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Plastic Surgery Residency Curriculum

The residency training program in plastic surgery provides a diverse experience in plastic surgery and its subspeciality areas. Two positions per year are filled in an integrated program approved by the Residency Review Committee which involves matching into the program during the senior year of medical school. Rotations during the first three years are:

  • First year - General Surgery, Orthopaedics Trauma, Plastics/burn surgery, Transplant, Vascular, Neurosurgery, Pediatric Surgery and SICU Trauma. 4 months on PRS rotations total.
  • Second year - General Surgery, Vascular Surgery, Oral Surgery, Dermatology, Breast Onc Surgery, Burn, Plastics, PRS Night Float and Research. 8 months on PRS rotations total. 
  • Third year - Plastics, Burn Surgery, Research, ENT (head and neck oncologic surgery), and PRS Night Float. 11 months on PRS rotations total. 
  • Fourth-year residents transition into full-time training in plastic surgery, and operative responsibility is graduated as residents gain experience throughout the final three years.

SIU Plastic Surgery utilizes a mentorship model. The resident is assigned to a faculty member monthly. That resident is responsible for keeping the same schedule as the attending, including attending all cases, outpatient procedures in the office, and all surgeries. This may also mean additional multidisciplinary boards for any patients for that month (VPI clinic, Head and neck tumor board, Melanoma clinic and tumor board, Breast tumor board).

Residents are exposed to all areas of Plastic Surgery including breast surgery, facial fractures, facial aesthetic surgery, pediatric plastic surgery, hand surgery, wound management, burn surgery and reconstructive surgery following traumatic injury and cancer resection. Residents obtain skills in microsurgical techniques during research rotations during the PGY 2 & PGY 3 years in the microsurgical laboratory, honing techniques to participate in clinical microsurgical procedures. Fifth and sixth year residents continue to gain experience as the primary surgeons and become more familiar with indications for surgery and management of complications. The sixth year resident also serves as the administrative chief resident, supervising junior residents and medical students, as well as organizing weekly conferences.

Residents are strongly encouraged to perform clinical and basic research as part of their educational experience. The division sends each resident to one meeting per year, plus meetings where the research of the resident is presented.

There are five full-time plastic surgery faculty and one clinical part-time faculty. The plastic surgery faculty are responsible for the education and training of medical students (undergraduates), residents and fellows. As a division in the Department of Surgery, Plastic Surgery shares the teaching of the surgery curriculum with seven other divisions: general surgery, neurosurgery, orthopaedics, otolaryngology, cardiothoracic and cardiovascular surgery, and urology.


Conference is M, W, Th, F at 0600 daily. Mondays are used for photo conference, where an unknown case is presented and the residents are taken through principles of management and treatment. This is similar to Oral Boards with more input from the faculty and opportunities for junior learners. 

Wednesday is a mixture of anatomy labs, flap dissections, and basic science/clinic knowledge conferences. The details of this are below. 

Thursday is an optional hand conference, usually directed by the hand fellow and Dr. Neumeister. We use Green's Operative Hand Surgery as a curriculum guide.

Friday is a mix of board preparation conference, journal club, M&M, and special sessions- such as wellness, financial planning, practice setup and negotiation, etc. 

We utilize the ACAPS Corequst curriculum for education. We are on a 2 year rotation to complete all topics, currently of which there are 48. 

We do a 6 week anatomy bootcamp, directed by the junior residents to review head to toe anatomy for 1.5 hours every Wednesday to start the year. Corequest then takes this place. 

Every other month, we have a skills lab in Memorial Center for Learning and Innovation with flap dissection. The curriculum is set up so that every flap listed will be performed by the resident in cadaver lab prior to graduation. The schedule it listed below.