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The Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation

Cosmetic Surgery Training in United States Plastic Surgery Residency Programs: An 8 Year Update Print

The ASERF Scientific Research Committee and Board of Directors are pleased to announce the following grant award:

Researcher: James Zins, MD

Grant Award: ASERF Interim Grant

Amount Awarded: $12,000

Project Name: Cosmetic Surgery Training in United States Plastic Surgery Residency Programs: An 8 Year Update 

Project Summary: In 2013, over $12 billion was spent on cosmetic procedures. The 11.4 million cosmetic procedures that were performed in 2013 alone represent an increase of over 1.3 million procedures from the previous year and capture the exponential rate at which cosmetic surgery continues to grow within the field of plastic surgery (ASAPS 2013, ASAPS 2012, Kenkel). The advances in technology, growth of non-invasive techniques, and an increasingly informed patient population have all created a deeply sophisticated sub- specialty of plastic surgery, offering both patients and surgeons a multitude of treatment options. However, restriction of work hours in residency and a wide diversity of case load make mastery of the entire field of plastic surgery difficult. The surest means of maintaining our preeminence in cosmetic surgery is to produce the best surgeon product. Therefore, attention to details of our plastic surgery training programs is of great importance.

Our research group has previously conducted two survey studies to gauge the perception of plastic surgery residents and program directors in regards to current cosmetic surgery training, once in 2006 (Morrison et al.) and once in 2009 (Oni et al.), and we hope to once again perform a survey of the topic within the context of changes and trends in plastic surgery over the past 5 years. Since the last survey in 2009, there have been a few changes in the field that should be taken into consideration: The growth of integrated plastic surgery residencies, the expansion of the independent residency from 2 to 3 years, the standardization of the plastic surgery curriculum, and the overwhelming growth of web-based learning tools and portable education modalities.

In our proposed survey we hope to assess, 1. The effect of independent vs. integrated plastic surgery training programs on residents and programs directors' opinions of cosmetic surgery training, 2. Assess the effect of web based training and mobile learning devices (smart phones, tablets) on perceptions of training, and finally 3. Assess the current state of affairs in terms of our core survey questions from the past regarding cosmetic education from both resident and program directors' opinions.


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