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Plastic Surgery Residency Curriculum

Program Details Heading link

Since July 2023, the Plastic Surgery Curriculum is a six year (72 month) integrated plastic surgery residency curriculum. Our first residents from this program will graduate in June 2028. We are accredited without outcomes by the ACGME. Prior, we had a long history of an independent plastic surgery residency which has been continuously fully accredited since its inception in 1974. Our last graduating class will be in 2027.

Philosophy Heading link

Our curriculum is designed to support the resident in their development along all of the ACGME Core Competencies using the Plastic Surgery Milestones as a guide. The curriculum increases in its content and complexity as the medical school graduate matures into a surgeon capable of autonomous practice of plastic surgery. As themes, the year progress as follows.

The resident will identify self as:

  • PGY 1:             physician
  • PGY 2 – 3:         surgeon and medical educator
  • PGY 4 -5:          plastic surgeon and surgical educator
  • PGY 6:             surgical leader and supervised autonomous practitioner

Clinical Program Heading link

Clinical Rotation Plan 2027

The clinical program is dynamic and growing within defined pillars of experience – “Surgery in General”, “Plastic Surgery Adjacent” and “Plastic Surgery”. In the junior years (PGY 1-3), approximately half (18 months) is devoted to “Surgery in General.” These rotations are curated to provide increasing responsibility in the care of acute sick patients and to provide experiences that will augment the practice of plastic surgery. One quarter of the time is devoted to plastic surgery adjacent fields – where field overlaps or is dependent upon their field. The remainder of the time is on the Plastic Surgery services. The senior years (PGY 4-6) are spent exclusively on plastic surgery rotations. Our curriculum is an operatively heavy program with case log totals for graduating residents consistently in the 75-85th percentiles.

Residents have patient care responsibilities in the following settings:

  • Inpatient Hospital Care
  • Emergency Department
  • Operating Room
  • Outpatient Clinics
  • Private Practice Settings
  • Triage of care in call from home setting (plastic surgery rotations)

Didactic Curriculum Heading link

Conferences are held weekly covering the plastic surgery curriculum topics twice over three-year cycles. Primary conferences are held Monday evenings and Wednesday mornings. Saturday morning hands on / simulation sessions occur 5-6 times per year.

Wednesday Morning Series: Entire Division

  • Grand Rounds: Residents, Faculty, local, regional and National Plastic Surgeons present timely topics in Plastic Surgery.
  • Journal Club: Held 6 times yearly, residents present the most important articles from the past two months in the White Journal, the Aesthetic Journal, the Hand Journal, and the Craniofacial Journal.
  • Peer Review and Quality Improvement (M&M): Held 6 times yearly, faculty and residents review cases to find ways to improve performance.

Junior Resident Curriculum Conference

  • Held weekly, questions and readings from CoreQuest and Plastic Surgery Texts are reviewed in a 2-hour seminar format centering on the basic science, diagnosis, and office management of plastic surgery.
  • Group projects such as QI projects are done at this time.
  • Simulations sessions for robotics and other skills twice per quarter.

Senior Resident Curriculum Conference

  • First/Third/Fifth Monday evening seminars lead by faculty in case-based format on plastic surgery operative management
  • Six times per year, this block is used to review case logs, professional development topics and formal feedback sessions

Visiting Professors

  • We have two endowed visiting professorships to bring in national and international faculty for a 2-day visit that includes hands on training, small conversations, case presentations and formal lectures.  A division dinner is a social highlight of these visits.

Regional and National Societies

  • Illinois Society of Plastic Surgeons: Residents may join the Chicago Medical Society (for free) to become members of ISPS. Residents may attend the evening visiting professor dinners which occur 4-6 times per year at local venues.
  • Midwestern Association of Plastic Surgeons: MAPS meets annually in the spring at varied venues for a 2-day meeting of regional and national speakers and residency research paper competitions in basic and clinical research. Programs from Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Missouri participate. Abstract submission is expected in years 3 through 6.
  • American Society of Plastic Surgeons – resident membership is paid for by the Division to provide access to the ASPS Education Network and other benefits. Division provides support to attend the Senior Resident conference in the final year of program.
  • American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons – Division provides registration for the ASMS Basic Course on years when held in Chicago.
  • Program Director will provide letters of recommendations necessary for residents to join other societies.
    • American Cleft Palate Craniofacial Association
    • American College of Surgeons
    • American Council of Academic Plastic Surgeons
    • American Society of Surgery for the Hand
    • The Aesthetic Society

Research Opportunities Heading link

  • The residents are encouraged to participate in clinical research and to complete and present at least one clinical/research project each year. Our research director, Lingping Zhao PhD, coordinates all research efforts.
  • An average of 15 – 20 papers, book chapters and abstracts are published yearly by the attending staff and residents of our Division.
  • See our AY 2022-23 Productivity below.
2022 – 2023 Academic Year Scholarly ProductivityTotal
Peer reviewed Publications21
Books and Book Chapters9
Published Journal Abstract, Short Papers15
Medical Student Courses3
Visiting Professorship0
Invited Speaker, Keynote, Panelist17
Presentation (international)31
Presentation (national)15
Presentation (regional and local)13
Grant Supported Projects4
Self-Supported Projects15