Plastic Surgery Residencies & Fellowships

Mission Statement

Cleveland Clinic's Plastic Surgery Residency dates back to 1979. Since that time, we have graduated over 48 residents who have all gone on to successful careers in both the private and academic worlds. Among their numbers are both department chairs and program directors. As a result of our longevity, we have contacts through out the country all-willing to help our new graduates find their place in the plastic surgery world.

Our Integrated Program takes two residents per year through ERAS.

As a hospital ranked in the top 4 in the country, your time at Cleveland Clinic involves a variety of educational opportunities including a vast surgical experience derived from over 100 operating rooms on the main campus alone and exposure to our surrounding affiliates. Additional educational opportunities involve regular cadaver dissections, weekly conferences, monthly journal clubs and quarterly visiting professorships. We hold workshops for injectables on a regular basis as well as a “Sawbones” craniofacial workshop.

Our 15 full-time faculty are committed to a learning environment that rewards a job well done with increasing responsibility and independence. Our GME office has the resources only available to a system with over 1,800 residents and fellows.

Cleveland Clinic itself is home to many “firsts” in medicine and our department maintains that strong heritage of innovation including the original research that ultimately led to the United States’ first face transplant. Other highlights in our department include the laryngeal transplant and groundbreaking work in nipple sparing mastectomy for breast cancer treatment. Additionally, a large cosmetic surgery effort provides our residents with a broad and diverse opportunity in facial aesthetics and other cosmetic procedures.

Our worldwide reputation makes us a destination for international visiting dignitaries and physicians and we have had over 50 visiting professors from around the globe.

Local resources include Cleveland professional sports, the Metroparks national park, Lake Erie, a number of museums and universities, and our own medical school.

For questions, please contact Khadija Spaulding, program coordinator, at

Department of Plastic Surgery Scholarly Activity

Department of Plastic Surgery Staff

Cleveland Clinic's Plastic Surgery Department is deeply committed to its Plastic Surgery Residency Program. Our Integrated Program takes two residents per year through ERAS.

Cleveland Clinic's Plastic Surgery Department offers its residents a wide breadth of plastic surgery experience including:


The Plastic Surgery Department holds two weekly education conferences. Conferences are topic-based, and each week a given topic is covered. Throughout the week the same topic is discussed in a different manner, thus treating 33 different topics per year. Monday conference is devoted to a PowerPoint overview of a topic and reviewing classic articles in the literature, while Wednesday conference focuses more on evaluation and management of clinical plastic surgery problems. One resident and one staff person dually prepare all presentations. Additionally, there is a monthly Morbidity & Mortality conference.

Cadaver Labs

A close association between Cleveland Clinic's Department of Plastic Surgery and the Lerner College of Medicine provides our residents with a vast number of educational and research opportunities. Amongst this is unlimited access to a state of the art fresh cadaver lab in our very own campus. Our faculty conducts several cadaver dissection labs a year allowing residents an opportunity to review complex anatomy as well as to perfect dissection skills. The most popular session is our “Flap Lab”.

Visiting Professors

Cleveland Clinic's Department of Plastic Surgery sponsors two to four visiting professors each year. Additionally, the regional plastic surgery community joins Cleveland Clinic in sponsoring visiting professors, who are leaders in their fields. This gives our residents the opportunity to interact on a regular basis with the leaders in our field in a far more intimate fashion than is possible at regional or national meetings. The staff and residents spend time with the visiting professor at lectures, discussions and dinners.


Each resident is appointed a faculty advisor early in his or her first year. The advisor acts to both focus the resident's clinical research and to shepherd the resident through his or her clinical training.

Resident Review

In addition to evaluations at the end of each rotation, our residents undergo a semiannual review to examine both strengths and areas to focus educational efforts. The written in-service examination is taken each year by our residents and is another tool used to determine areas of focus for the residency.

Teaching Experience

Our plastic surgery 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. Additionally, Cleveland Clinic's medical school program, the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University offers additional learning and teaching opportunities to our residents. Our residents have been involved in anatomy labs with the medical school and have the opportunity to take classes related to teaching and administration.

