Outlook for Independent Plastic Surgery Training: A Survey of Plastic Surgery Program Directors

Steven A. Ovadia, Seth R. Thaller

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction Traditionally, plastic surgery training occurs through the independent model after completion of another surgical residency. Training is a minimum of 3 years in duration. Integrated training in contrast commences upon completion of medical school and is a minimum of 6 years. Independent programs have increasingly been converting positions to integrated positions. Our survey was designed to evaluate possible plans for further conversion of independent positions to integrated positions. Methods An electronic survey was prepared using the online survey platform Qualtrics. The survey questions were designed to solicit information regarding plans to convert independent positions to integrated positions. The survey was distributed by e-mail to program directors of the independent programs participating in the 2019 match. A reminder was sent 3.5 weeks after initial distribution, and results were collected for an additional 3 weeks. Results Sixteen program directors responded to our survey including 15 complete responses and 1 partial response representing a 40% response rate. Four respondents reported that they are considering decreasing their independent program by 1 position and converting the position to an integrated position. Three respondents reported that they are considering eliminating their independent program and converting to an integrated program. Each of these programs reported their independent program as having 1 position per year. With only a 40% response rate, 7 or more positions may be converted to integrated positions in the coming years. Conclusions Independent programs have been converting some or all positions to integrated positions. Although most plastic surgery positions were previously through the independent model, in 2019, 172 positions were offered through the integrated match compared with 63 for the independent match. Results of our study indicate that independent positions will continue to be converted to integrated positions for the next few years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-81
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of plastic surgery
Volume86
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • education
  • independent
  • integrated
  • outlook
  • plastic surgery
  • program director
  • residency
  • resident training
  • survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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