There are many advantages to participating in away rotations. Not only do the medical students gain further exposure to the field of plastic surgery, but they will also be exposed to a wider variety of techniques for tackling the challenges unique to plastic surgery. The student will get a better feel for the program by spending a significant amount of time getting to know the faculty, fellows, residents, and support staff at each program they visit. Meanwhile, the program benefits from having strong, motivated students helping to care for their patients while also getting to know these potential housestaff in greater depth than a single interview day would otherwise allow.
Most students applying in plastic surgery will participate in away rotations. The average seems to be two four-week rotations. However, many students will only participate in one elective while others have more leeway in their school's curriculum and can fit in more time away.
Each program will set the dates of the available rotations, typically based upon their individual institution's schedule. Many programs have rolling enrollment and therefore applying early is to the student's advantage. Most programs offer four-week rotations, but some offer two-week rotations, so please reference the ACAPS program guide. Students should check with their medical school office to verify whether a two-week rotation would count for credit. While the VSAS (visiting student application services) application is necessary for most away rotations, the ACAPS program guide also provides links to each institution's website and plastic surgery contact persons.
We look forward to hearing from you!
The ACAPS Medical Student Plastic Surgery Rotation Task Force
Co-Chairs: Jennie Cheesborough and Kathy Hoh
Members: Lisa David, Patrick Garvey, Raman Mahabir, Arun Gosain, Scott Hultman, Jenny Barker, Juan Rendon, Jeff Janis