Resident Cosmetic Clinic

Our plastic surgery resident clinic is an opportunity for senior residents to see cosmetic surgery patients independently under the direction of a faculty member. This clinic gives our residents the ability to improve upon their aesthetic surgery knowledge as well as learn the nuances of patient interaction in an aesthetic clinic setting. The residents formulate a plan, present it to the supervising staff, act as primary surgeon and are responsible for near and long term follow up of the patients. This is an opportunity to make decisions with the comfort of experienced cosmetic surgeons in consultation. Emphasis is placed on developing not only clinical and surgical skills, but also those that apply specifically to a private cosmetic practice.

Research Experience

Cleveland Clinic's Department of Plastic Surgery is heavily invested in promoting scholarly activity amongst faculty and residents alike. While residents have no significant basic science research requirement, each resident is expected to complete one clinical research project per year. In the year 2011 alone, the Department of Plastic Surgery published over 50 peer-reviewed articles. The Plastic Surgery research program is directed by Maria Siemionow, MD, PhD, whose lab focuses on research in microsurgery, peripheral nerve, wound healing and craniofacial biology. Dr. Siemionow is supported by three research fellows, and a full-time laboratory technician and teaching assistant. Ample opportunity for both internal and external funding exists. The research laboratory is 1800 square feet of space designated solely to plastic surgery.

National Conferences
Micro Course

The Department of Plastic Surgery runs a busy Microsurgery training lab. Training in Microsurgery is directed to surgeons in the following specialties: plastic surgery, orthopaedic and hand surgery, as well as general surgery, neurosurgery, urology, gynecology, and otolaryngology. The courses are also directed to trainees in those specialties and researchers who seek training in practical microsurgery at either of two levels, basic course for one week, or advanced course for one week.

Microsurgery courses are held on a weekly basis throughout the year. The five-day course runs from 8 am– 5 pm, Monday through Friday, excluding the weeks with holidays.

The microsurgery laboratory accommodates five trainees at a time. The courses utilize videotapes and direct one-on-one teaching. All surgical procedures are performed on laboratory rats. All instruments, suture material, and microscopes used are of the highest standards available. Each trainee will have access to a Zeiss operating microscope and one-on-one instruction.

Learn more about our programs:

Integrated Residency Program

Program Description:

The Integrated Plastic Surgery Residency at Cleveland Clinic is an ACGME approved six-year program, taking two residents per academic year. Integrated residents will be exposed to Plastic Surgery very early in their training. During the first year alone, residents will do four months exclusively dedicated to Plastic Surgery. Other areas of focus during the early years include Burn, Dermatology, Trauma, and General Surgery. In addition, during their second year, residents will spend more extended time in those associated fields with strong links to plastic surgery such as vascular surgery and breast surgery.

The Plastic Surgery Department is composed of 16 faculty members, all leaders in their respective areas. Together they staff four services that include: Craniofacial/Pediatric, Cosmetic, Breast, Microsurgery, and Hand Surgery. Each resident will rotate primarily at Cleveland Clinic’s Main Campus, as well as month long rotations at Akron’s Children’s Hospital and MetroHealth Medical Center (Cleveland’s Level 1 Trauma Center).

Integrated Plastic Surgery Residency Program Application Process

All applications must be submitted via ERAS and must include:

  • Medical school transcript
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Dean’s Letter
  • USMLE score

Application Deadline

November 30TH (annually)

For questions or specific interview dates and schedules, please email:
Khadija Spaulding, Program Coordinator
Phone: 216.445.4724
Fax: 216.444.9419

Department of Plastic Surgery Fellowship Programs

Cleveland Clinic is one of the nation's largest group practice organizations with over 1,400 full-time, salaried physicians. Cleveland Clinic's main campus offers inpatient graduate medical education training programs and allied health education programs. The broad patient base and extensive expertise of the institution's faculty provide an excellent training environment.

The following provides information around our Plastic Surgery Fellowship Programs, offering training medical professionals comprehensive specialty experience and skill advancement.

Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Fellowship


This is a one-year fellowship. Two fellows are selected each year. The fellowship includes comprehensive, postgraduate training in all phases of aesthetic surgery and allows each fellow an adequate time frame for clinical research. ach fellow alternates on the breast and cosmetic services every three months. Each week consists of four clinical days and one day dedicated to research.

