Plastic surgery residents at Georgetown complete rotations at both MedStar Georgetown and affiliate hospitals that incorporate all aspects of plastic surgery into their training. Rotations are generally in two-month increments and are repeated over different years.
The first year of training focuses on core surgical principles and PGY-1s spend the majority of the year on general surgery services where they get exposure to alimentary tract surgery, surgical oncology, transplant surgery, pediatric surgery, orthopedic surgery, and vascular surgery. Interns also rotate on other services such as trauma, anesthesia, and the emergency department. Rotations are one month in duration.
The second and third years incorporate more plastic surgery with a concentration on limb salvage, upper and lower extremities, hand trauma, burn, surgical critical care and reconstructive surgery. PGY-2 and PGY-3 residents get some exposure to facial trauma and pediatric plastic surgery. While on the limb rotation, the PGY-3 resident is the acting chief for the service.
The final three years of the program contain rotations that are concentrated in plastic surgery with the resident’s responsibilities and autonomy increasing significantly. Upper-level residents spend the majority of the academic year at affiliate sites and gain increased exposure to the following: cosmetic surgery, breast surgery, microsurgical techniques, tissue transfer, pediatric plastic surgery, reconstructive surgery, oculoplastic surgery, and craniomaxillofacial surgery. Senior residents also receive increased individual mentoring and teaching from faculty. The PGY-5s are offered the opportunity to complete a one-month elective in a specialty of their choice. This rotation can be set-up as a domestic rotation at any institution of the resident’s choice, or it can be set-up internationally with one of our international affiliate institutions. During the PGY-6 year, the residents act as the chief of each service on which he/she rotates and is responsible for managing the surgical service in all aspects including clinical, administrative and supervision of junior residents/medical students.s.
Below is a sample block schedule for an academic year:
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The Integrated Training Program in Plastic Surgery has a formal didactic program that is planned on a three-year repeating curriculum. The residents participate in a weekly four-hour session each Thursday morning from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. During this time, the residents are protected from most other clinical and educational activities.
This four-hour session is broken up into three sections, dedicating each hour to a variety of topics. There are approximately 125 topics over the three-year repeating curriculum, which cover a wide range of plastic surgery and related subjects.
The basic sciences are covered in the didactic sessions, including lectures on pathology, pharmacology, anesthesia, anatomy, embryology, etc. A faculty member or a designated resident who is presenting the topic to the assembled group usually manages these sessions. Additionally, time is set aside during conferences for Journal Club, Quality Assurance, and Art Class.
On a less frequent basis, residents review for tests, including the in-service exam, examine the art of finding a job after residency, practice-based learning, research, and learn other life lessons such as managing a private practice and finances.