From The President
John Kitzmiller, MD, ACAPS President
John Kitzmiller, MD

Just prior to our Winter Retreat in Chicago, the ACAPS Board and Committee leadership met for a strategic planning session. The growth and accomplishments of our organization over the past five years has been amazing.

The commitment of our many extremely talented members to the next generation of plastic surgeons is inspiring to me. At our meeting, ACAPS leadership defined and adopted the following Mission Statement and Core Values:

"Advance education in Plastic Surgery"

ACAPS is committed to the following values as they reflect their culture and beliefs:

Leadership – A cornerstone of our organization and member actions

Commitment – Setting an example in our everyday relationships

Innovation – Creating the future in plastic surgery education

Collaboration – Working together with other stakeholders in surgical education

Dr Hultman and I met recently to incorporate and plan how the action items from the planning session will build upon the strong efforts by our current ACAPS Committees - please see our updated Committee Charge Summary. More to come at our Spring meeting.

Please join me in expressing appreciation to Tony Smith, MD and our Program Faculty for a fantastic Winter Retreat last month in Chicago. The morning session devoted to "Graduate Surgical Education in the 21st Century" was a clear demonstration of activities that are core to our Mission. Lisa David’s afternoon session devoted to plastic surgery resident recruitment and selection provided new information and ideas that will help us all in this crucial aspect of our mission. Julie Park provided an update from her new Resident Leave Task Force. A proposed ACAPS policy on this issue will be presented at our Spring meeting. Program Faculty are preparing abstracts from their presentations along with the six members whose abstracts that were selected for publication in PRS-GO.

I always look forward to Spring but I am especially looking forward to our ACAPS Meeting this Spring which will feature the combined meetings of PSRC and AAPS. Our Program Committee has assembled a great Retreat and AAPS Panel which I am confident you will find valuable.

Please make plans to join us in New York City!

Best regards,

John Kitzmiller, M.D.

ACAPS Winter Retreat
The ACAPS Winter Retreat was held February 6th and 7th in Chicago. The first session on Saturday morning covered Teaching and Learning Employing the Tools of the 21st Century. Presenters and topics covered in this session included: Dr. Jean Nehme (Touchsurgery); Dr. Orrin Franko (Hand Surgery and the Web); Dr. Mike Neumeister (Surgical Lessons with New Technology); Drs. Ed Luce and Howard Wang (The PSEN: Appreciating its Potential); Dr. Warren Hammert (Hand-e); Dr. Robert Weber (Resident Performance Assessment); Dr. Hooman Soltanian (Surgical Simulation). The second session was on Resident Recruitment. Presenters and topics covered in this session included: Dr. Anthony Smith (Early Resident Recruitment); Dr. Lisa David (Plastic Surgery Applicant Survey Data); Dr. Henry Vasconez (What Makes a Plastic Surgery Residency Program Attractive? An Applicant’s Perspective); Dr. Jennie Cheeseborough ( Visiting 4th Medical Students: What Matters to Them); Drs. Julie Corcoran and Riesa Burnett (Best Interviewing Practices for Resident Selection); Dr. Steve Byrum (Hartman Value Profile) Dr. Michael Harrington (Using the Hartman Value Profile in Resident Recruitment). A Technology Tutorial on Sunday morning included all the technology applications covered on Saturday as well as RADAR which was presented by Drs. Barry Fernando and Tracy Pfeifer. Additionally on Sunday there was a session on Resident Leave Consideration presented by Dr. Julie Park and an Educational Papers Session moderated by Drs. Scott Hultman and Steve Kasten.

Anthony A. Smith, MD
Course Chairman
ACAPS Winter Retreat

ACAPS Community Page on PSEN
The Mentorship and Communications Committees have identified the Community page option of PSEN as an attractive option to help keep our communication channels open. To-date ACAPS Board Members have been trialing the ACAPS Community page on PSEN before extending it to the remaining ACAPS community. We have initiated three topics for discussion following the initial welcome message:
  1. Medical student/Resident declines from interviews

  2. Resident duty hours

  3. Composition of the Clinical Competency Committee (CCC). This should be
    a good forum to get our members involved in the discussion process.

Resident Selection Committee Update
Lisa David, MD
Lisa David, MD

The focus of the committee this fall has been three-fold:

  1. The roll out of the set date for interview offers- this has been met with mixed reviews. The residents surveyed are happy with getting all their options early for better planning and to cut down on expense. The program directors at the winter meeting expressed concern however that there is still a problem with late cancellations of interviews so this will need to continue to be worked on in the next interview cycle.

  2. Survey of the program directors and plastic surgery residents regarding the interview process- this was presented in its initial form at the winter meeting. Interestingly the residents and program directors had similar feeling on what was important for the ranking process but differed on what they felt worked best on the actual interview day. The same survey has just been sent out to the integrated applicants from this year's match to see their thoughts given they just went through the process.

  3. Address issues with the resident application process- this has improved this interview cycle with decreased overall complaints from the applicants.
Thank you,
Lisa David MD and Amanda Gosman MD
Hartman Value Profile
As a result of Michael Harrington and Steve Byrum’s presentation at the Winter Retreat, an invitation to trial the Hartman Value Profile for ACAPS members will be forthcoming in a separate communication.
Plastic Surgery Boot Camp
Vu Nguyen, MD
Vu Nguyen, MD

Building on the success of last July’s inaugural Plastic Surgery Boot Camp, the PSBC task force has been actively coordinating this year's upcoming event. As we collate our 6-month outcomes and feedback from the inaugural program, we're making adjustments to the curriculum, including providing durable materials to the participants. A number of institutions have also volunteered as potential regional sites for an expanded boot camp program, and are being currently vetted as we finalize industry support for this year's event. We anticipate a final date for the program sometime in late July/early August 2016.

