The PRS Resident Network : An Online Network for Plastic Surgery Residents and Medical Students to Improve Education and Residency Application Process
Jorge Lujan-Hernandez MD 1 1University of Massachusetts, Worcester MA, USA
Background: The number of plastic surgery residency programs and applicants increases every year. Applicants and current residents are in need of an online community in order to support each other, network and share valuable resources. As a pilot, a website was created and was named The PRS Resident Network www.PRSresident.net
Methods: For applicants: challenges encountered include finding the best-fit program; conflicting interview dates; and affording travel costs. Information from accredited programs was collected from ACAPS website and arranged in geographical and alphabetical order including name, location, leadership, and available positions. Then, a search for program reviews in the web was, to provide third-party reviews (medical students, residents or faculty) of each program. All information posted in the web was collected and cited in each programís reviews section. Official interview dates were obtained through ACAPS and integrated to Google calendar, allowing synchronization to a mobile device. Sections that promote user interaction and communication are "interview date exchange" and "shared transportation and accommodation". Lastly, a general discussion forum with a table for results of the match was added. For residents: Sections were dedicated to sharing selected readings, conferences and courses, research and clinical fellowships. Space for open discussion is available. Information will continue to be updated throughout the year as this section continues to mature.
Results: To date, the website has received over 2000 visits since its launch in July 2018 prior to this application cycle. Users are benefitting from the site by learning more about different programs as well as solving other challenges related to residency training and application through one easy, user-friendly and easily accessible location.
Conclusion: The PRS Resident Network is aimed toward plastic surgery applicants and residents. The hope is to provide tools to facilitate the application and interview stages for candidates, and educational resources for current residents.
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