Plastic Surgery Match Timeline 2020-2021 Update

The SF Match will now open applicant registration on Monday, September 21st, instead of in August, to allow for more time to assist programs in using the new system. Please note that although registration is open until the rank list deadline, applicants are strongly encouraged to register as early as possible to allow time to apply and for interviews.

Uniform Invitation Date Update

To the Plastic Surgery community including interested medical students.

The membership of ACAPS initially voted to establish October 30th as the uniform interview extension date this year at the Spring business meeting in April. Times have changed, and ACAPS agrees with The Coalition's guidance to suspend in-person interviews and replace them with web based interviews for 2020-2021. We recognize this new format creates uncertainties regarding not only the mechanism for interviewing but also the strategy, raising such questions as "since financial and time costs are so much less, does my program need to interview more candidates; should my program offer more interview dates; would a tiered interview process help, etc." There is no single optimal solution for these questions, thus each program will develop a strategy that best meets its needs.

With such wide variability and uncertainty in mind, the ACAPS Board thinks it is important to continue the practice of having a unified initial invitation date for the wellness of our future residents. The data suggest that the distress that students endure waiting to hear from programs over a prolonged period of time was greatly relieved with the set invitation release date. The students have stated the uniform first invitation date was a great improvement going beyond cost and scheduling. Programs also reported their positive experience. With this in mind, the ACAPS Board suggests that we carry on with the consensus formed in April and continue to have a uniform date to extend initial invitations to applicants. Since the AAMC has moved the opening of ERAS back one month to October 1, 2020, the Board suggest that we move our uniform invitation date back one month to December 4, 2020. The Dec. 4 date allows the same amount of time to review applications as before, and since there is no need to travel to interviews this year, almost all of December is still available for virtual interviews.

Accordingly, the ACAPS Board is asking that the scheduling of virtual interviews begin on Dec. 7th. This allows applicants a weekend to assess their invitations and formulate a plan for interviewing. Further details as to the time of extending interview invitations and the time to begin scheduling will be coming at a later date.

Robert A. Weber, MD
President, American Council of Academic Plastic Surgeons

Resources During COVID-19

COVID-19 Surgical Case Log FAQs

Away Rotation Update

The COVID pandemic has had a significant impact on travel and group assembly. The Coalition for Physician Accountability (Coalition), a cross-organizational group composed of AACOM, AAMC, ACCME, ACGME, AMA, AOGME, AOA, CMSS (OPDA), ECFMG, FSMB, LCME, NBME, and NBOME, has decided to protect fourth year medical students by discouraging rotations outside of their home institutions.

The American Council of Academic Plastic Surgeons supports the safety procedures enacted by The Coalition, and, at the same time, recognizes the obstacles students face as they begin the process of choosing a residency. Match data suggest that rotating at a location significantly increases the likelihood that a prospective student will match at that location. Stated another way, most residency programs rank students that have rotated with them higher than those students that did not rotate at their institution. If students across the country have varying travel capabilities as a result of differing institutional liberties, those residents confined to home will face a significant barrier to matching into what is already a very competitive specialty. ACAPS desires to minimize inequities in eventual resident selection, therefore, until all medical students across the country are free to travel to other U.S. locations, we support The Coalition's guidelines and strongly urge that no integrated or independent plastic surgery residency programs allow medical student rotators from visiting institutions.

ACAPS and The Coalition also recognize that some medical schools do not have affiliated integrated or independent plastic surgery programs and that students interested in a career in plastic surgery are forced to go elsewhere for the experience and guidance. We feel that restricting this subset of students would be a disservice to their education, essentially banning them from learning about plastic surgery even though they have an expressed interest in doing so. As such, ACAPS and The Coalition recognize the need for an exception to the above guidance; integrated or independent plastic surgery programs allowed to accept visiting fourth year students by their sponsoring institution are permitted to host a fourth year student from a school that does not have a plastic surgery program if that prospective student is allowed to travel.

The Coalition has also established recommendations regarding interviews, and has moved the medical student application release date and ERAS opening to October 21 and the rank order list certification deadline to March 3, 2021. ACAPS supports the expectation that all plastic surgery programs commit to online interviews and virtual visits for all applicants, including local students, during the 2020-2021 academic year. We recognize this significantly changes the resident selection process, and we will be working with you as a plastic surgery community to develop strategies, techniques, and new timelines to help applicants and programs discover the best possible matches.

In order to aid medical students investigate possible career choices and help fourth year students make well-reasoned decisions about plastic surgery residencies, ACAPS is developing numerous web-based offerings and virtual experiences that highlight plastic surgery as a profession and provide access to plastic surgery residency programs. We are working with other plastic surgery organizations and residency programs to create a reliable and authoritative source for information in these rapidly changing times. Please bookmark our website, ACAPS has some excellent resources for you, and we are confident you have good ideas for us.

Robert A. Weber, MD
President, American Council of Academic Plastic Surgeons

Note from the ABPS Re: Written Board Exams

Payment Information

Although our physical office have reopened in compliance with COVID-19 guidelines, as we continue to have most of our staff team work remotely, we ask that if possible, you make your dues payments online. If you or your institution would prefer to send a check, rest assured that our teams are all working full time, and our front office is in full operation and your mail is secure.

Match Rank Deadline and Match Date Moved

The SF Match along with the American Council of Academic Plastic Surgeons (ACAPS) have approved moving the match rank deadline and match date to allow sufficient time for remote interviews given the worldwide pandemic of the Covid-19 respiratory disease. This change in date is designed to minimize the impact on training and allowing the match to conclude without an extended delay.

The latest information on the match can be found on the SF Match website.

Your feedback is important to the group and to the SF Match. Comments regarding the change can be directed to the emails below.

SF Match and ACAPS
Dennis Thomatos, Manager, SF Match
  Stan Alger, Executive Director, ACAPS

ACAPS Spring Retreat Cancellation

Providing a safe and healthy environment for our members, guests, staff, and our industry partners at our meetings is always the top priority of the ACAPS. The leadership of the ACAPS has been closely monitoring the events surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak and due to ongoing concerns, as well as the latest guidance from the CDC and our concern for our patients, colleagues and our hospital communities, the ACAPS Spring Retreat and Annual Business Meeting scheduled for May 2, 2020 at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago, IL has been cancelled. Communications regarding specific plans for alternative education options and next steps will be forthcoming.

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. This was an extremely difficult decision for the ACAPS Board but one which we firmly believe is in the best interests of our members, attendees and patients. Our leadership put together an exciting Spring Retreat and our Board is meeting virtually this week to review future actions. In the meantime, we wish for health and recovery to all those affected.