Plastic Surgery was accredited as a residency at UTMB Galveston on November 30, 1949. It continued as an independent program for three residents yearly until converting to a five-year integrated program in 1998. Six years later, the residency program was approved for expansion to a six-year integrated program to enhance education and to meet new ACGME requirements. In 2014, the Plastic Surgery residency was expanded from three to four residents per year, corresponding to the increase in surgical volume at UTMB. Residents are primarily based at UTMB Galveston and at Shriners Hospitals for Children Galveston, located across the street. Education and training take place in Galveston and at the off-island UTMB League City Campus. Our residents also rotate at Shriners Hospital Houston, St. Joseph's Hospital, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and in several affiliated private practice offices. While away at rotations in Houston, our residents can stay in a well maintained nearby 3-bedroom apartment for free. Residents experience progressive complexity of cases and independence as they rotate through the services. There are no Hand, Craniofacial or Microsurgery fellowships currently at UTMB, whereby giving residents even more responsibility and exposure. After the last site visit, Plastic Surgery at UTMB was afforded full accreditation, 4-year cycle, no citations.
Many residents at UTMB have multiple publications during their residency. Residents are also active participants in regional and national plastic surgical societies, with presentations at many meetings. Residents also participate in committees of national plastic and hand surgery organizations. In addition, our residents have an educational fund and full access to numerous on-line versions of plastic surgical texts. Opportunities for overseas trips are also available. Many of our recent graduates have moved on to premiere fellowship programs in hand, micro and craniofacial surgery around the country.
Please look at our surgical simulations labs (below) and the visiting professors program.
Below is a sample rotation schedule. Click here for a larger view.
Simulation-based training is now a component of all 5 years of general surgery residency. Interns participate in a "Boot Camp" program of simulation center workshops on basic surgical skills from suturing/knot-tying to chest tubes and ultrasound-guided central venous catheter placement. These sessions are taught by faculty and senior residents. All residents complete the Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery (FLS) curriculum prior to performing laparoscopic cases. Twice-monthly workshops in the Simulation Center cover a range of topics from vascular and GI anastomoses to advanced laparoscopic and robotic procedures. Simulation is also used to teach and assess core competencies such as communication, professionalism and systems-based practice. The Simulation Center is home to a variety of specialized curricula, educational research projects and quality improvement efforts.
Microsurgery is an important technique used by many surgical specialties, including Plastic Surgery. Microsurgery generally involves vessels of such small size that use of an operative microscope and specialized instruments are required. Although microsurgery allows surgeons to reconstruct defects that may otherwise be uncorrectable, it requires a high level of skill. Individual operative technique is the main determinant of microsurgical success. Traditionally, the opportunity to practice microsurgical techniques has been restricted to patients undergoing operations. Current changes in healthcare require revision of the surgical training curriculum. At the University of Texas Medical Branch, Plastic Surgery residents progress through a microsurgical skills training curriculum in a microscope-equipped laboratory. Junior residents begin with low‐fidelity techniques (e.g., suturing small‐caliber tubing) while senior residents progress to high‐fidelity techniques (e.g., rat anastomoses).
Residency training at the University of Texas Medical Branch's Division of Plastic Surgery aims to allow residents to become facile with newer techniques which are constantly evolving to finally become tomorrow's standard of care. Hand surgery training is an important component of plastic surgery training. Small joint replacement in the hand and wrist is performed for post-traumatic and degenerative diseases of the joints. Total small joint arthroplasty requires precision surgical skills to obtain excellent results. Meticulous techniques in pyrocarbon arthroplasty are being mastered by residents in this cadaveric workshop prior to employing these skills to help patients in the operating room. Junior residents perform these techniques in certain hand joints while seniors perform technically more complex surgeries in the finger and thumb joints. A variety of faculty-led workshops occur during the academic year.