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

Arun Gosain, ACAPS President
Arun Gosain
ACAPS President

The ACAPS Committees for 2022-2023 are now finalized. As a testament to the enthusiasm of our members, over 140 ACAPS members requested to serve on a committee this year. This is in addition to those who had served on the committee last year. To be as inclusive as possible, I have limited committee service to a maximum of two committees per member. I have thereby been able to accommodate all ACAPS members who requested to serve on committees by assigning each to at least one committee. To remind medical students and residents, once you have become a member of ACAPS, you are also eligible to serve on our committees. This is a great way to become involved in key issues that affect your education, and we welcome your participation. All committee members will be contacted by their committee chairs soon to discuss charges for the upcoming year. Two committees and relevant workgroups will be featured in each Bulletin Brief. This month, we are highlighting the work of the Bylaws Committee, the Issues Committee, and the Plastic Surgery Common Application Task Force.


Arun Gosain
ACAPS President

ACAPS Virtual Interview Policy

As a reminder, ACAPS is requesting that all plastic surgery residency programs conduct virtual interviews in the 2022-2023 resident selection cycle. View the AAMC position on interviews for 2022-2023.

The key points made by the AAMC are the following:

ACAPS strongly feels that for equity in the application process, we would like to maintain the no in-person interviews for the current year. Most medical schools in this country have asked that the individual programs respect the AAMC recommendations. To provide equity in the interview process both for applicants and programs, all interviews for plastic surgery residency should be virtual. To allow applicants to gain familiarity with programs of interest, ACAPS encourages each program to arrange a virtual Meet and Greet in which applicants can interact with the residents and faculty. ACAPS will maintain a schedule of Meet and Greets on its website to help minimize overlap between programs. In the interval between the Meet and Greets and the Interviews, applicants and programs may continue a mutual exchange.

Bylaws Committee Brief

Devra Becker, MD, Chair
Devra Becker, MD

Co-Chair: Joseph Ricci, MD

The Bylaws Committee is charged with the maintenance and updating of the ACAPS bylaws such that the bylaws contain the fundamental structure and procedures by which the organization executes its mission.

Specific goals for the year

The Bylaws Committee is chaired by the ACAPS Parliamentarian. This year, modifications to the bylaws concentrated on membership qualification, board membership, and clarifying committee charges and duties. Significant changes to membership and Board of Directors structure included the allowance of active membership for plastic surgeons who are working to reinstate or instate plastic surgery residency programs, and clarifying the prohibition against a resident representative to the Board of Directors overlapping with a board member from the same institution.

An addition was made to the ACAPS mission to more accurately reflect the direction of ACPS with respect to medical student and resident outreach: Encourage and recruit new generations of plastic surgeons through medical student and resident engagement and mentorship.

Significant changes to the ACAPS committees were made to make the Bylaws more consistent with committee charges. These changes included:

  1. Charging the Education Committee with solicitation of applications and determination of awards winners for several named awards, and to provide for coordination between the education committee and curriculum committee with each other and ASPS and ABPS for a uniform curriculum.

  2. Charging the Research and Program Committees (formerly the “Research Education Committee”) with formal roles in the planning of the ACAPS Winter Meeting, to include abstract selection and judging for presentation awards, and selection of the Medical Student and Resident Travel Scholarships.

  3. Expanding the scope of the Mentoring Committee to include direct mentoring of program directors and faculty, and programming to develop mentorship skills for medical students, resident, fellows, and faculty.

  4. Charging the Medical Student Outreach Committee with the direct mentorship of medical students and helping to pair those students who do not have a prior mentor within ACAPS with an ACAPS member.

To encourage new ideas and provides outlets for involvement, the bylaws specifically encourage each committee to be comprised of at least 25% new members (to the committee) in each year.

In summary, bylaws must achieve a balance between timely updates to incorporate changing needs in the execution of the organizational mission, and stability of structure to allow long-term planning. As such, the Bylaws Committee has adopted a strategy of a yearly formal revision to be submitted to the voting membership for approval, and continual assessment of the practical application of the bylaws to identify areas for clarification and revision.

Issues Committee Brief

Julia Corcoran, MD, Chair
Julia Corcoran, MD

Co-Chair: Brett Michelotti, MD

Our committee will focus on the Issues of Resident Dissatisfaction and Burnout this year. This is an issue that has all Medical Education concerned. What I have noticed more often than not is “resources for burn out” turn out to usually consist of common-sense advice (sleep 8 hours, don’t eat junk, get exercise, meditate, be in the moment), resources on campus for acute mental health needs, or list of e-help such as apps for meditation or calming influences. While all of these may be helpful, they don’t mitigate or prevent burnout. Our goal is to come up with a list of (at least quasi-) evidence-based best practices in structuring our residencies and residency policies to reduce the stressors causing burn out. To do so I am proposing:

Part 1 – Define the problem from program point of view

  • Collect by email our current ideas of things that are sources of stress – complete by ASPS PSTM
  • Collect by email our current ideas of things that alleviate stress – complete by ASPS PTSM
  • Find student resident committee adjuncts to further define the problem

Part 2 – Define the problem from student / resident point of view

  • Recruit students / residents from several of our institutions to react to these ideas
  • Work with students to find primary sources and review literature to validate these ideas
  • Develop questionnaire or structured focus group to get reactions

Part 3 – Collect data

  • Deploy questionnaire / focus group on convenience sample of ACAPS members at ASPS PTSM

Part 4 – Make recommendations

  • Collate and submit information to the board with potential action items based on what we collect – complete by ACAPS meeting in Feb.

Plastic Surgery Common Application (PSCA) Brief

Robert Weber, MD
Robert Weber, MD

The Plastic Surgery Common Application Task Force has been extended for one more year. Our mission this year is as follows: First, we will review the corporate structure and financial plan of the PSCA limited liability corporation. Second, we will review the structure PSCA has established for document verification. Third, we will provide educational material for applicants and programs explaining the token system. Fourth, we will work with the PSCA 2.0 program and test it. Fifth, the PSCA and ACAPS will be posting FAQs on the ACAPS website on how to use the program. Lastly, we will develop policies regarding who actually owns the data collected by the PSCA and how it can/should be appropriately mined for research purposes."

As the result of last year's efforts, the ACAPS Board offers the following guidelines:

  1. We encourage all integrated plastic surgery programs to use the PSCA
  2. Programs are not required to participate in PSCA. The list of programs that are not participating will be provided through the ACAPS website.
  3. Applicants should complete an ERAS application for those programs that are not participating in the PSCA.
  4. Applicants may signal up to 5 programs at which they will not have done away rotations to let these programs know that they are among their top choices for programs where they have not rotated. Signaling can only be done for those programs that are utilizing the PSCA.
  5. Additional information on signaling can be found as FAQs in the ACAPS website