The ProspectiveDoctor Podcast

Podcast 82: Plastic Surgery

Join Drs. Marinelli and Weintrub as they discuss plastic surgery, and what this dynamic and unique specialty entails!

[1:07] How Dr. Weintrub became interested in plastic surgery.

He was working in an emergency room on a rotation, and there was a lot of trauma going on. Dr. Weintrub had the opportunity to do some lighter reconstructions which piqued his interest.

[2:25] The path through plastic surgery.

Since 2015, there are two different pathways. The new and preferred pathway in a six-year training program at one institution. Alternatively, it’s possible to train in general surgery first like Dr. Weintrub did.

[4:00] Dr. Weintrub’s scope of plastic surgery.

Plastic surgery is a large field which encompasses a lot more than just cosmetic surgery. Dr. Weintrub specializes in reconstructive work and has performed this type of work on many veterans.

[6:40] Microsurgery.

This is done by using a microscope to better see the structures that the surgeon is operating on. It consists of operating on blood vessels, veins, and nerves. It’s done very reliably, with a success rate over 98%.

[8:11] How plastic surgery has changed.

Plastic surgeons are generally at the forefront of using new technology, which makes the field very dynamic. Would healing and scarring are the sources of much innovation.

[10:09] Recommendations for those interested in plastic surgery.

The most important advice is to try it. Take clinical rotations where you are exposed to plastic surgery and what it entails. A lot of people are misled about plastic surgery by the media, but it’s a lot different when you’re working in it.

[11:22] The type of applicant Dr. Weintrub was looking for while on a plastic surgery admissions committee.

The top students tend to apply because plastic surgery is so competitive. They have excellent academic records, high scores on step one, and excellent recommendations. The best candidates have also done significant research. Doing clerkships at an institution that interests you is also very important.

[14:05] How to get rotations if plastic surgery is not part of your core clerkship.

Talk to the plastic surgeons at your school to see if there are opportunities to shadow them. You can also reach out to private practices to see if opportunities are available.

[15:32] Conclusion.

Plastic surgery is an incredibly broad and interesting field. It’s super competitive, and the earlier you make your decision to pursue it, the better.

Renee Marinelli MD

Renee graduated magna cum laude from California State University San Marcos with a bachelor’s degree in Biology. While attending school, she worked for a neurosurgeon where she led clinical trials. Renee attended the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine where she served on the admissions committee and interviewed many applicants. In medical school, Renee met her future husband, a military scholarship student. After medical school, both Renee and her husband attended family medicine residency in Hawaii where she also served on the residency admissions committee. She has mentored and assisted many students in the medical school admissions process and brings a wealth of experience serving on both medical school and residency admission committees. She is excited to continue to provide guidance to students while spending quality time with her son.

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