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Program overview

Our program mission

The mission of the Geisinger Plastic Surgery Residency is to provide the highest quality of education and clinical experience to residents so they may develop the skills, knowledge and attitudes to become independent practitioners of plastic surgery through progressive responsibility under the supervision and guidance of faculty members. Central to resident education are the six Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) core competencies: patient care, medical knowledge, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, practice-based learning and improvement and systems-based practice. Inherent in these competencies are an improvement in quality of life through an integrated health service organization based on a balanced program of patient care, education, research and community service.

The Geisinger Plastic Surgery Residency achieves its mission through Geisinger’s status as an integrated health system. This integration is a principal and unique component of the residency. First is the integration of the Plastic Surgery Department itself. As a resident, you’ll train in plastic surgery in a variety of settings and locations, including two hospitals: Geisinger Medical Center, a tertiary care facility in the small town of Danville, Pa., and Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., a medium-sized city. You will see patients in a hospital clinic, a freestanding office setting, a cosmetic center and a surgical outpatient center. You’ll also participate in outpatient outreach in west-central Pennsylvania.

An integrated health system also features cooperation between disciplines to achieve optimal patient care. You’ll experience this throughout training, but particularity in multidisciplinary settings such as trauma, head and neck surgery, breast surgery and cleft/craniofacial care. And you’ll benefit from ample rotation experience on a variety of services related to plastic surgery, including oral surgery, oculoplastic surgery, otolaryngology, dermatology, Mohs surgery, orthopaedic hand surgery and trauma.

Another important aspect of the residency is service to the community. The Geisinger footprint encompasses a predominantly rural population. Your experience will include exposure to patients who are farmers that live hours away from healthcare and lack basic resources, including Amish and Mennonite patients. Community service is a hallmark of the program and residents, in conjunction with the Plastic Surgery Department, are involved in a number of community service projects. One of our program’s goals is to inspire some residents to practice outside urban settings in underserved rural areas.



The Geisinger Plastic Surgery Residency is based on wide clinical experience, a comprehensive educational program and opportunities to initiate and participate in research. As a resident, you’ll train in approximately nine months of plastic surgery during the first three years of the program. You’ll also rotate on related clinical specialties including otolaryngology, oral and maxillofacial surgery, breast surgery, surgical oncology, oculoplastic surgery, the Lehigh Valley Burn Unit, dermatology and hand surgery. The final three years will be primarily dedicated to plastic surgery and hand surgery, but also features a Mohs rotation, a private practice experience and an optional elective rotation. The final two years of training are highlighted by Resident Aesthetic Clinic, in which senior residents evaluate and treat their own cosmetic patients.

Weekly conferences feature a wide-ranging curriculum in plastic surgery, as well as related subspecialties and non-clinical subjects such as biostatistics, coding, patient safety, photography, risk management and the business of practice. When beneficial, institutional experts in the topic will lead the discussion. Residents will also actively participate in plastic surgery morbidity and mortality conference, journal club, indications conference and interesting case presentations. The clinical experience is further enhanced by our simulation events, including cadaver labs, microvascular labs and aesthetic standardized patients.

Scholarship is considered an essential component in the training of a plastic surgeon. Clinical research, including outcome studies and quality improvement projects, are required and supported during the entire residency. In addition, one month of the third year and two months of the fourth year of training are set aside for research.