Skip to main content
residents at holidays

Residency Program

As one of the oldest and largest plastic surgery programs in the nation, we are incredibly proud of our legacy and to follow in the tradition of our founding fathers in carrying on the mission of training future leaders in plastic surgery.

Message from our Program Director and Associate Program Directors

For departments of academic medicine and surgery, the educational mission of training future physicians and surgeons remains one of our primary responsibilities.

At the University of Pittsburgh, this residency tradition began in 1948. S. Milton Dupertius, MD, the first Division Chief and Program Director, recruited John C. Gaisford, MD, as Pitt’s first plastic surgery resident – at a salary of $34 a month. The following year, Ross H. Musgrave, MD, became Pitt’s second plastic surgery resident. These pioneers of the Pitt Plastic Surgery residency would lead the way of academic excellence, setting a precedence for what would become a tradition of training leaders in plastic surgery. Drs. Dupertius, White, and Musgrave would each serve as President of the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery; and, Dupertius, Musgrave, and Hanna all served as Directors of the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Following this momentous beginning, Pitt Plastic Surgery has produced generations of leaders in our field. To date, there have been well over 300 residents and fellows trained at Pitt Plastic Surgery, and at last count, 22 alumni of Pitt’s residency program have served at one time as Chiefs/Chairpersons at one of the nation’s 139 plastic surgery programs.

Our mission remains one of cultivating and nurturing future leaders, surgeon-scientists, and those academic plastic surgeons that will become the next generation of Program Directors, Chairpersons, and Presidents of our national societies. Each year we seek to identify, recruit, and train those who demonstrate potential and passion for life-long learning and leadership in academic plastic surgery. Our goals being to have our trainees excel in the four domains that define the academic surgeon – surgical care and clinical excellence, administrative ability, education of trainees, and research and scientific inquiry. These efforts are supported by a program with an unparallel depth and breadth of clinical experience, combined with a large and diverse clinical faculty dedicated to optimizing the educational environment, and coupled with a departmental ethos that fosters self-motivation and learning while maintaining a respectful culture and sense of camaraderie.

Pursuant to this overarching goal, our program has a rich history of continual innovation in surgical education. In 2008, we were given approval by the American Board of Plastic Surgery to establish one of the first “categorical” plastic surgery training programs in the United States. This innovative program is similar to other integrated surgical residencies, uniquely designed and focused to specifically train and prepare plastic surgeons. As our goal is to produce surgeon-scientists, the curriculum includes an elective year of basic science research in one of our three independently funded laboratories. This spirit of educational innovation continues to drive the residency program today, as we spearhead an innovative move towards a competency-based plastic surgery educational program.

Today our residency program consists of both an Integrated and Independent training pathway, accredited for 24 full-time residents. Our citywide program benefits from a robust and engaged “town and gown” participation – consisting of 7 hospital sites, with 22 full-time clinical faculty, 3 research faculty, and 10 community faculty members. Our faculty currently edits 10 textbooks in plastic surgery. We offer fellowship training in hand surgery, pediatric plastic/craniofacial surgery, body contouring, and reconstructive microsurgery.

As one of the oldest and largest plastic surgery programs in the nation, we are incredibly proud of our legacy and to follow in the tradition of our founding fathers in carrying on the mission of training future leaders in plastic surgery.

Respectfully,

Dr. Vu Nguyen, Program Director, Integrated and Independent Residency

Dr. Francesco Egro, Associate Program Director, Integrated and Independent Residency

Dr. Jesse Goldstein, Associate Program Director, Integrated and Independent Residency

Residency Education

The UPMC Department of Plastic Surgery offers a six-year Integrated residency program as well as a three-year Independent residency program. We have a proud tradition of excellence and leadership in plastic surgery and are committed to providing outstanding clinical care, performing innovative research, and educating future generations of leaders in plastic surgery. Accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and sponsored by the UPMC Graduate Medical Education (GME) program, the Department is currently approved to train a total of 24 residents. In July 2018, the Competency-Based Plastic Surgery Training (CBPST) was initiated and trains three residents per year in the Integrated track within a time-variable model, while the Independent program trains two residents per year. We endeavor to select and retain the most qualified applicants. Integral to our efforts in the continuing advancement of the profession of plastic surgery is the mission of scholarship, research, evidence-based care, and continual clinical innovation. We endeavor to foster an ethical and diverse culture; one of collegiality among our faculty, staff, and learners.

2023-24 Integrated Residency Rotation Block:

Competency-based Plastic Surgery Training

Current surgical residency programs are notable for a specific timeframe required for training, unique to each specialty. However, graduate medical education is on the brink of a paradigm shift in educating the next generation of physicians, with an emphasis on the skills gained rather than the time spent training. There is a growing body of evidence that competency-based, as opposed to time-based, medical education is this century’s Flexnerian revolution. By using a more developmental, integrated, and programmatic approach to curriculum and assessment, it is thought that we can educate our trainees more effectively and efficiently, provide much needed accountability to our patients and to the public, and establish a long-lasting model of self-motivated, lifelong learning.