Prerequisite Training/Selection Criteria

To qualify for our aesthetic fellowship, the candidate must be a board-eligible graduate of an ACGME-accredited plastic surgery residency prior to the July 1st start date of any given year and hold an ECFMG certification to qualify for clinical training. Respective candidates who have complete applications are interviewed the year prior and the selection is made shortly thereafter. International applicants with outstanding qualifications are also welcome. Eligible applicants must have completed the following requirements: ECGMG or USMLE.

Goals and Objectives for Training

Goals and objectives of training include both clinical and research responsibilities. Clinical responsibilities include time divided between services (facial and breast). The services include 6 months of aesthetics (surgery of the face) and 6 months of the breast service, which includes (breast and body aesthetics including hair restoration and breast reconstruction). Research responsibilities include a requirement to complete at least one clinical research project of publication quality.

All staff members are responsible for mentoring the fellows specifically in cosmetic and breast surgery during clinics (patient evaluations and consultations) and surgical procedures. Fellows receive performance evaluations semi-annually. The fellows meet with the Program Director to discuss the feedback of their evaluations. Also included in their responsibilities is guidance and assistance with their respective research projects that will hopefully lead to publication in a peer-reviewed journal and for presentation at our annual society meeting.

Educational Program - Basic Curriculum

Each fellow spends five days per week in the various staff clinics and operating rooms. This program allows them to advance their skills in facial cosmetic, breast and body contouring surgery. The fellows spend most of his/her time supervised by the individual staff to the service they are assigned and can, in fact, have limited responsibilities, (i.e. hospital rounds, postoperative follow-up). While in clinic, the fellows participate in new patient consults as well as post-op consults and will have the opportunity to participate in noninvasive cosmetic procedure (i.e. Botox and filler injections, laser skin treatments). While in clinic they also spend time with our full time estheticians who are consistently engaged in the practice of cosmetic medicine.

The Plastic Surgery aesthetic fellow will attend the didactic conferences. Our conference schedule includes Indications Conference, Journal Club, Research, Cadaver Lab, and Morbidity and Mortality. They are responsible for preparing one didactic conference to be presented on a topic of their choice at the Wednesday morning conference.

Contact Information

James E. Zins, MD
Chair, Department of Plastic Surgery
Program Director, Aesthetic/Breast Fellowship

Khadija Spaulding, Fellowship Program Coordinator
Phone: 216.445.4724
Fax: 216.444.9419

How to Apply

To apply to Cleveland Clinic's Aesthetic Fellowship Program, please:

  • submit fellowship application
  • submit two letters of recommendation and a current CV (curriculum vitae)
  • Send to:
    Khadija Spaulding, Program Coordinator
    Cleveland Clinic
    9500 Euclid Avenue, A-60;
    Cleveland, Ohio 44195
Craniofacial Plastic Surgery Fellowship


This is a one-year fellowship designed to provide an in-depth experience in craniofacial plastic surgery, with emphasis on diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of pediatric craniofacial anomalies.

Prerequisite Training/Selection Criteria

To qualify for our craniofacial fellowship, the applicants must have successfully completed residency training in Plastic Surgery in the United States or from a teaching institution outside of the US with completion of the ECFMG or USMLE examinations. He or she must be licensed and qualified to participate in clinical activities as mandated by the Division of Education. Applications are accepted through the SF Match at

Goals and Objectives for Training

The fellowship will begin with Oral/Maxillofacial surgery and oculoplastic rotations. Both of these rotations will enhance and build upon the experience obtained during plastic surgery residency, giving increased experience in managing facial trauma injuries and providing enhanced appreciation for and knowledge of craniofacial and orbital anatomy. Following these two months, the fellow will spend the remainder of the year doing craniofacial surgery primarily in the pediatric population under the supervision of the teaching faculty at both Cleveland Clinic and Akron Children’s Hospital. All patients who are admitted for craniofacial surgical procedures will be seen and evaluated by the fellow along with the resident on the service, and followed closely in the postoperative period. A concurrent management of the patient by both of the resident and fellow would improve the service to the patient.

