Cosmetic Surgery Training in Plastic Surgery Residency Programs in the United States: How Have We Progressed in the Last Three Years?

Department of Plastic Surgery, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, 75390-9132, USA.
Aesthetic surgery journal / the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic surgery (Impact Factor: 1.84). 05/2011; 31(4):445-55. DOI: 10.1177/1090820X11404551
Source: PubMed


In 2006, a survey performed by Morrison et al analyzed the experience of aesthetic surgery training from the perspective of residents and their program directors in plastic surgery programs across the United States.
The authors conducted a survey to follow-up on the Morrison results three years after publication, to assess the changes in plastic surgery residency programs.
In December 2009, a 17-question survey was sent to program directors, and a 19-question survey was sent to senior residents in all Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education-approved plastic surgery residency programs in the United States. The questions were posed in a five-point ranking format. The two additional questions included in the senior resident survey related to career aspirations and desirable areas of additional training. Ninety-two program directors and 397 senior residents received the survey.
Forty-four program director surveys (47.8%) and 117 (29.5%) senior resident surveys were returned. Two-thirds of programs offered a residents' clinic, which was considered the preferred method of cosmetic surgery education by residents. Residents reported increased exposure to nonsurgical procedures such as lasers and injectables. Abdominoplasty, breast augmentation, and breast reduction remained the procedures most frequently performed by residents with confidence, as in the 2006 survey. Facial aesthetic procedures, including rhinoplasty and facelift, remained challenging to residents. Many residents (55.7%) felt confident integrating cosmetic surgery into their practice. One-third of residents reported that they would apply for a cosmetic fellowship.
This survey shows an improvement in cosmetic surgery training for plastic surgery residents in the United States, particularly in that noninvasive cosmetic treatments are being increasingly taught. Since 2006, steps have been taken to provide more comprehensive cosmetic surgery education to residents, encouraging the delivery of the safe, high-quality care expected of a board-certified plastic surgeon.

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    • "Notable exceptions are techniques in administration of botulinum toxin A and use of fillers. As such, although Oni et al. report on “increasing levels of resident confidence…in nonsurgical procedures,” it appears that further improvement is warranted [5]. Interestingly, although minimally invasive/nonsurgical aesthetic procedures demonstrate the sector with the most rapid increase in demand, studies with focus on aesthetic surgery training frequently do not comment on this sector [15, 17, 20]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background. Three educational models for plastic surgery training exist in the United States, the integrated, combined, and independent model. The present study is a comparative analysis of aesthetic surgery training, to assess whether one model is particularly suitable to provide for high-quality training in aesthetic surgery. Methods. An 18-item online survey was developed to assess residents' perceptions regarding the quality of training in aesthetic surgery in the US. The survey had three distinct sections: demographic information, current state of aesthetic surgery training, and residents' perception regarding the quality of aesthetic surgery training. Results. A total of 86 senior plastic surgery residents completed the survey. Twenty-three, 24, and 39 residents were in integrated, combined, and independent residency programs, respectively. No statistically significant differences were seen with respect to number of aesthetic surgery procedures performed, additional training received in minimal-invasive cosmetic procedures, median level of confidence with index cosmetic surgery procedures, or perceived quality of aesthetic surgery training. Facial aesthetic procedures were felt to be the most challenging procedures. Exposure to minimally invasive aesthetic procedures was limited. Conclusion. While the educational experience in aesthetic surgery appears to be similar, weaknesses still exist with respect to training in minimally invasive/nonsurgical aesthetic procedures.
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    ABSTRACT: Background: As interest in surgical simulation grows, plastic surgical educators are pressed to provide realistic surgical experience outside of the operating suite. Simulation models of plastic surgery procedures have been developed, but they are incomparable to the dissection of fresh tissue. We evolved a fresh tissue dissection (FTD) and simulation program with emphasis on surgical technique and simulation of clinical surgery. We hypothesized that resident confidence could be improved by adding FTD to our resident curriculum. Methods: Over a 5-year period, FTD was incorporated into the curriculum. Participants included clinical medical students, postgraduate year 1 to 7 residents, and attending surgeons. Participants performed dissections and procedures with structured emphasis on anatomical detail, surgical technique, and rehearsal of operative sequence. Resident confidence was evaluated using retrospective pretest and posttest analysis with a 5-point scale, ranging from 1 (least confident) to 5 (most confident). Confidence was evaluated according to postgraduate year level, anatomical region, and procedure. Results: A total of 103 dissection days occurred, and a total of 192 dissections were reported, representing 73 different procedures. Overall, resident predissection confidence was 1.90±1.02 and postdissection confidence was 4.20±0.94 (p<0.001). The average increase in confidence correlated with training year, such that senior residents had greater gains. When compared by anatomical region, confidence was lowest for the head and neck region. When compared by procedure, confidence was lowest for rhinoplasty and face-lift, and highest for radial forearm and latissimus flaps. Conclusions: A high-volume FTD experience was successfully incorporated into the residency program over 5 years. Training with FTD improves resident confidence, and this effect increases with seniority of training. Although initial data demonstrate that resident confidence is improved with FTD, additional evaluation is needed to establish objective evidence that patient outcomes and surgical quality can be improved with FTD.
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  • No preview · Article · Nov 2011 · Aesthetic surgery journal / the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic surgery
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