Martin I. Newman, MD, FACS
Cleveland Clinic is one of the nation’s largest and most respected group practice organizations with hundreds of full-time physicians across the country. Cleveland Clinic Florida's campus in Weston offers several graduate medical education training programs including a fully accredited three-year, independent Plastic Surgery residency. The broad patient base and extensive expertise of the institution’s faculty provide an excellent training environment in a congenial atmosphere with a civilized approach to resident education.
This compilation of materials is intended to help the plastic surgery resident candidate to gain a general overview of the residency program. The text that follows is for informational purposes only and is superseded by changes often.
We are currently accepting applications through the San Francisco Match www.sfmatch.org. The application process begins two years prior to the anticipated start date and usually follows the timetable below:
- July: Application period opens
- December: Application period ends
- January – April: Interviews by invitation
- May: Match
- June: Orientation begins (last week of June)
The faculty of the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Cleveland Clinic Florida is deeply committed to our residents and their education. Our Program is a three-year, independent residency program accepting candidates who are board eligible in general surgery residency or are board eligible in subspecialties such as orthopedics, otolaryngology, oral surgery, and urology.
We offer two residency spots per year. There are no “Fellows” in plastic surgery. Neither are there residents or fellows in Otolaryngology, Dermatology, or may other specialties obviating the need to compete for cases. Therefore, our residents gain the broadest clinical experience possible. With guidance, residents-in-training are exposed to the many diverse areas within our specialty. Our particular strengths include: aesthetic surgery, breast surgery, body contouring following weight loss, hand surgery and craniomaxillofacial surgery.
Cleveland Clinic's Plastic Surgery Residency Program was initiated in 2004 after receiving accreditation by the ACGME Residency Review Committee to administer an independent training program.
Our most recent site visit found no citations and we continue to be fully accredited.
Clinical Experience and Goals of Training
The primary goal is to train competent plastic surgeons who will be well-prepared to pass their board examinations in plastic surgery, be safe enough to enter solo private practice or be sufficiently academically equipped for further training towards either sub specialization or a university career. The ethos of the program is founded on the principle that the patient’s interest is paramount in clinical teaching, medical practice and research.
Beginning in 2012 all independent plastic surgery residencies evolved from two year programs to three year programs. Part of this evolution introduced six new rotations into the curriculum: Anesthesia, Orthopaedics, Otolaryngology, Dermatology, Neurosurgery and Oral Maxillofacial Surgery. Like all plastic surgery residencies, we are currently integrating these rotations into our curriculum. This has proved to be a natural fit for our residents who already work closely with most of these services at our Institution who warmly welcome surgeons-in-training on their services.
Otherwise, residents will divide their time between Cleveland Clinic Florida's Weston campus, and the Hollywood regional Memorial campus (including the Hollywood Regional Memorial Hospital, Memorial West, and Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital). Additional locations include local surgery centers, physician offices and a Burn Rotation at Shands Hospital.
During their time with us the resident will gain experience in the breadth of plastic and reconstructive surgery He or she will learn by observation, participation and direct patient interaction the presentation of the majority of diseases, deformities and aesthetic discomfitures seen by plastic surgeons in the community and in the academic centers. The resident will also gain hands-on experience with the surgical management of these conditions, and assist in their preoperative workup, surgical treatments and follow-up care in the out-patient clinics. The resident will be expected to research the literature on a case-by-case basis and thoroughly understand the anatomy, the pathology and the surgical principles underlying the management of his or her patients.
He or she will be expected to master the basic techniques of wound closure, skin grafting, flap elevation, tendon suture, nerve repair, as well as fracture reduction-fixation in the hand and face. He or she will acquire the skills required to surgically expose the facial skeleton and approach any pathological process occurring in the hand.
The resident will learn by direct observation and participation the advantages and limitations of the grafting skin, bone, fat, cartilage, nerve, fascia and tendon. He or she will become familiar with the various synthetic implants used in plastic surgery including breast prostheses, injectable materials, facial implants, acellular matrixes and small joint replacements.
The resident will learn how to use the surgical instruments employed by plastic surgeons including the dermatome, the operating microscope and endoscopic equipment. They will gain familiarity with intraoperative laser imaging as it pertains to plastic surgery. The resident will be expected to have achieved a basic level of competence in microvascular surgery and be able to act as first assistant during microvascular or microneural anastomosis. The resident will become proficient at Shands Hospital in managing a serious burn injury and be vigilant to the dangers of inhalation injury and full-thickness circumferential burns. He or she will develop the skills at Shands necessary for early excision of burns and the handling of smaller full-thickness burns in critical areas. Last but not least, he or she will learn to apply aesthetic principles in all aspects of plastic surgery and make that vital transition from a General to a Plastic Surgeon.
As training matures resident training will focus more so on the acquisition of the skills and knowledge essential for the major subspecialties of plastic surgery, namely aesthetic surgery, breast surgery, pediatric plastic surgery, cleft surgery and craniofacial surgery. At the same time, the resident will be expected to refine his or her skills in the more general aspects of plastic surgery encountered during the early months of exposure: wound care, facial flap reconstruction and microvascular surgery.
The resident will develop the skills necessary to conduct a cosmetic consultation with some reasonable expectation that, should the surgery be indicated, the patient will have the confidence to book it. At the same time, the resident will come to realize that complications will always be with us and that the art of plastic surgery is not just in knowing how to correct them when they occur, but how to manage the patient during the process. The acquisition of this art is one of the goals for the mid-level resident.
