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Clinical Fellowship Programs

The Department of Plastic Surgery is please to offer several Clinical Fellowships. 

Body Contouring Fellowship

Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Duration: 12 months

Obesity has become a major chronic health problem in this country, and is second only to tobacco as a cause of premature death. Bariatric surgery has evolved as an effective treatment for morbid obesity, inducing rapid and predictable weight loss within a period of 12 to 18 months following surgery. The dramatic increase in volume of bariatric surgery procedures in the United States has resulted in a large number of patients with secondary deformities of hanging skin after massive weight loss. Consequently, body contouring after weight loss is emerging as one of the fastest growing fields of plastic surgery.

Patients seek consultation with a plastic surgeon to correct skin laxity of the abdomen, thighs, chest, back, and neck, and often undergo multiple procedures involving lengthy incisions. The Life After Weight Loss program at the University of Pittsburgh is a unique clinical center dedicated to meeting the body contouring needs of the massive weight loss patient. For more, please visit UPMC’s Life After Weight Loss Program.

Description and Duration of the Fellowship

In-depth and comprehensive “mentorship” experience with the preoperative evaluation, treatment planning, operative treatment, and postoperative management of patients with breast and body contour deformities.  Length of educational program is 1 year clinical with research opportunities.  Admission is open to those satisfactorily completing an accredited plastic surgery residency program or other appropriately qualified surgeons.             

Research Opportunities

While at least one clinical research project leading to presentation and publication is expected during the fellowship year, significant basic and applied basic science research opportunities are available in one of our Laboratories.

Application Process

Applications for the Body Contouring Fellowship will be accepted between June 1 – October 30 of each year for the fellowship beginning the following academic year. Please apply through the San Francisco match process at sfmatch.org: Aesthetic fellowships: UPMC Body Contouring Fellowship.

Clinical Goals and Objectives

  • To experience a broad education in the art and science of body contouring surgery
  • Formal weekly conference to review assigned readings in core curriculum topics relating to plastic surgery topics
  • Weekly outpatient clinic experience in the preoperative evaluation and postoperative management of breast and body contour patients
  • Full day a week involvement with an interdisciplinary weight loss team, with formal exposure to team members and their respective roles.

Didactic Goals and Objectives 

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the changes in body habitus that accompany weight gain and weight loss
  • Participate in a multidisciplinary integrated weight loss team Gain experience in the surgical correction of body contour and breast deformities
  • Operative experience, and postoperative management
  • To experience progressive senior surgical responsibility in the essential phases of patient care: preoperative evaluation, and therapeutic decision making.

For more information, please contact: 

Barbara Chakurda
Body Contouring Fellowship Coordinator
3380 Boulevard of the Allies
Suite 180
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
412-641-3723
Fax: 412-641-1149
chakurdabl@upmc.edu

Craniofacial Fellowship

Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Duration: 12 months

At the University of Pittsburgh, we seek to attract and train the future leaders in craniofacial and pediatric plastic surgery, as well as craniofacial biology research. Our fellowship includes the in-depth study of disorders of the soft and hard tissues of the face and cranial areas, such as congenital anomalies, post-traumatic, and other acquired deformities. Fellows trained in craniofacial and pediatric plastic surgery at our institution will be able to manage any craniofacial or pediatric plastic surgery problem, and have the training to pursue an academic surgical career of their choice.

Description of Fellowship

  • Comprehensive experience with the preoperative evaluation, treatment planning, operative treatment, and postoperative management of patients with congenital and acquired craniofacial and pediatric plastic surgery diagnoses.
  • Comprehensive weekly involvement with a large interdisciplinary cleft-craniofacial team, with formal exposure to team members and their respective roles.
  • Weekly outpatient clinic experience in the preoperative evaluation and postoperative management of craniofacial patients.
  • Comprehensive experience with pediatric otolaryngology, focusing on the difficult airway clinic.
  • Comprehensive experience with maxillofacial surgery requiring fellow performed cephalometric analysis, fabrication of dental models and orthognathic splints, surgical treatment planning, and orthognathic surgery.
  • Comprehensive experience with the reconstructive management of post-ablative defects from malignancy about the craniomaxillofacial region with free flap surgery and bone grafting techniques.
  • Comprehensive experience with craniomaxillofacial trauma, both acute and post-traumatic deformity reconstruction.
  • Comprehensive experience in the broad scope of pediatric plastic surgery including vascular anomalies, congenital nevi, cleft lip and palate, brachial plexus, congenital hand (if interested), etc.
  • Formal weekly conference with the fellowship director to review assigned readings in core curriculum topics relating to craniofacial and pediatric plastic surgery topics.

