American Council of Academic Plastic Surgeons
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Views on Plastic Surgery from an Outside Perspective
Chloe C Krasnoff MD; Breanna Jedrzejewski MD MPH; Zbigniew Sikora BS; Lori K Howell MD FAAP

Background: Current understanding of the intersection of plastic surgery (PRS) with medical students originates from studies based on exclusive perspective of trainees with interest in the specialty. However, as PRS seeks to evolve as a more diverse and inclusive specialty, it is valuable to understand how it is perceived from an outsider perspective. This study characterizes a cohort of medical students and residents who never considered PRS as a specialty and explores their perception of ‘Why not PRS.’.
Methods: An IRB exempt survey was emailed to all active residents at a single academic institution. Responses were recorded and descriptive statistics were performed in Qualtrics. All residents who identified as never having had an interest in PRS in medical school were included in the study
Results: 205 residents from 91 medical schools responded to the survey. Of these, 69% scored ?230 on Step 1, 91% scored ?230 on Step 2, 24% had >5 manuscript publications, 31% were members of Alpha Omega Alpha, 27% were members of Gold Humanism Honor Society, and 25% held additional graduate degrees. The top specialties ultimately pursued by this cohort were internal medicine (19%), pediatrics (13%), family medicine (12%), general surgery (9%), and anesthesia (8%). The most common reasons cited for not considering PRS were: PRS not interesting (49%), personality not a good fit (45%), did not complete a PRS rotation in medical school (45%), patient population not appealing (36%), poor work life balance (31%)
Conclusion: While there are certain reasons that may preclude choosing PRS as a career, many commonly cited reasons for not choosing PRS appear to be due to either incorrect perception of PRS or lack of exposure. Additionally, the vast majority of respondents who never considered PRS would have likely met criteria for PRS residency based on application competitiveness. Earlier and more standardized experience in PRS within medical schools will not only provide the necessary exposure of the specialty to potentially interested and excellent applicants, but will also allow applicants to first-hand observe the wide range of personalities and lifestyles both residents and faculty embody within the specialty.


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