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Medical Students

johns Hopkins medical student performing surgery in the surgical suite

The Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery offers opportunities for students to learn more about plastic surgery and engage with our clinical and research teams.

Medical Student Liaisons

Sub-internship

The Johns Hopkins Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery offers a comprehensive four-week sub-internship experience for senior medical students who have completed a core surgery clerkship. The course is designed for students in their final year of training who will be participating in the upcoming National Resident Matching Program for a position within plastic surgery. The rotation provides broad exposure to the full spectrum of plastic surgery, including congenital and traumatic craniofacial reconstruction, microsurgery, breast reconstruction, elective and traumatic hand surgery, general and oncologic reconstruction, and aesthetic surgery.

Contact information

Medical student liaisons 
Robin Yang, D.D.S., M.D.
Kristen Broderick, M.D.

Program coordinator: Helena Johnson

Rotation Experience

Sub-interns will rotate through three of our plastic surgery services split between The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. 

Students will complete one week rotations on each of the services. The curriculum for the fourth week will be determined based on student interests and availability.

  • One of two primary services at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, 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, gender-affirming surgeries and traumatic injuries. In addition, there is broad exposure to pediatric plastic surgery including burn reconstruction, pediatric hand surgery and urogenital reconstruction.

  • The second service at The Johns Hopkins Hospital 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.

  • The Johns Hopkins Bayview plastic surgery service provides a comprehensive experience in traumatic and elective hand surgery, as well as breast and body contouring. With three full-time attendings and only two residents, the Johns Hopkins Bayview rotation offers an immersive, apprenticeship-style training experience.

Didactics

  • Weekly, resident-led small group sessions review a plastic surgery topic in depth. Students will be assigned one or 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.

  • 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 12:00 p.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.

  • Sub-interns are expected to prepare a 10-minute presentation to be delivered at Grand Rounds during their final week of sub-internship. Presentations may review an interesting case encountered during sub-internship or a research project.

Application Process

Please note that we do not participate in the VSAS application service. Students must apply through the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine’s Office of the Registrar. Below is a checklist of all required documentation to apply. Please refer to the school of medicine's Visiting Student Website for more information.

  • Visiting student application
    -Please list “Subinternship in Plastic Surgery” under the Elective Preference section.
    -Please refer to the school of medicine's academic calendar to complete the “Dates of Elective” section. You may list up to three potential rotation dates in descending order of preference. Please note that while the application requires your listed dates fall precisely within the school of medicine's academic blocks, our department is able to work with students to ensure their sub-internship aligns with any off-cycle or external scheduling requirements.
  • Letter of recommendation/ good standing from your dean's office
  • Official transcript, indicating completion of core surgery clerkship
  • Immunization records
  • Honor Code, signature page only

Please send Helena Johnson a brief email to express your interest in our subinternship and include your preferred rotation dates. Please inform us if your preferred dates conflict with the Johns Hopkins academic calendar so we can best accommodate these restrictions.

To apply, please submit an application through our online application portal.

Please note that the Office of the Registrar can sometimes take up to three months to process applications. Students are advised to apply early and may submit applications up to six months in advance.

Once your application has been processed and accepted, payment of a registration fee is required before any clinical activities can begin. Do not include this payment in your initial application. Please refer to the school of medicine fees website for the most up-to-date details.

Interested students should note that, although the residency program is a joint program with both Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland, this sub-internship is solely sponsored by the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Students who may have an interest in rotating at the University of Maryland/Shock Trauma need to apply for a visiting rotation through the University of Maryland School of Medicine. 

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

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.

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.

Didactics

  • 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.

  • 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.

Recommended Resources

Underrepresented in Medicine Visiting Elective

The Underrepresented in Medicine (URM) visiting elective program is intended to provide highly qualified fourth-year medical students from backgrounds underrepresented in medicine the opportunity to rotate with the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. This program is intended to:

  • Position 4th year URM medical students to achieve academic success as competitive plastic surgery applicants
  • Connect prospective URM plastic surgery applicants with mentors that recognize the critical need to diversify the plastic and reconstructive surgery workforce
  • Explore the field of plastic and reconstructive surgery at one of the largest and busiest tertiary care centers in the nation, while treating an incredibly diverse patient population
  • Students that participate in the URM visiting elective program will rotate at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.

  • The URM visiting elective program, sponsored by the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive surgery at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, provides support for highly-qualified fourth-year medical students from groups underrepresented in medicine as defined by the AAMC, including, but not limited to, African-American, Hispanic/Latino and American Indian/Alaska Native, to experience the full breadth of plastic and reconstructive surgery offered at Johns Hopkins Hospital, including congenital and traumatic craniofacial reconstruction, microsurgery, breast reconstruction, elective and traumatic hand surgery, general and oncologic reconstruction, and aesthetic surgery. Visiting students will also partake in all educational didactics such as core curriculum, grand rounds, and will be required to give a 10-minute presentation during their rotation. For details refer to the sub-internship.

  • Eligible participants include full-time, fourth-year medical students in good standing at accredited U.S. medical schools. Completion of the following core clerkships is mandatory: medicine, surgery, pediatrics, and obstetrics. In addition to completion of core requirements, all applicants must have completed USMLE Step 1.

  • Visiting sub-internships last four weeks for the 2022 cycle. Please refer to the registrar calendar for beginning and end dates.

  • The department of plastic and reconstructive surgery recognizes the importance of strong mentorship when attempting to create a more diverse workforce. To that end, participants of this program will:

    • Be assigned a faculty mentor and resident mentor
    • Have a sit-down meeting with the department chair to discuss career goals
    • Be offered opportunities to network with a wide array of Johns Hopkins faculty, house staff and students.
  • The program provides a stipend to accepted students to help with travel and lodging costs. Additionally, the visiting student application fee from the registrar office will be waived.

  • Housing is not provided.

  • The following components will needed:

    • CV
    • USMLE transcript (unofficial is acceptable)
    • Letter of recommendation, preferably from a plastic surgeon (note: send directly to Helena Johnson from the letter writer)
    • Recent photo
  • Please refer to the registrar calendar for start and end dates.

  • Applications are due by March 31st, 2022 at 11:59PM. No late applications will be considered. 

How To Apply

Please email your complete application to Helena Johnson at hellis3@jhmi.edu except for the letter of recommendation—your letter writer should email your letter to Helena Johnson directly. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

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