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Elective Clerkship

Third year medical students are invited to participate in a two-week elective rotation that will expose students to the fundamentals of plastic surgery. This rotation is ideal for students interested in learning more about a potential career in plastic surgery and those wanting to improve their basic surgical and suturing skills.

Course Objectives

Students will gain familiarity with the pre- and post-operative management of surgical patients. Students will gain experience in the various aspects of plastic surgery including trauma, congenital and traumatic defects of face and hand, breast reconstruction, burn reconstruction and general aspects of wound healing and infection as they relate to the skin and open wounds. Principle-based problem solving and the reconstructive ladder will be taught and emphasized throughout.  

Rotation Experience

Students will spend one week on each of the main campus plastic surgery services:


The clinical focus of the Edgerton Service centers around adult and pediatric craniofacial surgery including cleft lip/palate, cranial vault procedures, orthognathic surgery, facial reanimation and traumatic injuries. In addition, there is broad exposure to pediatric plastic surgery including burn reconstruction, pediatric hand surgery and urogenital reconstruction.


Clinical care on the Hoopes Service is focused on breast reconstruction, microsurgery, hand surgery and general reconstructive surgery. On this service, students will be exposed to a wide array of microsurgical procedures, such as breast reconstruction, lymphedema surgery and lower-extremity salvage procedures.

In addition to daily operative experiences, students will have the opportunity to attend plastic surgery clinic to learn about the pre- and postoperative management of plastic surgery problems.


Core curriculum

Weekly, resident-led, small-group sessions review a plastic surgery topic in depth. Students will be assigned one to two questions and are expected to prepare an informal presentation. Presentations should be concise (less than five minutes) and should not require the aid of a PowerPoint presentation. Core is usually held on Tuesday mornings at 6:30 a.m. but may vary among services.

Grand Rounds program

Thursday mornings, residents and students are excused from clinical responsibilities to participate in the scheduled teaching curriculum. The weekly program consists of three sections:

  • Resident presentation on a core plastic surgery topic (6:45 to 7:30 a.m.)
  • Faculty or visiting professor presentation (7:30 to 8:15 a.m.)
  • Resident/student-only sessions moderated by a faculty member (8:45 to 11:30 a.m.) These vary from week to week and may consist of cadaver dissections, journal club, indications conferences, or specialized skills labs.

Business attire with a clean white coat is appropriate for the Grand Rounds and clinic. Scrubs are otherwise permitted.

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