Reference for Program Directors and Residency Coordinators
New Process for Program Directors regarding 2020 Senior Residents
The Board is pleased to announce that the administration of the Written Examination will be moved from October to May beginning in 2020, allowing senior plastic surgery residents the ability to take the examination prior to graduation.
The Board will require Program Directors complete 2 online processes for all graduating residents:
Program Directors complete Preliminary sign off and verify that senior residents are on track to graduate in June
May 19, 2020
2020 graduating residents take Written Examination
July 1-5, 2020
Program Directors complete Final sign off and verify residency completion and ability to function as an independent physician
August 5, 2020
Examination results provided to candidates only if Program Director “signed off” the resident
View full timeline
Thank you for all your efforts to help residents transition from residency training to Board certification. The processes are different and the experience and knowledge that you provide is crucial. Many program directors and coordinators are new to the process and believe that the Residency Review Committee for Plastic Surgery (RRC-PS) program requirements cover everything during residency and that Board requirements are not effective until after graduation. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. There are Board requirements that must be met during residency training. Failure to follow these requirements may delay or deny the resident admissibility to the Board’s certification process. Several of the requirements that repeatedly cause issues are explained below.
Resident Registration and Evaluation of Training Form
The Board Office works each year to identify all graduating senior residents and this usually results in the discovery of numerous issues of missing evaluations and approvals. The most frequent missing documentation is an approved Resident Registration and Evaluation of Training Form. This is required of all residents including residents in Integrated programs.
- For Integrated residents the Resident Registration and Evaluation of Training Form should be submitted and approved during the first year of training.
- For Independent residents the Resident Registration and Evaluation of Training Form should be submitted and approved before beginning an Independent plastic surgery residency.
The Resident Registration and Evaluation of Training Form can also be found on the Residents tab.
The Board has established training requirements for transfers into an Integrated program. All transfers of any type at any level must be approved by the Board prior to the transfer.
No transfers are allowed into Independent plastic surgery programs. As of July 1, 2015, the Board eliminated the 3 year combined/coordinated pathway into plastic surgery residency training. No resident may transfer into an Integrated residency at the beginning of the PSY-IV level unless they have completed full residency training in General Surgery, Vascular Surgery, Neurological Surgery, Orthopaedic Surgery, Otolaryngology, Thoracic Surgery or Urology, sufficient to qualify for certification in that surgical discipline. This is to ensure that all of the requirements have been met to allow the resident to enter the ABPS certification process. Prior to the transfer taking place, the resident must submit the following to the Board Office for review and approval:
- Letter from the current program director indicating the exact dates of training and monthly rotations that will be completed at the time of the transfer;
- Letter from the accepting Integrated plastic surgery program director indicating the acceptance of the transferring resident, what level of training the resident will start at and how any deficiencies in the required rotations will be completed; and
- Completed Resident Registration and Evaluation of Training Form, Processing Fee as listed in the Fee Schedule and photocopy of medical school diploma.
Domestic, International and Observational Elective Rotations
Residents must have no more than 12 weeks of elective rotations for the duration of plastic surgery training (Independent or Integrated). Elective rotations include domestic elective or observational rotations and international elective or observational rotations.
For residents to receive credit for international rotations, approval must be given by the ABPS, the RRC-PS and the DIO. The request for approval must be received at least 90 days prior to the start of the rotation. Failure to do so may result in the rotation not counting towards the 48 weeks of clinical rotations per year required by the ABPS.
The following must be submitted to the Board Office:
- RRC-PS Application/Letter sent to the RRC-PS
- RRC-PS approval letter
- Letter addressed to the Board's Executive Director, Keith E. Brandt, MD, requesting ABPS approval - detailing the resident's name, PSY level, dates of rotation, faculty member accompanying the resident, if applicable
For research rotations during training, the Board will allow a total of 12 weeks of research during a six-year program and allow a total of 6 weeks of research during a three-year program. These research weeks can be considered as a part of the required 48 weeks of training per training year.
All training requirements must be completed for a 48-week full time residency training year.
Hardship Leave (medical, maternity, paternity, etc.)
To accommodate extended leaves of absence, the Board allows averaging the 48 training weeks per year over the length of the training program.
The Board understands that extended leaves of absence cannot always be planned. If a resident requires an unexpected extended leave in the last 2 years of either an Integrated or Independent residency and they do not have enough non-clinical weeks remaining, the program director should request from the Board approval of a Hardship Leave. In certain circumstances, the Board will accept only 94 weeks of clinical training averaged over the last 2 years of training if the hardship leave occurs in the last 2 years of residency. This hardship leave is only available to those residents with documented extended leaves.
All unused non-clinical weeks remaining in the individual’s training must be applied towards the extended leave before an individual would be considered for the Hardship Leave.
If you have any questions regarding the Board’s training, examination or certification requirements, please contact the Board Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2019-2020 Booklet of Information