camp program was developed in response to ongoing changes in graduate medical education. The Boot Camp is a hands-on, practicum-based, 3-day course to introduce core concepts in plastic surgery for new plastic surgery residents (in both integrated and independent tracks).


The course was held in Pittsburgh in July to August 2015. There were 43 attendees (35 integrated/8 independent) representing 22 residency programs across 15 states. Faculty was composed of 8 local personnel and 5 visiting. Lecture topics and practical sessions covered the full spectrum of plastic surgery. All trainees completed an online survey evaluation both during the course and at 6 months.


Participant responses were overwhelmingly positive. A total of 72% of respondents rated the Boot Camp ≥ 8 on a 1 to 10 scale (10 is excellent) for the overall course rating; 79% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed with the statement that the simulation scenarios were realistic; and 75% of participants agreed or strongly agreed with the statement that they found simulation-based training to be a valuable way to teach this material. Respondents reported an increase in comfort and confidence across topics after attending the Boot Camp at both 0- and 6-month time points. Instructors received positive evaluations across all topics.


This successful inaugural course serves as a benchmark for development of a logistical blueprint, business plan, and curriculum for a proposed expansion to regional centers, to potentially encompass all incoming residents in plastic surgery.

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