American Council of Academic Plastic Surgeons
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Nationwide Resident Access to Elective Rotations - A Survey Study
Ersilia L. Anghel, MD1; Breanna Jedrzejewski, MD, MPH 1; Stephanie Radu, MCR1,2, Elizabeth N. Dewey2; Lori K. Howell, MD1; Jens U. Berli, MD1

Background: This study seeks to assess the current status of elective rotations offered in PRS residency programs throughout the country while also qualifying resident and alumni experiences and identifying barriers to offering electives. Design: Two prospective surveys were created for: (1) program leadership; (2) residents, fellows and alumniís that have graduated in the last 5 years.
Methods: Multi-institutional survey study Of 532 programs, 45 leaders (1) and 102 residents, fellows and/or recent graduates responded to the survey (2).
Results: Fifty Ėsix percent of respondents stated that their institution offered electives, 62% of which permitted residents to participate in regional, national, and international rotations primarily in the fifth and sixth years of training. Types of elective rotations completed included: aesthetic, craniofacial, gender, hand, and microsurgery. 53% responding programs denied barriers to offering elective rotations. When programs noted barriers, the most common were: cost to resident/department (28%), institutional GME policy (22%), and lack of service coverage at the home institution (22%). There was no difference between departments versus divisions offering electives (56.3% vs. 57.1%, p=0.95). Programs that didnít offer electives spent an average of 14.6 months on general surgery compared to 9.4 months for programs that did offer electives (p=0.06). For programs which didnít currently offer elective rotations, 71% indicated a desire to do so.
Conclusion: The primary goal of plastic surgery training programs is to produce plastic surgeons of the highest caliber with regards to safety and competence. While several regulatory bodies ensure that programs adhere to a similar standard, not all programs have opportunities for residents to experience the breadth of our multi-faceted specialty. Elective rotations constitute an excellent supplement to a well-rounded training where gaps may exist.


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