Duration and Scope

Length of educational program is a 1 year clinical fellowship with a required clinical research project and highly encouraged opportunities in the department’s basic science laboratories. Admission is open to surgeons who have satisfactorily completing an accredited plastic surgery residency program and who are board eligible or certified. Participation in the San Francisco Match program is required.

Didactic Goals and Objectives

  • Demonstrate knowledge of normal and abnormal embryology and fetal development of the head and neck
  • Demonstrate ability to interpret radiological studies including dental radiographs, cephalometric analysis, CT and MRI imaging modalities
  • Demonstrate expertise in the construction of dental study models, orthagnathic splints, and their use in craniofacial and maxillofacial surgery
  • Appreciate the standards of cephalometric normalcy as they relate to the face
  • Demonstrate an understanding of bone healing, including primary healing, malunion, nonunion, osteomyelitis, and the physiology and methods of bone grafting
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the use of alloplastic materials in craniofacial reconstruction

Clinical Goals and Objectives

  • To experience a broad education in the art and science of craniofacial surgery and pediatric plastic surgery
  • To experience progressive senior surgical responsibility in the essential phases of patient care: preoperative evaluation, therapeutic decision making, operative experience, and postoperative management
  • Demonstrate knowledge of congenital, developmental, and secondary deformities of the head and face
  • Participate in the diagnosis, planning, operative treatment, and postoperative care of craniofacial diagnoses including: craniosynostosis, midface hypoplasia, facial symmetries, Treacher Collins syndrome, Craniofacial Microsomia, congenital and traumatic orbital dysmorphologies, craniofacial clefting and orbital hypertelorism, atrophic and hypertrophic disorders such as Romberg’s disease and hemifacial hypertrophy, craniofacial bony neoplasms such as fibrous dysplasia and osteomas, neurofibromatosis, vascular anomalies, post traumatic craniofacial deformities, and craniofacial exposures in cranial base surgery
  • Participate in a multidisciplinary integrated craniofacial team Gain experience in the surgical correction of congenital clefts of the lip and palate both primary and secondary repairs and revisions
  • Gain experience with the evaluation and treatment of pediatric plastic surgery diagnoses such as: traumatic deformities, giant congenital nevi, vascular anomalies, congenital hand including brachial plexus reconstruction
  • Gain experience in reconstructive management of defects after ablative surgery for malignancy of the craniomaxillofacial region.

Application Process for Craniofacial and Pediatric Plastic Surgery Fellowship

If you have not done so already, please register with the San Francisco Fellowship Match for Craniofacial Surgery. All applicants must be registered through SF Match.

Please submit the following information with your application packet: Completed Craniofacial Fellowship Application (PDF) Curriculum Vitae Copy of USMLE Step I, II and III Scores Three letters of recommendation, including one from your plastic surgery program director.

For more information, please contact:
Maya Andrews
Research Coordinator
andrewsmv@upmc.edu

Hand Fellowship

Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Duration: 12 months

The Orthopedic and Plastic Surgery Services at the University of Pittsburgh and the Hand & UpperEx Center have further enhanced the collaboration and cross-fertilization of their respective Hand and Upper Extremity Fellowship Programs. This format offers an unparalleled experience in both skeletal and soft tissue aspects of adult and pediatric hand surgery, including microsurgery, conducted in both an academic setting and a private surgery center environment.

Trainees in both fellowship programs will attend joint conferences, didactic lectures, and Journal Clubs together. Rotation through both Orthopedics and Plastic Surgery would result in a diverse experience in all aspects of hand and upper extremity conditions. Between the two fellowships, there are a total of seven positions for candidates completing their residency training in Plastic Surgery, Orthopedic Surgery, and/or General Surgery. Matched candidates will have the opportunity to be trained by 10 full time faculty members, perform surgical procedures in a state-of-the-art freestanding surgery center, as well as complex upper extremity reconstruction and microsurgical procedures at the University Health Center of Pittsburgh. The majority of physicians have Certificates of Added Qualification in hand surgery or are eligible for the CAQ.

Over the 12-month fellowship-training period, experience and responsibility are gradually increased and by the end of the program each fellow is comfortable and competent in all areas of shoulder, elbow and hand surgery, and microsurgical techniques.

