American Council of Academic Plastic Surgeons (ACAPS)
August 2022
Message From the President

Arun Gosain, ACAPS President
Arun Gosain
ACAPS President

As interview season is approaching, we wish to be thank all program directors for complying with the recommendations by the AAMC and endorsed by ACAPS to hold virtual interviews for the upcoming application cycle. We have achieved 100% compliance for this request among plastic surgery Program Directors. In preparation for these interviews, ACAPS has provided the opportunity for each program to hold a 60-minute Meet & Greet. In order to allow all programs to participate, up to two Meet & Greets can be scheduled per evening (Monday-Friday) and ACAPS will allow one Meet & Greet per institution. We recommend that Meet & Greets be completed by the end of October.

The Meet & Greet schedule can be found on the ACAPS site. Interviews will follow, and integrated interview offers will be made on Thursday, Nov. 10 with interview scheduling go begin Monday, Nov. 14. Independent interviews must be made on or before Friday, Jan. 13. Interview dates for each program, as well as whether they will use the ERAS, PSCA, or both applications, can be found on the ACAPS site.

Another new change is that new ACAPS members will be announced quarterly rather than having to wait for the annual business meeting for confirmation. This will accelerate the membership process, which is critical for medical students and residents. To enhance engagement by new members, they will all be assigned to an ACAPS committee on induction to the organization.

This month, we are highlighting the work of the Bootcamp Committee, and the Communications / Website Committee. In addition, Bill Casey (Education Committee Chair) has provided an update on the annual ACS Summit on Surgical Education in which all surgical specialties come together to brainstorm new concepts in surgical education.


Arun Gosain
ACAPS President

Bootcamp Committee Brief

Edward Davidson, MD, Chair
Edward Davidson, MD

Co-Chair: Nicholas Panetta

The Bootcamp Committee shall work in collaboration with the ASPS Bootcamp committee to organize and run the annual Plastic Surgery Bootcamp and shall recommend future improvements in that process

Specific goals for the year
The ACAPS-ASPS Plastic Surgery Bootcamp is a "hands-on", practicum-based, three-day weekend course that is a joint undertaking by both ACAPS and the ASPS. The course focuses on high-yield topics, in a positive, fostering educational environment that aims to introduce first-year Plastic Surgery residents, in both the Integrated and Independent tracks, to core concepts in Plastic Surgery; to provide standardized and timely exposure to critical clinical content in Plastic Surgery; to provide a level of practical experience regarding these topics and procedures; to establish a low/no-risk educational environment, that fosters learning; and to establish a sense of camaraderie amongst boot camp participants, and to build relationships and to engender professional enculturation within our specialty.

Progress and Plans

  • The 8th annual program returns to an in-person format in 2022 after 2 years of virtual programming in two locations, for which 183 residents are registered. The bootcamps are facilitated through industry support from Allergan, KLS Martin, Mentor and Sientra
    • Tampa, Florida (July 29-31)
    • San Diego, California (August 19-21). 183 residents are registered for this year’s programs. With industry support.

  • Goals of the Bootcamp are the following:
    • Introduction to Plastic Surgery Skills
    • General Reconstruction
    • Pediatric/Craniofacial
    • Craniomaxillofacial Trauma
    • Hand Surgery
    • Aesthetic Surgery and Minimally Invasive Techniques
    • Breast Surgery
    • Gender Affirming Surgeries

  • Going forward, the Bootcamp Committee will continue to develop the program curriculum in response to ongoing evaluations and feedback, as well as to reflect the evolution of our specialty.

  • In addition, we will explore strategies to further ensure fiscal fidelity of future courses, including consolidation to a single-site program.

Communications/Website Committee Brief

Angela Cheng, MD, Chair
Angela Cheng, MD

Co-Chair: Shane Morrison, MD

The Communication/Website Committee shall review the website and communication tools of ACAPS; shall recommend future improvements in that process.

Specific goals for the year

  1. Our committee will focus on ACAPS Website redesign to facilitate user access to relevant information and increase activity/usage. The current website is difficult to navigate, and information is not readily accessible.

  2. Our target end users are plastic surgeons (program directors/APD/chairs, faculty), trainees (residents and fellows), medical students, and program coordinators.

  3. We will begin by asking each ACAPS Committee chair to review content relevant to their respective committees that is currently on the ACAPS website, and ask that they provide recommendations as to how best to represent their respective committees.

