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Plastic Surgery Residency

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Greetings from Program Director Dr. Abigail Chaffin:

The mission of the Tulane University/Ochsner Clinic Plastic Surgery Residency Program is to train competent, ethical and compassionate plastic surgeons of the future, who are fully skilled in all areas of plastic surgery, while subsequently valuing and advancing the missions of Tulane University School of Medicine.

The Tulane University/Ochsner Clinic Plastic Surgery residency is a fully-accredited three-year independent program designed to provide comprehensive and cutting-edge training across the full spectrum of plastic surgery. We accept two residents per year for a total of six residents.

The residency includes rotations at Tulane University Hospital and Clinics, the Ochsner Clinic Foundation, several community hospitals, a dedicated pediatric hospital, and experiences in private practice clinics and outpatient surgery centers.  Through the diversity of practice settings, residents will be exposed to the full breadth and depth of plastic surgical reconstructive and aesthetic procedures including: traumatic reconstruction of the upper and lower extremities, facial trauma, head and neck cancer reconstruction, trunk reconstruction, breast cancer reconstruction, gender affirmation, complex craniofacial surgery, vascular malformations, wound management, burn reconstruction, microsurgery, lymphedema reconstruction, aesthetic surgery and pediatric plastic surgery.

Clinical research is required annually in the form of abstract submissions, publications, or presentations with a program research expectation of the resident completing at least one plastic surgery accepted publication in a peer-reviewed journal by the end of the residency program to accomplish our aims of a robust education in scientific inquiry and contribution to the specialty of plastic surgery.

Engagement with the plastic surgery community and lifelong learning are core tenants of the residency. Residents have protected time and funding to attend at least one regional or national conference per residency.  Residents with additional scholarly activity may qualify for further opportunities.

Formal educational lectures take place each week, including protected and dedicated time for all residents for core curriculum lectures (Grand Rounds and Case Conference), patient safety conference, oral board preparation, and Inservice exam preparation. There are multidisciplinary hand conferences monthly as well.  Journal club is held monthly for plastic surgery residents and is protected time for all residents and faculty. The Journal Clubs are shared with LSU plastic surgery residents and faculty, and numerous community plastic surgery faculty, to increase the breadth and depth of plastic surgery experience and exposure. There is an invaluable anatomical cadaver dissection course encompassing the head, neck, trunk, lower and upper extremity. An animal microsurgical laboratory is also available to improve microsurgical skills and techniques. We also offer a drawing and sculpture class to help residents develop a critical artistic eye.

The residency program is committed to addressing health care disparities and to fostering diversity in our faculty and trainees. Our faculty and trainees are actively engaged in enhancing diversity, equity and inclusion through education, outreach, and teaching.  We value our resident participation in a robust Equity, Diversity and Inclusion committee with the Tulane Department of Surgery. All residents will participate in quality improvement projects during their training and they have the ability to shape and design projects that align with their goals.

Our program values a culture of safety and wellbeing.  Numerous initiatives and opportunities for our residents in this realm include the Tulane WellChamps program, a dedicated wellness app, robust mental health and resident support resources, and funded quarterly resident wellness activities.  We advocate for quality patient care and optimal patient care systems and value working in interprofessional teams to enhance patient safety and improve patient care quality.

The program is committed to training residents to become broadly competent in all aspects of plastic surgery, prepared for fellowship or private practice, and equipped with the skills to engage in lifelong learning and contribution to the specialty of plastic surgery.

We believe the Tulane University/Ochsner Clinic Plastic Surgery Residency Program offers comprehensive state-of-the-art plastic surgery training and appreciate your interest in our program!


Abigail E. Chaffin, MD, FACS, CWSP, FAPWCA
Program Director

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