Attending physicians will closely monitor the resident’s assessment of aesthetic deformities, his or her formulation of a treatment plan and the skills required for its execution. The goal here is for the resident to acquire a level of skill sufficient to equip him or her to deal comfortably with the common aesthetic problems seen in a plastic surgery practice.
During the craniofacial/cleft/pediatric rotation, the resident will be part of the craniofacial team that assesses new patients with clefts and craniofacial deformities. He or she will learn to accept the input of differing health care professionals and synthesize a common treatment plan based on a multitude of interests and priorities. The resident will appreciate the vital importance of dental occlusion, orthodontics and speech therapy in craniofacial surgery and will be taught to take his or her own dental impressions. It is in this rotation that the resident will become comfortable reading complex CT scans of the skull and mandible and defining the extent of the craniofacial deformities encountered.
The resident will be expected to become competent in cleft lip and palate repair. He or she will gain a fundamental understanding of the principles of craniofacial surgery and assist in the more advanced applications of osteotomies, bone grafting and synthetic implant placement that he or she encountered in year one. He or she will be given wide exposure to pediatric patients (as well as their parents), made aware of the effect of various reconstructive modalities on growth and gain experience in many congenital and developmental disorders infrequently encountered in the adult population.
By the time the resident is ready for graduation, he or she will be qualified to successfully apply the principles learned and skills acquired to treat any plastic surgical deformity or disorder.
We are extremely proud of our didactic curriculum which is meticulously designed and supervised. The core curriculum cycles through all major topics in our specialty - and repeating them annually. We have chosen a one year cycle rather than spreading these topics over two or three years because of potential resident vacations, meetings, illnesses, and outside rotations. Rather than missing an entire week and, therefore, an entire subject, the residents gain exposure to the topic multiple times throughout their training which facilitates “learning in layers.”
During the week each respective topic is addressed at weekly conference. Preoperative diagnoses, clinical evaluations, relevant anatomy, pathology, embryology, intraoperative management and complications are discussed in detail. Any resident may be called upon to discuss different patient issues. A staff person heads Monday's 2 hour conference and classic articles on the weekly topic are presented and critiqued.
Core conferences will be augmented by a morning weekly conference held Tuesdays that deals with several issues. They include an “Indications and Evaluations” conference, a resident research conference, and special topics presented by the plastic surgery residents and staff.
One Monday evening per month is dedicated to Journal Club. Journal Club is an enjoyable gathering of the academic surgeons and residents, voluntary staff and the community plastic surgeons from Miami, Broward and Palm Beach counties. It is an exciting opportunity to share and to learn, Networking opportunities abound. Many of our residents have reported Journal Club to be one of the most enjoyable parts of their residency.
To comply with the Special Requirements in Plastic Surgery, staff persons outside plastic surgery will be recruited to cover a number of miscellaneous topics. These topics include but are not limited to medical-legal aspects of plastic surgery, medical ethics, practice management, radiation oncology, anesthesia and chemotherapy.
Mock Inservice Exams and Mock Oral Boards will be given several times annually.This is done to simulate, as closely as possible, actual American Board of Plastic Surgery exams. Residents report this to be an extremely positive learning experience that helps them prepare for the “real thing.”
The residents are required to take the annual ASPS in-service examination in each year in March.
Visiting professorships will be encouraged. Local experts will be used extensively and three times per year a professor will be brought from further afield.
Finally, basic service or clinical research, emphasizing in publication and/or presentation, is a mandatory requirement of the program.
Each resident is encouraged to select a faculty adviser early in his or her first year. The adviser acts to both focus the resident’s clinical research and to shepherd the resident through his or her clinical training.
Each year, Mock Inservices and Mock Oral Exams are administered on. The ASPS PSEF written in-service examination each year is also a required exam and is used as a tool for promotion to the next year.
Residents have opportunities to teach junior residents and medical students in clinic, hospital and surgical settings. Opportunities also exist for presentations to staff at Cleveland Clinic.
Basic and Advanced Cardiac Life Support certification is required for all Cleveland Clinic residents and fellows. Cleveland Clinic will assist in training and the certification examination.
The Plastic Surgery research program is directed by Dr. Eric Stelnicki. Plastic Surgery residents are expected to complete one clinical research project per year. There is ample opportunity to participate in ongoing research projects. In addition, residents are encouraged to initiate research of interest to them as primary investigators.
The progress of residents is monitored throughout the training program. Specifically evaluated are progresses in the six core competencies as defined by the ACGME. The PSOLs are periodically reviewed, and the residency director meets formally with the residents during the two years.
Between the facilities, residents will have access to advanced facilities for plastic surgery training including: lasers, microsurgery facility, minimally invasive surgery equipment, ultrasonic-assisted liposuction technology and computer imagingcapabilities.
All Cleveland Clinic Florida reference materials are available to the resident in training on a 24/7/365 basis. Librarians are available to assist with retrieval of desired medical information. Residents have access to Windows-networked computers for their use in acquiring information on patient care, education and research. Word processing, database, statistics and presentation software also is available.
Appointments and Applications
To apply to the Plastic Surgery Residency Program, please check the San Francisco Match website (www.sfmatch.org) for the current application process.
Cleveland Clinic Florida
2950 Cleveland Clinic Boulevard
Weston, Florida 33331
Residency Application (161KB)
Cleveland Clinic Florida's Plastic Surgery Residency currently participates in the Plastic Surgery Residency Match Program starting with the class of 2010. However, updates are posted on the San Francisco Match web page: www.sfmatch.org.