Residency Training Requirements for Plastic Surgery

Pederson William C Photo With Fellows And Residents Repairing A Digital Nerve In A Womans Finger 9 9 14 496X330

Review the Booklet of Information, published annually, for detailed Training Requirements of the Board. See below for a summary of those requirements.


  • 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), or approved alternate subspecialty pathway.
    • Refer to the training section of the Booklet of Information for other approved prerequisite training pathways accepted
    • The combined or coordinated programs (3 years of general surgery and 3 years of plastic surgery in the same institution) have been eliminated. No new residents may enter a combined/coordinated program effective July 1, 2015.


  • The Board requires a minimum of 3 years of Plastic Surgery Training for Independent programs and 6 years for Integrated programs. 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 institution. 
    • 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 
    • See also Residents who complete plastic surgery training in Canada.