Example Timeline

January and February of 3rd Year

  • If you haven’t already, contact one or several of the plastic surgery faculty members regarding your interest in plastic surgery. They will be able to help you build your preparation for plastic surgery residency.
  • Connect with faculty and/or residents regarding research opportunities to help improve your knowledge of the fields of plastic surgery and research. It also helps you get to know the faculty and residents.
  • Consider where you might do your away rotations. Faculty can help with this decision-making process. Look at each of these schools’ web pages and each school’s requirements for the Visiting Student application process. Some schools participate in the Visiting Student Application Service (VSAS). Each school’s website should indicate whether or not they participate; SIU’s Plastic Surgery Program does participate in VSAS.
  • Start following plastic surgery residency programs on social media.SIU Plastic Surgery has an Instagram (@SIUplasticsurgery) and a Facebook (SIU Plastic Surgery) account. The SIU Plastic Surgery residents have a resident-run account as well (@SIUplasticsurgeryresidents).


March of 3rd Year

  • Head to the VSAS website and start working on it when it opens.
  • Confirm which schools to which you will apply for Away Rotations.
  • Submit when your home institution will allow.


June of 3rd Year

  • The PSCA application will open. 
  • Peruse the ERAS application and begin working on (or finish) your personal statement.
  • If you haven’t already, consider who you will ask to write your letters of recommendation.

September of 4th year

  • Submit your PSCA application



  • Some residency programs require a secondary application that you may receive during this time. SIU's plastic surgery residency program requires a secondary application.


November of 4th year


November – February of 4th year

  • Interviews



  • Submit your rank list to NRMP



  • Match Day!