  4. Based on analytics and top pages, the committee will review which content to remove and which to highlight and improve accessibility.
    1. Usage pattern indicates dominant activity is Jan-March. This is most likely related to both in-service preparation and job searches.
    2. The two top utilized features should be highlighted on the main page for quick access: Job search and in-service questions/Core Quest. Job postings should be a searchable feature and also something which a user could set notifications.
    3. Other top categories included: resources, Winter meeting, interview dates, PSCA, committees, residency programs, match FAQ, fellowship programs, membership, webinars, calendar, program coordinators info, interview policy, away rotations, member directory, awards, virtual interviews FAQ, Spring meeting, and the match.

  5. The social media campaign via Instagram, Twitter and Facebook will continue to create content for medical students to aid them in the application and interview process. SoMe should drive users to the website and vice versa.
    1. SoMe content (Webinars) will be banked and accessible for review for anyone who missed a live session

  6. The relevant information can be presented as user directed content:
    1. Faculty:
      1. Job postings
      2. Important dates (meetings, deadlines for abstract submission, application cycle, interviews)
      3. Program information
      4. Milestones
      5. Resources for to help struggling residents
      6. Leadership courses/faculty development resources (oral boards review courses, ASPS Essentials of Leadership, Aesthetic Society Leadership training program, Limitless, ELAM)
      7. Funding sources (educational grants)
      8. Visiting professors (links to applications)
      9. Interactive Forum/bulletin board to share ideas/content

    2. Trainees:
      1. Job postings (academic jobs, fellowships, residency vacancies)
      2. Inservice
      3. Corequest
      4. Milestones
      5. Resources for struggling residents
      6. Important dates (In-service, deadlines for meeting abstracts, fellowship application deadlines)
      7. Scholarships
      8. Interactive Forum/bulletin board

    3. Medical students:
      1. Important dates (meetings, application cycle, meet and greets)
      2. Program information (links to apply for elective rotations)
      3. Resources for orphaned students
      4. Scholarships (URIM scholarships for electives)
      5. Search feature for programs
      6. Interactive Forum/bulletin board

    4. Program coordinators:
      1. Important dates (Bootcamp, interview/application cycle)
      2. Program information
      3. Milestones
      4. Upcoming meetings
      5. Interactive Forum/bulletin board

American College of Surgeons Summit on Surgical Education

William Casey, MD, ACAPS Representative
William Casey, MD
ACAPS Representative

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) held its annual Summit on Surgical Education in Chicago on July 7-8. The focus was upon optimizing quality improvement initiatives. Every surgical sub-specialty provided representatives (ranging from Society leaders, Program Directors, DIO Officials, to Board Presidents) who described their specialties’ primary quality improvement activities and best practices. Drs. William Casey (ACAPS Education Chair) and Bruce Mast (ASPS Education Committee) represented Plastic Surgery. Small group sessions ensued to collate the information generated by the sub-specialties’ presentations, identify the best quality improvement activities, and brainstorm ways to incorporate these into the other surgical subspecialties. The ACS intends to create an umbrella, under which collaboration exists amongst all surgical groups with regards to quality improvement activities, create an open forum for learning, and limit each sub-specialty from having to work in their own individual silos in this regard. The College plans to distribute this information soon.

Quality improvement is a requirement to satisfy several of the core competencies, as defined by the ACGME (practice-based learning and improvement and systems-based practice). Most institutions and specialties rely on Morbidity and Mortality Conferences to fulfill this requirement. However, the quality of these conferences varies widely. The ACS is looking to formalize the M&M practice and expand quality improvement initiatives across specialties and institutions and provide a centralized hub to facilitate this.

The key concepts discussed during this Summit include the following:

  • The Society of Vascular Surgery meets twice a year to standardize M&M

  • Neurosurgery has patterned M&M based on the late U of Utah Neurosurgeon, Randy Jensen, “Defining a new neurosurgical complication classification: lessons learned from a monthly Morbidity and Mortality conference. Neurosurgery has a case collection requirement similar to plastic surgery. However, they take it a step further to compare complication / outcome data to national norms. This is used as part of their Board certification process.

  • Plastic Surgery has a PD / Chair session to facilitate alignment of PD and Chair in the Division / Dept of Plastic Surgery, facilitated by ACAPS.

  • The ACS has an online competency module focused on quality; ACS Quality Improvement Course: The Basics. This is an online course that facilitates understanding of quality improvement initiatives. The ACS provides a QI ambassador to train leaders in each sub-specialty at their annual clinical congress meeting, and a session dedicated to QI.

  • Quality training is now encouraged as part of the medical school curriculum, and the goal is to embed quality initiatives into Surgical Board exams as well as the Continuous Certification process.

The defining statement at the Summit is best summarized by the following. “QI becomes a daily personal goal”. In this regard it puts the onus on us to continuously push the envelope on outcomes and our professional development. And in doing so, the bar is continuously raised.