Our Program

Our clinical case mix will provide residents with ample opportunity to train in all aspects of our specialty, with the exception of burn care (residents are provided with a formal rotation at USC/LAC Burn Center).

Plastic surgery opportunities

Some of the cases residents will have an opportunity to treat include:

  • Congenital defects of the head and neck
  • Cosmetic surgery of the head and neck, trunk and extremities
  • Craniomaxillofacial trauma
  • General reconstruction by tissue transfer, including flaps and grafts
  • Microsurgery
  • Neoplasms of the head and neck
  • Plastic surgery of the breast
  • Plastic surgery of the congenital and acquired defects of the trunk and genitalia
  • Plastic surgery of the lower extremity
  • Surgery of benign and malignant lesions of the skin and soft tissue
  • Surgery of the hand and upper extremities

Mission statement

We seek to train future plastic surgeons who are ethical and compassionate, and dedicated to the care of patients, as well as advancement of medical knowledge and science in the field of plastic surgery.

Program aims

Our program goals and objectives for our trainees:

  • Achievement of core competencies in the development of ethical and compassionate care of patients
  • Achievement of core medical knowledge consistent with becoming a plastic surgeon
  • Achievement of core research skills to be able to actively contribute to the academic mission of our institution
  • Achievement of core technical skills consistent with becoming a plastic surgeon
  • Achievement of an understanding of diversity and inclusion as well as sensitivity to differences both with patients, as well as others in the health care environment
  • Development of both the faculty, staff, and educational environment suitable for achieving all of the above goals and objectives

Resident assignment for overseas opportunities

Residents are encouraged to participate in a 1 to 2 week elective assignment outside the United States under the supervision of Dr. Joseph Rosen. These assignments are coordinated through private organizations and have recently included trips to the Dominican Republic and Vietnam. During such assignments, the residents are primarily involved in pediatric plastic surgery, including congenital cleft and craniofacial deformities as well as congenital anomalies of the hand (e.g., syndactyly, polydactyly). A substantial exposure to the management of burn scar contractures is also provided.

Residents are involved in all aspects of preoperative evaluation, intraoperative management, and early postoperative care. Residents are directly involved in approximately 30 cases during a typical trip. Of these, typically 20 cases are congenital cleft deformities and 5 cases are congenital anomalies of the upper extremities. Remaining cases consist largely of burn contracture releases. Some form of continuity of care for this experience is made possible through an Internet-based telemedicine system.

The opportunity to participate on an overseas mission is fully optional. Each of the past 5 residents have taken advantage of this experience. Those who choose not to participate in an overseas trip still have a tremendous opportunity to gain vast experience through our Craniofacial Clinic Program (directed by Dr. Joseph H. Shin).


In addition to the facilities of Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital, the ambulatory facilities of our section encompass 2616 square feet of office and treatment room space. This space accommodates our resident's office, our library, and our conference room. A plastic surgery minor OR suite is also incorporated into this space, used for outpatient procedures performed under local anesthesia and oral sedation.