Program Overview

The Residency Training Program in Plastic Surgery is a six-year integrated program that has two residents per year. Dr. Donald Mackay is the chief of the Division of Plastc Surgery. Dr. Timothy Johnson is the residency program director, while Dr. Thomas Samson serves as the assistant program director. Qualified medical student applicants should apply for a residency position through the National Residency Matching Program. Questions about the residency program can be directed to Mrs. Tasha Cochran, Plastic Surgery Residency Coordinator.

The faculty consists of nine full-time staff surgeons based at Penn State Hershey Medical Center and four private practice plastic surgeons at Harrisburg Hospital. Penn State Hershey Medical Center, founded in 1963, is a 551 bed, level I adult and pediatric trauma center with over 650 physicians. A free standing Children's Hospital opened in February 2013. There are specialty clinics with resident involvement in Hand Surgery, Skin Oncology, Cosmetic Surgery, Craniofacial Surgery, Cleft Lip and Palate Surgery, and Vascular Anomalies. Many of these clinics are multidisciplinary with other specialists at Penn State Hershey. The Cleft Lip and Palate Clinic meets at the Lancaster Cleft Palate Clinic and is comprised of several pediatric specialists. It is the oldest freestanding multidiscipline clinic in the United States taking care of children with clefts.

Resident education is highly valued and mandatory for all residents and staff. The residents collaborate with the staff in structuring the various conferences to provide a broad based didactic experience. An outline of the typical weekly didactic schedule is summarized below:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
  6:30 am - Hand Conference (with Orthopaedics) 6:00 am - Hand Conference (once monthly) 6:30 am - Inpatient Photo Rounds   
      7 am - Preoperative Evaluation Conference  
      4 pm - Department of Surgery Conference  

Additionally there are monthly M & M meetings and divisional research meetings, which are held Thursday afternoons. There is also a monthly Journal Club hosted at a staff surgeons home. As a division, we hold quarterly Suturing Clinics for all third-year medical students. A yearly microvascular lab is conducted in the Surgical Simulation Center by the staff for all residents. Residents also get dedicated microvascular instruction time throughout the year commensurate to their standing and skill level. Anatomic dissection courses on cadavers are performed throughout the year and focus on flap elevation and surgical technique.

Residents and staff in the Section also participate in Surgical Grand Rounds, as well as other major interdisciplinary conferences. The division of plastic surgery also hosts prominent visiting professors, most recently:

Academic Year 2012-2013
Nicholas Vedder - University of Washington
Joseph Losee - University of Pittsburgh
Robert Havlik - University of Indiana
Alan Widgerow - University of California, Irvine

Academic production is a mandatory component of the residency. We have NIH funded projects at the Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute as well as a plastic surgery lab, run by Dino Ravnic D.O., with several basic science and clinical studies ongoing. Residents have been active in research throughout their training and are encouraged to collaborate with staff that share their academic interests. Each year, residents are required to submit at least one project to a journal for publication. Further, it is expected that each resident will submit at least one project for presentation at our local (Robert H. Ivy Society) and regional (Northeastern Society of Plastic Surgeons) plastic surgery meetings. Residents who have work that is accepted for presentation at a national meeting will have their expenses reimbursed for the trip by the division. The Chief Residents will have one meeting paid for during their final year of training. 

Resident Rotation Schedule

PGY I Duration (Months) Location
Trauma 1 Penn State MS Hershey Med. Ctr.
Vascular Surgery 1 Penn State MS Hershey Med. Ctr.
Plastic Surgery 1 Penn State MS Hershey Med. Ctr.
Breast and Surgical Oncology 1 Penn State MS Hershey Med. Ctr.
Colorectal Surgery 1 Penn State MS Hershey Med. Ctr.
Transplant Surgery 1 Penn State MS Hershey Med. Ctr.
Pediatric Surgery 1 Penn State MS Hershey Med. Ctr.
Trauma Acute Care Surgery 1 Penn State MS Hershey Med. Ctr.
Orthopaedic Surgery 1 Penn State MS Hershey Med. Ctr.
Surgical ICU Night Float 1 Penn State MS Hershey Med. Ctr.
Heart Vascular ICU 1 Penn State MS Hershey Med. Ctr.
Surgical ICU 1 Penn State MS Hershey Med. Ctr.

 

PGY II Duration (Months) Location
General Surgery 1 Pinnacle Hospital (Harrisburg)
Acute Care Surgery 2 Penn State MS Hershey Med. Ctr.
Breast and Surgical Oncology 2 Penn State MS Hershey Med. Ctr.
Plastic Surgery 1 Penn State MS Hershey Med. Ctr.
Surgical ICU 1 Penn State MS Hershey Med. Ctr.
Anesthesia 1 Penn State MS Hershey Med. Ctr.
Procedural Dermatology 1 Penn State MS Hershey Med. Ctr.
Skin Oncology 1 Penn State MS Hershey Med. Ctr.
Urology 1 Penn State MS Hershey Med. Ctr.
Neurosurgery 1 Penn State MS Hershey Med. Ctr.

 

PGY III Duration (Months) Location
Otolaryngology 2 Harrisburg Hospital (Harrisburg)
General Surgery 1 Penn State MS Hershey Med. Ctr.
General Surgery 1 Veterans Administration (Lebanon)
Oculoplastic Surgery 1 Penn State MS Hershey Med. Ctr.
Maxillofacial Surgery 1 Lancaster General Hospital (Lancaster)
Minimally Invasive Surgery 1 Penn State MS Hershey Med. Ctr.
Pediatric Surgery 1 Penn State MS Hershey Med. Ctr.
Plastic Surgery 1 Penn State MS Hershey Med. Ctr.
Transplant Surgery 1 Penn State MS Hershey Med. Ctr.
Surgical ICU 1 Penn State MS Hershey Med. Ctr.

 

PGY IV Duration (Months) Location
Adult Reconstructive Plastic Surgery 3 Penn State MS Hershey Med. Ctr.
Hand Surgery 3 Penn State MS Hershey Med. Ctr.
Pediatric/Craniofacial Plastic Surgery 3 Penn State MS Hershey Med. Ctr.
Breast Aesthetic Surgery 2 Penn State MS Hershey Med. Ctr.
Burn Surgery 1 Johns Hopkins Hospital

 

PGY V Duration (Months) Location
Cosmetic Private Plastic Surgery 3 Harrisburg Hospital (Harrisburg)
Reconstructive Plastic Surgery 2 Penn State MS Hershey Med. Ctr.
Pediatric/Craniofacial Plastic Surgery 2 Penn State MS Hershey Med. Ctr.
Hand Surgery 2 Penn State MS Hershey Med. Ctr.
Breast Aesthetic Surgery 2 Penn State MS Hershey Med. Ctr.
Elective Rotation 1 Arrange with Program Director

 

PGY VI (Chief Resident) Duration (Months) Location
Reconstructive Plastic Surgery 2 Penn State MS Hershey Med. Ctr.
Cosmetic Private Plastic Surgery 3 Harrisburg Hospital (Harrisburg)
Breast Aesthetic Surgery 2 Penn State MS Hershey Med. Ctr.
Pediatric/Craniofacial Plastic Surgery 2 Penn State MS Hershey Med. Ctr.
Hand Surgery 2 Penn State MS Hershey Med. Ctr.
Elective 1 Arrange with Program Director