Prerequisite Education

Prerequisite resident education must be completed in a general surgery, orthopedic surgery, or plastic surgery program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

Duration and Scope

The University of Pittsburgh Plastic Surgery Hand Program is a one-year, ACGME accredited hand surgery fellowship program.

Research Opportunities

While at least one clinical research project leading to presentation and publication is expected during the fellowship year, significant basic and applied basic science research opportunities are available. For those interested, research experience can be obtained in our internationally known Research Laboratories at the University of Pittsburgh.

Application Process for the Hand Surgery Fellowship

Applications for the Hand Surgery Fellowship beginning July 1, 2023 will be accepted until January 31, 2024.

You will need to register with the NRMP (http://www.nrmp.org/fellow/registration.html) for the Combined Musculoskeletal Matching Program (CMMP).

Please submit the following information with your application packet: Completed Universal Hand Application Curriculum Vitae Transcript, Copy of USMLE Step I, II and III Scores, and three letters of recommendation, including one from your program director. You may send your completed Hand Fellowship Application materials to:

Michelle Gigliotti
Hand Surgery Fellowship Coordinator
Department of Plastic Surgery
3550 Terrace Street
Scaife Hall, Suite 664
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
Office: 412-383-8082
Fax: 412-383-8986
E-mail: gigliottim@upmc.edu

Microvascular Reconstructive Surgery Fellowship

Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Duration: 12 months

The University of Pittsburgh Department of Plastic Surgery Microvascular Reconstructive Surgery fellowship provides comprehensive microsurgical training to one trainee per year. Training focuses on functional and aesthetic reconstruction of defects and deficits throughout the entire body, including after head and neck cancer extirpation or trauma, mastectomy, truncal cancer resection, upper and lower extremity cancer or trauma, for dynamic facial reanimation, and for other congenital or acquired defects. Microsurgical techniques are heavily emphasized, although conventional macroscopic techniques are also represented. The estimated number of microsurgical free flaps per year is 100-150. In addition, the fellow participates in other microsurgical cases such as lymphedema procedures and nerve repairs, as well as many non-microsurgical reconstructive procedures. The fellow participates in a busy operative schedule, as well as weekly conferences and clinics, and is involved in academic and clinical house officer teaching. The fellow may conduct clinical outcomes research projects during the year with the expected goal of regional and national meeting presentation and manuscript submission.

Clinical Goals and Objectives

  • To experience a broad education in the art and science of microsurgical reconstructive plastic surgery.
  • To experience progressive senior surgical responsibility in the essential phases of patient care: preoperative evaluation, therapeutic decision making, operative experience, and postoperative management.
  • To participate in a multidisciplinary approach to breast cancer and head and neck cancer treatment and reconstruction. 
  • To participate in the diagnosis, planning, operative treatment, and postoperative care of microsurgical reconstructive plastic surgery patients.

Research Goals and Objectives

  • To participate in at least one clinical research project during the fellowship year.
  • To submit an abstract for presentation at the U. of Pittsburgh Dept, of Plastic Surgery Research Day.
  • To participate in resident and medical student education, both clinically and academically.
  • To acquire and demonstrate depth of knowledge of the microsurgical literature. 

Didactic Goals and Objectives

  • To demonstrate ability to interpret radiological studies including angiography, CT, and MRI imaging modalities.
  • To demonstrate an understanding of bone and soft tissue healing, both clinically and physiologically. 

Clinical Training

The fellowship program is divided into three main experiences: Head & Neck, Breast, and Lymphedema/Extremity/Other. There is an in-depth and comprehensive mentorship experience with the preoperative evaluation, treatment planning, operative treatment, and postoperative management of patients with congenital and acquired defects treatable by conventional and microsurgical techniques. This includes weekly outpatient clinic experience in the preoperative evaluation and postoperative management of microsurgical patients.

Education/Didactics

Microsurgery Training Lab:

Our trainees participate in a biannual microsurgery training lab using the chicken thigh model.  These labs will provide hands-on technical training in a low-pressure environment, instructed by our group of expert microsurgeons.  The micro fellow will participate as a trainee in the first of these sessions, and as a facilitator in the second. The fellow may use the training lab facilities independently or with other trainees outside the formal sessions anytime throughout the year.

H&N Flap Course:

There is a weekend-long annual H&N flap course. This includes invited lecturers, cadaver dissections, instructional sessions on the use of virtual planning/models/guides/custom plates, and didactics.

