On all plastic surgery services, residents are involved in the pre-operative, intra-operative, and post-operative care of patients. Residents are involved in clinics at all of the hospitals, thus gaining pre- and post-operative experience. The residents will see patients both independently and with the attending physicians in the clinics. Discussions are held when appropriate to maximize the educational experience for the resident. Faculty attend all surgical cases. The resident assumes a level of responsibility appropriate to his or her knowledge and capabilities.
At each institution, the residents are responsible for making daily rounds on the patients before the beginning of the clinic or operative schedule.
The resident rotations are two months in duration and each resident rotates on all services each year. The first year is designed to allow the resident to learn the basics of the service and to operate directly under the supervision of the staff. The second year's rotations will allow concentration on more complex and more detailed facets of surgery and with greater independence in the operating room. The third year serves as a chief year, where the resident assumes a greater role in decision-making and operative planning.
Four residents are assigned to University Hospital, which includes the Huntsman Cancer Hospital. During these rotations, each resident typically spends two days in the clinic and three days in the operating room. The operating rooms used for these rotations are those at University Hospital, Huntsman Cancer Hospital, and those at the University Outpatient Center.
Senior residents also participate in their own resident cosmetic clinic where they evaluate patients for cosmetic procedures. After developing an operative plan, they present each case to a faculty member who will serve as the primary staff and advisor for the resident cosmetic case.
While at Primary Children's Hospital, the residents spend one to two days per week in the general plastic surgery clinic and cleft clinic. The remaining days are spent in the operating room learning a range of pediatric surgical techniques, including cleft lip/palate repair and cranial vault remodeling.
While at the VA Medical Center, clinics are held two days a week and the remaining days are spent in the operating room. Residents also staff a procedure clinic where they are able to gain experience in minor surgeries performed under local anesthesia.
All significant decisions and especially those regarding operative intervention are made in conjunction with the attending staff. Surgery is performed on an inpatient and outpatient basis in all of these facilities. The University Outpatient Clinic is only available for outpatient surgical care. The clinics at University Hospital and the adjacent Huntsman Cancer Hospital also have small procedure rooms appropriate for performing procedures under strictly local anesthesia.
In their rotations at the affiliated institutions, the residents gain a broad exposure to all facets of plastic surgery and to each of the specific clinical areas described in the plastic surgery operative log. University Hospital and Primary Children’s Hospital provide the bulk of the exposure to trauma. They are both level one trauma centers. This includes both hand and maxillofacial trauma. A significant amount of adult reconstruction in breast, upper and lower extremity, and trunk are encountered at these facilities. The majority of the microvascular procedures are also performed at these facilities.
The VA Medical Center provides the residents with a very broad experience in facial skin cancers and their reconstruction, hand surgery, and head and neck cancer surgery. Primary Children's Hospital provides a broad and inclusive range of pediatric plastic surgical, craniofacial, and congenital hand patients. Pediatric maxillofacial trauma is also provided at Primary Children’s. The teaching program is centered at the University of Utah and is coordinated by the full time faculty. Faculty at Primary Children's and the VA Medical Center add variety and a different perspective to the resident teaching. Weekly conferences consist of grand rounds (including local and national speakers), resident didactic conference covering the main topics in plastic surgery, case conference discussing the weeks interesting cases, hand conference, and a general review conference oriented towards studying for the in-service test and board examinations.