I am getting a mini tummy tuck done at UPMC's "resident clinic". I've done research on the MD doing my surgery. She went to med school and did a plastics residency in Brazil -Ceara- then came to US and did a gen surg residency and has been practicing for a few years. She is married to a PS and UPMC has her listed as an "independent resident" but if she is already a gen surgeon wouldn't she be a fellow if now doing plastics? Anyone able to better explain this to me? Thanks!
Is She a Resident, Fellow, or Attending?
Doctor Answers 3
Plastic surgery training
You should just ask this directly of the program there and ask the doctor for specifics and how many of these they have done and who will be present there to help them.
Remember that when you are having a resident or a fellow do your surgery, they are not the same as an experienced plastic surgeon. Your procedure is very basic so that may be fine but a facelift would not be optimal under these circumstances. Essentially, a "resident" is in a core training program leading up to Board Certification in Plastic Surgery and a "fellow" has already completed that training even if they have not yet passed their boards. But check on this where you are.
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What type of Residency
It is confusing because there are many different types of residency programs. There are traditional programs that require the physician to finish general surgeon before entering a plastic surgery fellowship, then there are "combined programs" where the physician does some general surgery and then training in plastic surgery and they are sometimes called residents and sometimes called fellows. Either way, there is the same amount of training for both. With resident surgery clinics, usually the resident is aided by an attending (or surgeon who is out of residency teaching the resident) for decision making and surgery. Good luck! K. Roxanne Grawe, MD Columbus Plastic Surgeon
Plastic surgery fellow or resident
Technically, she is a plastic surgery fellow, because she has completed a general surgery residency and is now training in plastic surgery as a fellow. Whether she is a fellow or resident really doesn't matter, she is still in training. I am sure you understood this, when you chose to go to the resident clinic. You can get very good surgery at these training clinics provided the fellow has been trained properly and reviews cases with the attending plastic surgeon.
Adrian Lo, MD