Education

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Integrated and Independent Residencies

The University of Florida has offered a training program in plastic and reconstructive surgery continuously since the early 1960s. The program has followed the classic training, accepting residents who have completed training in another surgical specialty, most often general surgery. This independent program will be in place for the next three years as we transition to an integrated residency. As the program fills with integrated residents, the independent program will be phased out.

Independent format

One resident is accepted each year for a three-year training program. The three years are spent on rotations primarily based at UF Health Shands Hospital – UF’s teaching hospital in Gainesville – and the Malcom Randall VA Medical Center, located across the street from each other.

In addition to the two hospitals, the program uses two ambulatory surgery centers and an accredited office-based operating suite, all of which are a short distance from the hospitals. At present no mandatory rotations away from Gainesville exist. All aspects of the clinical practice are open to resident participation. Clinical exposure is very broad and encompasses the entire spectrum of the specialty, including congenital anomalies, head and neck cancer, craniofacial trauma, reconstructive and cosmetic breast surgery, abdominal and lower reconstruction, microsurgery, hand and peripheral nerve surgery, burns, cosmetic surgery and laser surgery. Additionally, non-surgical aesthetics are a busy part of the out-patient enterprise.

The plastic surgery service shares responsibility for hand emergencies with the department of orthopedics and shares facial trauma call duties with oral surgery and otolaryngology. The general surgery service manages the burn unit and plastic surgery residents do not have any primary call responsibilities for acute burns. By the end of three years, all residents are expected to accrue more than the national average number of cases in all categories.

Plastic surgery residents are expected to participate in the education of third- and fourth-year medical students and first-year general surgery residents. This includes providing clinical supervision and participating in teaching conferences. The didactic teaching is well organized via biweekly conferences and monthly journal club. Additionally, online teaching is accessible through a self-study guide. In addition to these specific plastic surgery activities, the department of surgery conducts grand rounds each week, which the plastic surgery residents, faculty and students attend.

Plastic surgery residents are encouraged to complete at least one scholarly project during their residency, usually in the form of a clinical study or book chapter. Proper administrative support and attending physician guidance is provided in this regard. The division of plastic surgery has an independent laboratory devoted to adipose-derived stem cell science. Opportunities for research within this laboratory exist, but are not mandatory.

All residents entering the program are expected to complete the entire three years. Appointments are renewed on a yearly basis and are contingent on appropriate progress in clinical, technical and academic development.

Integrated format

The independent pathway for training is a six-year program, without a mandatory research year. There is one position each year. Interviews will be conducted in January and February of the Match year. Invitations for interviews will be provided prior to November 30th.

The six years represent a gradually increasing experience in plastic surgery, such that the fourth, fifth and sixth years are solely spent in plastic surgery. The first-year resident spends eight weeks in plastic surgery, while the second-year resident rotates with plastic surgery for 12 weeks. Residents spend the remaining time in various surgery rotations, including trauma, critical care, general surgery, burn surgery, orthopedics, emergency medicine and anesthesiology. Four weeks of night float are part of the first and second years. The third-year resident spends six months on plastic surgery and two months each on head and neck cancer and on the breast/melanoma/sarcoma general surgery service. Additionally, one month is spent on dermatology and one on oral surgery. The vast majority of clinical rotations are in Gainesville at Shands at UF – UF’s teaching hospital in Gainesville – or at the Malcolm Randall VA Medical Center. First- and second-year residents in the independent program also spend time at the Lake City VA Medical Center.

Clinical exposure is very broad and encompasses the entire spectrum of the specialty, including congenital anomalies, head and neck cancer, craniofacial trauma, reconstructive and cosmetic breast surgery, abdominal and lower reconstruction, microsurgery, hand and peripheral nerve surgery, burns, cosmetic surgery and laser surgery. Additionally, non-surgical aesthetics are a busy part of the out-patient enterprise. The program currently has one position each year, although the clinical volume will easily support two residents. It is anticipated that the finishing resident will easily exceed all training requirements in the operative log.

The resident is a plastic surgery resident from the moment he or she begins training. As such, participation in didactic education is expected. The didactic teaching is well organized via biweekly conferences and monthly journal club. Additionally, online teaching is available through a self-study guide. In addition to these specific plastic surgery activities, the department of surgery conducts grand rounds each week, which the plastic surgery residents, faculty and students attend.

Plastic surgery residents are encouraged to complete at least one scholarly project during their residency, usually in the form of a clinical study or book chapter. Proper administrative support and attending physician guidance is provided in this regard. The division of plastic surgery has an independent laboratory devoted to adipose-derived stem cell science. Opportunities for research within this laboratory exist, but are not mandatory.