Cosmetic Surgery Training in Plastic Surgery Residency Programs

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Abstract

Background:

Over the past decade, plastic surgery programs have continued to evolve with the addition of 1 year of training, increase in the minimum number of required aesthetic cases, and the gradual replacement of independent positions with integrated ones. To evaluate the impact of these changes on aesthetic training, a survey was sent to residents and program directors.

Methods:

A 37 question survey was sent to plastic surgery residents at all Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education–approved plastic surgery training programs in the United States. A 13 question survey was sent to the program directors at the same institutions. Both surveys were analyzed to determine the duration of training and comfort level with cosmetic procedures.

Results:

Eighty-three residents (10%) and 11 program directors (11%) completed the survey. Ninety-four percentage of residents had a dedicated cosmetic surgery rotation (an increase from 68% in 2015) in addition to a resident cosmetic clinic. Twenty percentage of senior residents felt they would need an aesthetic surgery fellowship to practice cosmetic surgery compared with 31% in 2015. Integrated chief residents were more comfortable performing cosmetic surgery cases compared with independent chief residents. Senior residents continue to have poor confidence with facial aesthetic and body contouring procedures.

Conclusions:

There is an increase in dedicated cosmetic surgery rotations and fewer residents believe they need a fellowship to practice cosmetic surgery. However, the comfort level of performing facial aesthetic and body contouring procedures remains low particularly among independent residents.

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