Tuesday, 26 October 2010

How to get into a career in plastic surgery

There is a one day course coming up in Liverpool on how to get into plastic surgery. It is run by Prosthetic Innovations.

Plastic surgeons are generally an energetic bunch who have done a lot and been through the mill. Trainers are exacting and expect a high standard.

For what is worth my advice is to become interested early, demonstrate initiative and participate in as many plastic surgery related activities as possible.

As a medical student
- Visit local unit
- Do a special study module in plastic surgery
- Attend the UPRAS conference
- Attend the BAPRAS plastic surgery day for medical students
- Organise a plastic surgery related elective
- Read general plastic surgery related books to find out about the specialty and its illustrious history

Foundation years
As above plus . . .
- Work towards MRCS
- Get involved with local plastic surgery unit, think about small research projects and audit

Core surgical trainee
As above plus. . .
- Pass MRCS ASAP
- Work hard to get ranked high enough to get the rotation with plastic surgery
- Seek advice from consultants and more senor trainees on what they are looking for in a plastic surgery trainee.
- Meticulous preparation for ST3 interviews. Tick all the boxes. It seems obvious but some trainees don't bother. . . .

Any more suggestions?

Check out: Jalali M, Davies PS, Tehrani H, Winterton RI. The UK plastic surgery trainee. J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg 2011; 64:1716–1717.

Freedlander E. Careers in plastic surgery. BMJ Careers 2009. 

Davies C. 15 minutes with a plastic surgeon. BMJ Careers 2008.

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