Trends in Microsurgery Fellowship Training to Pursue an Academic Plastic Surgery Career
Brandon T. Smith, MS; Francesco M. Egro, MBChB MSc MRCS; Vu T. Nguyen, MD
Department of Plastic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, 3550 Terrace Street, 6B Scaife Hall, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA
Background: The microsurgery fellowship has taken on new importance in career development, with many now pursuing fellowship training as a foundation for future academic careers. In an increasingly competitive environment, residents interested in both plastic surgery and an academic career must be deliberate in the microsurgery fellowships they choose. The aim of this study was to detail the effectiveness of individual fellowship programs in helping aspiring academics achieve their goal
Methods: We profiled all the currently practicing academic plastic surgeons in the United States during the 2019 year. This produced a database of 930 academics. Demographics, residency and fellowship background, practice interests, and practice type were collected from institutional and practice websites, Doximity, LinkedIn, and Google
Results: Of 930 academics, 18.8% were found to be microsurgery fellowship trained. For those academic microsurgeons, 60% were found to have trained at one of the 10 most-represented fellowships. In order of representation, these institutions included: MD Anderson, New York University, Memorial Sloan-Kettering, University of California, Los Angeles, University of Pennsylvania, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, University of Pittsburgh, Stanford, University of Texas Southwestern, and University of Chicago
Conclusion: It appears that there are a select number of fellowship programs that produce a disproportionate number of academic microsurgeons. The reasons for this disparity are likely multifactorial but include improved networking and career-building opportunities. For residents interested in plastic surgery and future academic practice, this new analysis can help inform fellowship program selection and guide the application process.
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