Quick Tips & FAQs: Residents

    • Prerequisite Training:   
      • 5 progressive years of clinical general surgery residency training, sufficient to qualify for certification by the American Board of Surgery (ABS) or
      • Approved alternate subspecialty pathway: Neurological surgery, orthopaedic surgery, otolaryngology, thoracic surgery, urology or oral and maxillofacial surgery 
    • Requisite Training
      • Minimum of 3 years of plastic surgery training for Independent programs or 6 years for Integrated programs. Final year must be at the level of senior responsibility.
      • Effective July 1, 2014, all 3 years of an Independent Program must be completed in the same program. 
      • Plastic surgery training must be obtained in either the U.S. or Canada in programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC).

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    • Independent – 5 years of general surgery or alternate pathway, matching into a 3-year plastic surgery program.
    • Combined – 3 years of general surgery and 3 years of plastic surgery completed in the same institution. Combined programs were phased out effective July 1, 2015. No applicants will be accepted into this model.
    • Integrated – 6 years in a plastic surgery program.

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  • The form should be submitted before beginning plastic surgery training for independent residents or before the end of the first year of residency for integrated residents. It is available for download from the Board’s website under Residents.
  • List all training both completed and anticipated. 
    • Independent residents:  List 5 years of prerequisite training by PGY level in #12. List month-to-month rotations for all 5 years in #15.  Ask the Program Director or Residency Coordinator for anticipated rotation schedule.
    • Integrated residents:  List all 6 years by PGY year in #13, and list only the first 3 years of month-to-month rotations in #15.
  • Remit payment of processing fee of $185.00 in U.S. funds by check payable to the American Board of Plastic Surgery, Inc. This payment is not accepted online via credit card.
  • Please allow 3-4 weeks for the processing and mailing of your Confirmation Letter. The Confirmation Letter is a preliminary verification of training to meet the Board’s requirements for certification. 
  • It is the resident’s responsibility to provide the Plastic Surgery Program Director or Residency Coordinator with a copy of the Confirmation Letter.
  • Refer to Instruction Letter for additional details.

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  • A resident transfer at or below the PGY IV level into a vacant position in an Integrated Program must be approved by the Program Director and the Board. 
  • No transfers will be accepted after the beginning of PGY IV because the last 3 years of Integrated residency training must be completed in the same program.
  • REQUIRED:
    • Letter from current Program Director indicating exact dates of training and month-to-month rotations that will be completed at the time of the transfer.
    • Letter from the receiving Integrated Program Director indicating the acceptance of the resident for the curriculum at that level of transfer, and
    • Completed Resident Registration & Evaluation of Training Form, Processing Fee, and photocopy of medical school diploma from the resident.
    • Refer to booklet of information section: Transfers into Integrated Programs.

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  • The Board will allow a total of 12 weeks of research during a 6-year program and allow a total of 6 weeks of research during a 3-year program.

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  • 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 rotations, domestic observational rotations, international elective rotations and international observational rotations. The 12 weeks of elective rotations do not have to be completed consecutively.

  • To receive credit, the International rotation(s) must be approved by the Board, the Residency Review Committee for Plastic Surgery (RRC-PS) and the Designated Institutional Officer (DIO). The request for approval for the international rotation must be received in the Board Office at least 90 days before the start of the rotation.
  • Approval of domestic elective rotations is not required, but must not exceed the 12 weeks alotted during residency training.

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  • The minimum acceptable residency year, for both prerequisite and requisite training, must include at least 48 weeks of full-time training experience.

  • The 48 weeks per year may be averaged over the length of the training program to accommodate extended leaves of absence.

  • To accommodate unexpected leaves of absence that occur during the last 2 years of plastic surgery training, the Board will accept only 94 weeks of training averaged over the final 2 years of training in both the integrated and independent training pathways. Board approval is required for this exception.

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  • Program Directors are required to complete the online Preliminary Residency Graduation Recommendation for Certification form for Senior residents by December 31st. 
  • Program Directors are required to provide final confirmation of completion of plastic surgery residency training by July 1st.