The training program at UNC is a three-year program with two residents in each year. Although an independent, vs. an integrated, program, the Program Director extends interviews at his discretion to those who have not completed a full general surgery residency. Residents are given increasing clinical and administrative responsibilities as they progress through the program.
The overall objective of the training program is to provide each resident with comprehensive training in all aspects of plastic surgery. Each rotation has its own patient mix and complements each other. In three years, residents have a full and complementary experience in both academic and private practice environments, as well as opportunities in clinical and basic science research.
Weekly didactic conferences include Selected Readings Conference, where all the major areas of Plastic Surgery are discussed in a one-year cycle, and Case Conference where the residents present actual surgical cases of interest with a review of the literature and possible treatment options. Monthly conferences include Journal Club, in which four to six articles are selected, distributed and then discussed; Indications Conference, and Morbidity/Mortality Conference. The series of rounds and conferences have been developed to assure residents in the program are educated in the broad scope of Plastic Surgery.
There are four weekly interdisciplinary conferences that residents can attend to expand their clinical knowledge base regarding specific areas. These conferences include Orthopedic Hand Conference, Craniofacial Conference, Breast Conference, and Melanoma Conference.
The Division supports a staffed laboratory and residents are encouraged to participate. Residents are also encouraged to attend at least one national or regional meeting per year; residents presenting papers at pre-approved meetings will have all reasonable expenses covered by the Division. Time away at these educational conferences does not count toward that resident's allocation of vacation time.
Residents who have completed their training in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of North Carolina have pursued careers in both academic and private practice settings. The training in Plastic Surgery at UNC is comprehensive and allows the resident to pursue any career opportunity he or she desires. Residents have not found it essential to take post-residency fellowships, although some have chosen to do so to gain advanced expertise in a subspecialty area and have successfully matched at highly regarded and competetive post-residency fellowships. Career goals are discussed with each resident on a regular basis to assure that they are given the assistance required to meet their long-term goals.