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Letter | Program Director

Thank you for your interest in the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital Plastic Surgery Program.

Our program is dedicated to training the future leaders in academic plastic surgery in a collegial and welcoming environment. We are a small program, with only 2 residents a year, but pride ourselves on fostering a family like atmosphere. As you get to know our program by perusing this website and meeting with us during your interview, we hope you will understand our commitment to you, our future resident, alumnus and colleague. We take our focus on resident education extremely seriously, in fact we have maintained the position of not having fellows as we feel it detracts from the resident operative experience. This leads to an unparalleled operative experience at the Cornell, Columbia and Harlem centers where you are working hand in hand with some of the country’s most innovative plastic surgeons.

The operative experience includes a rich exposure to microsurgery which includes breast, head and neck, and extremity reconstruction. You will participate in the preoperative planning for these cases including the medical modeling sessions for free fibula reconstructions. Within your microsurgery exposure you will learn from experts in conventional techniques of soft tissue reconstruction but also innervation for improved functional reconstructions. This peripheral nerve exposure also includes orthoplastic reconstruction with targeted muscle reinnervation and soft tissue reconstruction following osseointegrated implants where we collaborate with our orthopedic colleagues at Hospital for Special Surgery. Pediatric reconstruction includes the entire scope of the subspecialty including cleft lip, plate, cranial vault remodeling and soft tissue reconstructions for congenital deformities. As NYPH draws patients locally and internationally, we see many unusual cases. Over the past year our residents have participated in the reconstruction of 2 conjoined twins and separated and reconstructed a syringomyelia deformity. 

During your senior and Chief years, you will spend time being mentored by several of the most successful aesthetic plastic surgeons in New York. This includes mentoring in and out of the operating room, a truly invaluable experience. Additional hands-on sessions include quarterly injectable sessions, anatomy labs and laser sessions.  As a mid-level and senior resident you will spend time at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center where you will be exposed to reconstructions for advanced cancer cases which you are unlikely to see elsewhere. You will also be exposed to other leaders in the world of microsurgery who can provide additional mentorship and opportunities to participate in research projects.

Your research exposure will be as robust as your operative exposure. Each resident is tasked with completing a research project each year, which is expected to be presented at national conferences and at resident research night at the end of the academic year. Our support to you for these research projects include guidance from the faculty, departmental administrative help for writing and guidance through the IRB process, grant writing support from both medical schools, funding to present your research at meetings and research fellows eager to collaborate with you. These projects allow you not only to develop your critical thinking but also your leadership and administrative skills. Over the past few years these projects have won awards at regional and national meetings including NESPS, ASPS, AAPS and PSRC.

Thank you for your interest in our program and I look forward to meeting you in the near future.

David M. Otterburn, M.D., FACS

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