Please stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.

Vu T. Nguyen, M.D.
Chair, Boot Camp Task Force

Medical Student Outreach
Jennie Cheesborough, MD, Resident Board Member
Jennie Cheesborough, MD
It is that time of year when we celebrate the 4th year students who have matched into our programs and begin to look ahead towards next year. The current third year medical students interested in pursuing away rotations have several resources to consider, but please share with them our ACAPS resource specific to Plastic Surgery away rotations found at

We have compiled a list of programs, away rotation duration and start dates, institutional website links and contact persons at each program who shared their information. If your program is not listed in the spreadsheet, please email with your program information to have this updated and included as we strive to make this a valuable resource for our students.

Jennie Cheesborough
Resident Board Member of the American Council of Academic Plastic Surgeons

Global Health Column
Dr. Joyce Mcintyre and Dr. Wone Banda
Dr. Joyce Mcintyre and Dr. Wone Banda,
a visiting plastic surgery resident from Malawi
One of the goals of the ACAPS Global Health Committee is to improve access to educational resources for training programs in resource poor areas. We are excited to announce the PSEN Global Scholarship Program that will provide access to PSEN for residents and training programs in areas without many academic resources. The PSEN has agreed to grant one-year access to 25 people for the Resident Educational Center. Our committee has developed an application for the PSEN scholarship that will be available on the ACAPS Global Health webpage. We will post the information about the scholarship opportunity on the website of all collaborators and the global health committee will screen all applicants and then make the recommendations for the scholarship recipients to the PSEN. We look forward to this opportunity to share our academic resources with plastic surgery trainees around the world.

This newsletter will feature a testimonial from 2015 UCSD craniofacial fellow.

Maximizing Academic Productivity with International Collaborators
By Joyce McIntyre MD

Plastic Surgery as a specialty attracts creative thinkers—innovators in perspective and process—all over the world. When we collaborate in academic work with our international colleagues we harness that power to advance knowledge and outcomes in plastic surgery.

I have the privilege of calling Wone Banda, MD, first plastic surgery resident in Malawi and ConnectMed International Visiting Scholar my research collaborator. She has been an invaluable contributor in my research on outcomes on plastic surgery mission trips; I helped her with her outstanding work on pediatric burn incidence and mortality in Malawi. Together we have pushed those projects farther along than we could have done alone.

International collaborative plastic surgery research unquestionably allows us to answer the big questions of our day faster and more accurately, but working together across oceans and time zones is not without challenges.

Here I share my experience in our successful international research collaboration:

Find a Kindred Spirit
Wone and I got to know each other over boba bubble tea on a sunny San Diego day. Two women in the thick of their training, we were quickly laughing about the ER, quirky attendings and the best cases we had done recently. Respect for each other's "in the trenches" experiences is the foundation of our research work together. Curiosity and intelligence makes a good plastic surgeon in the US and the same makes a great plastic surgeon from another continent too. Our friendship is the most treasured part of our work together.

Ask Them about Their Research
In that coffee shop, Wone told me about the chart review she was doing on pediatric burn patients in her university hospital in Malawi. She had detailed data on hundreds of patients and the childrens' mortality was unacceptably high to her, not because of the care they received at the tertiary care hospital, but because of the very slow transport times from outlying rural areas. Wone had a goldmine of outcomes data but was not sure anyone outside of Malawi would be interested in her work.

Involve the Collaborator in your Research
And I was not sure that Wone would be interested in my research about quality and outcomes on US plastic surgery volunteer trips! But she had first hand experience as a resident at the university hospital in Malawi on the receiving end of some of those trips. Her insights were priceless, but so was her physical work. We all can use help when we're in the midst of a big research inquiry and she took on organizing and analyzing key data about plastic surgery groups that sponsor volunteer trips: the groups' affiliations, home state, where they traveled.

Open Source Technology
After Wone returned from her month fellowship in the US, we were able to continue to collaborate on our mutual projects because we took advantage of open source software. Programs like OpenOffice and Whatsapp are free, reliable and readily interface with proprietary programs like Excel and Powerpoint more common in the US.

Put on your International Glasses
Our international friends help us see through another set of eyes and move away from our limited "country centric" views. Wone helped me put into context the impact volunteer trips have on local training programs (good and bad) and I encouraged her about presenting her pediatric burn data. Wone's research was very well received in the fall of 2015 at the Australian and New Zealand Burn Association annual meeting.

As academic surgeons, we are motivated to produce excellent research and improve plastic surgery outcomes internationally. Our international plastic surgery colleagues are our best allies!

ACAPS Spring Retreat
Plan to attend the Spring Retreat being held in conjunction with the Joint AAPS/PSRC Meeting at the Sheraton
New York on Thursday, May 19. View program

The Annual Business Meeting will be held on Thursday, May 19, from 2:00 – 5:00 PM.

  • View minutes of the Interim Business Meeting held October 17, 2015, in Boston

  • View the Proposed Bylaw Amendments to be voted on.

  • The ACAPS Board has implemented a change in the Coordinators membership in that their dues will now automatically be paid as part of the Program Directors annual dues. Coordinators become Associate Members for “free” if their Program Director is an Active Member. Program Director’s dues will be increased by the current Coordinator’s $50 dues. The Program Coordinator will need to be registered as an Associate Member.
ACAPS encourages all members to consider service on an ACAPS committee. Please take a look at the committee list and contact the Administrative office if you are interested in serving on a committee next year.

View 2015-2016 Committees.

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