Quick Tips & FAQs: Residents

    • Prerequisite Training:   Residents entering plastic surgery training must complete 5 progressive years of clinical general surgery residency training, sufficient to qualify for certification by the American Board of Surgery (ABS), unless 3 years of general surgery are completed in the same program as the plastic surgery residency training (combined pathway). 
    • Requisite Training:  The Board requires a minimum of 3 years of plastic surgery training, and the 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. The Board recognizes those programs in the U.S. approved by the Residency Review Committee for Plastic Surgery (RRC-PS) and accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and those programs approved by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC).
      • See detailed Training Requirements in booklet of information.
      • See also: Residents who complete plastic surgery training in Canada.

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    • Independent – 5 years of general surgery, matching into a 3-year plastic surgery program.
    • Combined – 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 after the first year of residency for integrated residents. It is available for download from the Board’s website under Residents.
  • List all rotations as well as anticipated training for your senior residency year. 
    • Independent residents:  List 5 years of general surgery 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 training. Plastic Surgery training is not listed on this form.
    • Integrated residents:  List all 6 years by PGY year in #13, and list only the 1st 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 yet accepted online via credit card, but will be in the future.
  • 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 III 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.

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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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  • The minimal 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.

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  • Program Directors are required to complete the online Residency Graduation Program Director Recommendation Form. Program Directors are responsible to verify completed plastic surgery residency training and recommend you to the ABPS examination process. This online process must be finalized by July 1st