Discussion. The diminishing presence of plastic surgeons in hand surgery: a critical analysis.


If a plastic surgery trainee is in a 5or 6-year program and completes prerequisite 2.5 or 3 years of general surgical training, he or she may begin rotations in subspecialties of plastic surgery at the midpoint of postgraduate year 3 or the beginning of postgraduate year 4. This provides the plastic surgery resident only 6 to 12 months (for the 5-year program) or 18 to 24 months (for the 6-year program) to complete these steps toward a hand surgery career. When a plastic surgery resident pursues a fellowship in hand surgery, it is unlikely that they will have the duration, quality, or depth of exposure that will enable them to submit an application of equal quality to their orthopedic colleagues.


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