FAQs

Here at Pitt Plastic Surgery, we have embarked upon a longitudinal, integrated curricular and assessment innovation pilot to study different models of time-variable, competency-based plastic surgery resident education via a consortium of four plastic surgery programs. In essence, the milestones for educational progress are valued more than just the length of time of spent in the program. Of course, all residents must achieve the required competencies in order to graduate and there is already a precedent in US plastic surgery programs for residents to spend extra time in a program if skills need to be further developed. What is new in the CBPST program is that a resident who reaches specific milestones ahead of schedule will be graduated at the end of 5 clinical years, rather than 6.

Current Residents

Please visit People to learn more about our current residents.

Weekly Grand Rounds

Every Wednesday, 7:00-9:00 a.m. EST, our residents, faculty, fellows and researchers meet (either virtually or in person) for guest lectures, mortality and morbidity conferences, and educational presentations.

View the schedule

Upcoming on 2/28/24:

 

Research Opportunities for Residents

The University of Pittsburgh Department of Plastic Surgery offers outstanding research opportunities in our internationally recognized Laboratories. Integrated residents have the option to spend one year conducting research (after their 3rd year). All residents participate in clinical outcomes, translational and/or basic science research, and present annually at our Research Day.

Mentoring Program

The goals of our Resident Mentoring Program are:

  • To maintain an environment that encourages and enables success of our residents.
  • To develop and implement a durable, ongoing, formal resident development program to assist residents within areas such as Research, Education, and Clinical Practice.
  • To provide opportunities for residents to develop the skills required to assume future leadership positions.
  • To provide for the growth and professional development of our faculty as mentors.

Incoming residents are paired with a faculty mentor within 6 months of beginning residency.  Mentees and Mentors meet informally multiple times per year to discuss issues such as leadership, research or clinical skills. There are 2 mentor/mentee networking events per year.

The mentoring committee consists of Drs. De La Cruz, Nguyen, Egro, Marra and Goldstein.

 Mission of our Program

Our mission remains one of cultivating and nurturing future leaders, surgeon-scientists, and those academic plastic surgeons that will become the next generation of Program Directors, Chairpersons, and Presidents of our national societies. Each year we seek to identify, recruit, and train those who demonstrate potential and passion for life-long learning and leadership in academic plastic surgery. Our goals being to have our trainees excel in the four domains that define the academic surgeon – surgical care and clinical excellence, administrative ability, education of trainees, and research and scientific inquiry. These efforts are supported by a program with an unparallel depth and breadth of clinical experience, combined with a large and diverse clinical faculty dedicated to optimizing the educational environment, and coupled with a departmental ethos that fosters self-motivation and learning while maintaining a respectful culture and sense of camaraderie. We accept 3 integrated and 2 independent residents each year. 

History of our Program

At the University of Pittsburgh, this residency tradition began in 1948. S. Milton Dupertius, MD, the first Division Chief and Program Director, recruited John C. Gaisford, MD, as Pitt’s first plastic surgery resident – at a salary of $34 a month. The following year, Ross H. Musgrave, MD, became Pitt’s second plastic surgery resident. These pioneers of the Pitt Plastic Surgery residency would lead the way of academic excellence, setting a precedence for what would become a tradition of training leaders in plastic surgery. Drs. Dupertius, White, and Musgrave would each serve as President of the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery; and, Dupertius, Musgrave, and Hanna all served as Directors of the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Following this momentous beginning, Pitt Plastic Surgery has produced generations of leaders in our field. To date, there have been well over 300 residents and fellows trained at Pitt Plastic Surgery, and at last count, 22 alumni of Pitt’s residency program have served at one time as Chiefs/Chairpersons at one of the nation’s 139 plastic surgery programs.

In 2008, we were given approval by the American Board of Plastic Surgery to establish one of the first “categorical” plastic surgery training programs in the United States. This innovative program is similar to other integrated surgical residencies, uniquely designed and focused to specifically train and prepare plastic surgeons. As our goal is to produce surgeon-scientists, the curriculum includes an elective year of basic science research in one of our three independently funded laboratories. This spirit of educational innovation continues to drive the residency program today, as we spearhead an innovative move towards a competency-based plastic surgery educational program.

Today our residency program consists of both an Integrated and Independent training pathway, accredited for 24 full-time residents. Our citywide program benefits from a robust and engaged “town and gown” participation – consisting of 7 hospital sites, with 28 full-time clinical faculty, 3 research faculty, and 10 community faculty members. Our faculty currently edits 10 textbooks in plastic surgery. We offer fellowship training in hand surgery, pediatric plastic/craniofacial surgery, body contouring, and reconstructive microsurgery.

All About Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh is a vibrant, progressive city that has a lot to offer.  It's a place with a 'big city' attitude guided by a 'little town' heart. 

Explore for yourself what the city and the greater western Pennsylvania region has to offer by visiting the Visit Pittsburgh website or watching a very cool video.