Educational Program - Basic Curriculum

The fellow will work with all members of the staff of Cleveland Clinic's Department of Plastic Surgery and Akron Children’s Hospital. The fellow will report directly to Dr. Frank Papay and Dr. Gaby Doumit while training at CCF and Dr. James Lehman while training at CHMCA. The year is designed to provide a broad exposure to craniofacial surgery and research for applicants intending to pursue a career in plastic surgery with an emphasis on craniofacial surgery. The fellow will gain experience in adult craniofacial trauma surgery and oculoplastic surgery, but the primary emphasis of this program is to provide the trainee with experience in managing pediatric congenital craniofacial anomalies. The year is spent alternating time between Cleveland Clinic, and Akron Children’s Hospital where the trainee will gain proficiency in diagnosing, evaluating and treating pediatric patients with both congenital and traumatic craniofacial disorders. Trainees will gain proficiency both through didactic and practical training under the direction of the full time teaching faculty at both institutions.

Contact Information

Frank Papay, MD
Chairman, Dermatology & Plastic Surgery Institute
Program Director, Craniofacial Fellowship
Cleveland Clinic

Ananth Murthy, MD
Program Director, Craniofacial Fellowship
Akron Children's Hospital

Khadija Spaulding, Fellowship Program Director
Phone: 216.445.4724
Fax: 216.444.9419

How to Apply

To apply to Cleveland Clinic's Craniofacial Fellowship Program, please submit your application to the SF Match at

Reconstructive Microsurgery Plastic Surgery Fellowship

The training is one full year of clinical activity concentrated in reconstructive plastic surgery using microsurgical techniques. It gives the trainee the opportunity to combine clinical activities in operative microsurgery, patient care, clinical research and optional laboratory activities when desired. The estimated time spent between the research (clinical or laboratory) and clinical activities would be between 35 percent and 65 percent, respectively. There would be 1.5 days dedicated for research activity and 3.5 days dedicated to clinical activities in each week.

The fellowship training in reconstructive microsurgery is a specialized training opportunity for those who have special interest in the practice of complex and state of the art in reconstruction. This provides additional training for residents who have graduated from other plastic surgery training, to excel and explore further into this field. Cleveland Clinic Plastic Surgery is a world -renowned medical center. The comprehensive training is designed to provide an in-depth experience in clinical microsurgery, with emphasis in breast reconstruction, reconstruction of the head and neck, trunk as well as upper and lower extremities. This position does not lead to board certification, as there is not subspecialty certification in Microsurgery. The year is designed to provide a broad exposure to clinical microsurgery and research opportunities for applicants intending to pursue a career in plastic surgery with an emphasis on microsurgery.

The fellow will have exposure to numerous microsurgical literatures to enrich the knowledge of complex reconstruction and numerous variations in surgical techniques. Significant emphasis will be placed on detailed anatomy for the site of reconstruction following an applied anatomy into surgery itself.

Prerequisite Training/Selection Criteria

To qualify for our reconstructive microsurgery fellowship, the candidate must be a board­ eligible graduate of an ACGME-accredited plastic surgery residency prior to the July 1st start date of any given year or hold an ECFMG certification to qualify for clinical training. Prospective candidates who have completed applications are interviewed the year prior and the selection is made shortly thereafter. International applicants are also welcome with outstanding qualifications. Eligible applicants must have completed the following requirements: ECGMG or USMLE.

Goals and Objectives

The fellow she will start with a two-week course of gaining proficiency operating under the microscope in the laboratory. This will provide the opportunity for the trainee to gain proficiency both through didactic and practical training under the direction of our full-time microsurgery laboratory director. The fellow will become a skilled micro-surgeon by repeated practice in the Microsurgery Laboratory. When desired, the clinical microsurgery fellow will have the opportunity to join other research fellows in the lab under guidance of Dr. Siemionow to participate in a research project in the lab during the first month. This will familiarize the fellow in designing and conducting a project that would involve the use of microsurgery lab in the rest of the year.

Protective time is made available for a minimum of one day per week for the clinical fellow to collaborate research project in the lab. A research project (clinical or laboratory) commences in the beginning of the year and carried on throughout the remainder of the year, with the intent of having at least one project completed for publication and presentation.

