The independent format is a three year program for those who have completed accredited residency training in general surgery or otolaryngology. The three years are spent on rotations primarily based at UF Health Shands Hospital 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. Also, all residents will participate in at least one Quality Assurance/Patient Safety project annually.