Call and Independent Cases:

As a clinical instructor, the microsurgery fellow is assigned to be on-call in the faculty call pool and takes attending level call.  This amounts to approximately 3 to 5 calls days per month.  Responsibilities include home call with immediate availability to cover emergencies at Oakland hospitals (PUH, MWH, VA).  Plastic surgery residents take 1st call, evaluate patients, and then call the attending for support and for operative cases.  The fellow will act as attending surgeon for emergency operative cases, taking trainees through procedures.  A back-up hand surgeon will be available for remote support if needed. Non-urgent cases and follow-up for emergency cases will be diverted to the clinics of appropriate faculty, although the fellow can participate in or lead continued care of these patients as long as it does not conflict with their microsurgery fellowship responsibilities. The fellow will be asked to take one-half day of primary call per year while house staff participate in Resident Camaraderie Day.

Fellows Clinic:

On-call clinical responsibilities may occasionally result in clinic follow-up patients.  The fellow will arrange for these patients to be seen by the fellow in clinic.  Generally, the fellow can coordinate this fellow clinic to take place alongside a faculty member’s clinic, allowing for convenient continuity of care with expert support availability.

Grand Rounds:

The microsurgery fellow is expected to attend and participate weekly Department of Plastic Surgery Grand Rounds on Wednesday mornings.

ASRM Meeting:

The microsurgery fellow is expected to attend the American Society of Reconstructive Microsurgeons (ASRM) annual meeting in January.

Clinical and Basic Science Research

Head and Neck Research:

The H&N reconstruction service has a dedicated research coordinator who manages our H&N free flap retrospective and prospective REDCap databases.  This person will assist the fellow with any research projects including IRB, regulatory, and administrative issues.  Fellows may propose their own projects or select from a list of existing projects under faculty guidance.  

Breast Research:

Existing retrospective databases available for analysis with research questions.  Prospective database currently being set up.  Fellows are encouraged to work with residents on any project and have a large, combined pool of residents and students to draw from.

Lymphedema/Extremity/Other Research:

Various retrospective databases exist. Projects are arranged with faculty members directly. Fellows are encouraged to work with residents on any project and have a large, combined pool of residents and students to draw from

Benefits:

Vacation – The microsurgery fellow receives three weeks of vacation per year. Full-time benefits package, including malpractice insurance, disability insurance, and savings plan. Educational stipend – included in salary, to be applied to ASRM membership, and ASRM meeting registration, travel and accommodations.  

Core Faculty

Interviews for the 2024-25 academic year occurred virtually on May 20, 2023.

Applicants are responsible for ensuring they meet all prerequisites for eligibility prior to registering for the match. All match participants must agree and abide by the SF Match rules and policies as well as any additional rules stated by the ASRM.

Please submit the following information with your application packet to the San Francisco Match: Application form, letter of interest, Curriculum Vitae, a copy of USMLE Step I, II and III scores, and three letters of recommendation, including one from your plastic surgery program director.

If you have any questions or require additional information regarding the Microsurgery Fellowship please do not hesitate to contact us:


Michelle A. Gigliotti
GME Academic Manager
Department of Plastic Surgery
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
3550 Terrace St.
664 Scaife Hall
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
T: 412-383-8082
F: 412-383-8986
gigliottim@upmc.edu

 

Cleft, Craniofacial and Special Care Orthodontic Fellowship

Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Duration: 12 months

The UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and The University of Pittsburgh Medical School, Department of Plastic Surgery is offering a one-year fellowship training program in cleft, craniofacial and special care orthodontics.  The orthodontic division is a full-time cleft-craniofacial practice that treats patients from birth through adulthood.  The scope of the practice involves NAM and pre-surgical infant orthopedics for the cleft patient, phase I treatment and preparation for alveolar bone grafting, and comprehensive orthodontic treatment, including orthognathic surgical planning and preparation, and neonatal ear molding for infants born with outer ear shape differences. Weekly team meetings, didactic and case-based conference, literature review and dedicated research time are integral to the fellowship.  Upon completion of the program, a Certificate in Cleft, Craniofacial and Special Care Orthodontics from The Department of Plastic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh is awarded. PGY-4 stipend support and benefits are provided. The Craniofacial Fellowship Program is fully accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA).

Eligibility: Applicants must be eligible for dental licensure in the State of Pennsylvania (intuitional training license available for non-US or Canadian graduates) and have completed an orthodontic residency.

For more information and to receive application materials, please provide a letter of introduction and CV via email to chporthodontics@upmc.edu