As the clinical experience with the patient progresses, it will provide the ability to gain expertise in clinical Microsurgery, as well as seeding potential interest in developing prospective clinical studies and research. Participation in the ongoing activities within the department will round out the experience; augmenting the overall training in Plastic and Reconstructive Microsurgery. This comprehensive training will provide a mature experience for the fellow to subsequently enter a private practice or academic practice with confidence.

Educational Program - Basic Curriculum

Clinical microsurgical experience would involve activities with Drs. Djohan, Bernard, Lohman, Schwarz, Gastman, Hendrickson and Yetman. The fellow will also have protected time for clinical research activities with any of the staff members. The fellow will work with all members of the staff of the Department of Plastic Surgery, but will report directly to Dr. Risal Djohan, Director of the Microsurgery Fellowship Program.

At the beginning of the fellowship almost all of the time will be spent in the Microsurgery Laboratory until sufficient technical skill is gained to allow operating room activity. All patients who are admitted for reconstructive microsurgical procedures, either micro­ vascular or micro-neural, will be seen and evaluated by the fellow along with the resident on the service and followed closely in the postoperative period.

The fellow will attend all of the conference and teaching activities of the department. They are expected to participate in teaching and presenting cases involving any area in Microsurgery. The fellow would be actively involved in teaching the residents in complex management of the patients. Quarterly evaluation are performed by all participating staff attendings toward the fellow, based on their knowledge base of the literature reading, patient care, operating skill under the microscope as well as the ability to perform flap dissections.

Evaluation Process

Evaluations are done on a quarterly basis after each rotation. The fellow is required to meet with the program director twice a year usually in December and June for an overall evaluation.

Contact Information

Risal Djohan, MD
Reconstructive Microsurgery Fellowship Program Director

Khadija Spaulding, Fellowship Program Director
Phone: 216.445.4724
Fax: 216.444.9419

Plastic Surgery Research Fellowship


Plastic Surgery Research Fellowship
  • 2-3 funded positions are available annually. Typically a one year commitment
  • Preference is given to trained plastic surgeons with a 1 year commitment
  • Unfunded positions are available for US medical students, MD/DOs
  • International applicants looking for an unfunded position should provide proof of funding from an external organization. Personal funds can be used for not more than 50% of the designated salary (for more information contact

Prerequisite Training/Selection Criteria

  • Any US Medical Student (MD or DO) or who has dedicated research time;
  • Any International MD that has satisfied the TOEFL exam requirements.

Goals and Objectives for Training

Cleveland Clinic's Department of Plastic Surgery research fellowship program is a comprehensive program allowing the fellows to gain experience both in basic science and clinical research. Fellows conduct and assist with preparation of the research projects, obtaining IACUC and IRB approvals, grant application and animal and human subject research. In addition, fellows are trained in basic and advanced microsurgery techniques and help running the microsurgery training course. The fellows are involved also in multiple research projects involving anatomical dissection in the anatomy lab.

The fellowship program is designed to develop research skills, help teach clinical and scientific knowledge, as well as build fellows into future surgeon-scientists in a rigorous but collegial setting.

Educational Program - Basic Curriculum

Outside of their research duties, research fellows are expected to attend actively weekly plastic surgery conferences, lab meetings and monthly journal clubs hosted by the department of Plastic Surgery. They are further encouraged to attend national meetings, partake in cadaver labs, and make full use of the microsurgery lab during their time as a fellow.

Plastic Surgery Research Fellowship

Contact Information

If interested in finding out more information regarding the fellowship or if you would like to apply to the program, please email

How to Apply

If interested in finding out more information regarding the fellowship or if you would like to apply to the program, please email

Schedule an Appointment Online

Call us for an Appointment

To schedule an appointment with a dermatologist or plastic surgeon, contact the Dermatology & Plastic Surgery Institute at 216.444.5725 (or toll-free 1.800.223.2273, ext. 45725).

Same-day Appointments

To arrange a same-day visit, call 216.444.7000

This information is provided by Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.

© Copyright 2015 Cleveland Clinic. All rights reserved.