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Aesthet Surg J. 2006 Jan-Feb;26(1):41-4. doi: 10.1016/j.asj.2005.10.004.

The educational value of a resident aesthetic surgery clinic: a 10-year review.

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  • 1Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington, KY.



Resident experience in aesthetic surgery is often deficient in many training programs around the country.


This study is the first to review the 10-year experience of a resident aesthetic clinic and identifies important educational aspects necessary for residency training in aesthetic surgery.


The operative experience of each chief resident from 1994 through 2004 and the database of the resident aesthetic surgery clinic during the same period were reviewed. A questionnaire was also distributed to all past chief residents regarding their experience with the clinic.


Over 1600 new patients were evaluated in the resident aesthetic clinic in the last 10 years, with 482 patients undergoing 805 procedures. Each chief resident performed 104.5 +/- 25.1 (mean +/- SD) procedures as a primary surgeon. The resident clinic contributed 82.4% of the total aesthetic surgery procedures, as recorded by the chief residents' Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education operative logs. For the last 10 years, the reoperative complication rate was 3.1%, and no litigation has been brought against any resident or attending surgeon.


Our resident aesthetic surgery clinic emphasizes an intensive exposure to aesthetic surgery with the opportunity to gain "hands-on" operative experience, while reducing the liability for the attending surgeon. The means to obtain adequate resident education in aesthetic surgery and ways to improve such an experience are also discussed.


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