There are multiple pathways to Plastic Surgery. The “Integrated Pathway” entails enrolling in a 6-year Integrated Plastic Surgery program (SIU is an integrated program). Typically, you will rotate on General Surgery and other specialty services in the first several years of an integrated residency, and you will solely be doing plastic surgery rotations by the end. The “Independent Pathway” entails completing a 5-year General Surgery Residency prior to matriculation in a 3-year Independent Plastic Surgery program. People who complete the Independent Pathway can be eligible to sit for both General Surgery and Plastic Surgery boards. For more information and details regarding the different pathways to becoming a Plastic Surgeon, check out the ACAPS website.
Students interested in applying to an integrated plastic surgery program the fall after graduating from medical school will begin the formal process in their 3rd year of medical school.
If you haven’t done so already, familiarize yourself with the American Counsel of Academic Plastic Surgeons (ACAPS) webpage which includes resources for medical students who are interested in Plastic Surgery. This website contains official information about the Plastic Surgery Application Process, what to look for in a residency, and updates regarding the application process. A link to the ACAPS website can be found here.
During your 3rd and 4th years of medical school, you will enter into the application process where you will need to decide what you are looking for in a program, participate in away rotations, submit your residency application, interview, and participate in the Match.