How do I get a Plastic Surgery Fellowship?

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  • Written By: Jessica F. Black
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 01 December 2019
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    Conjecture Corporation
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There are several different types of plastic surgery fellowship programs that focus on specific areas in the field, but the programs generally have similar requirements. The primary requirement is education, which may take at least eight years. Students should research the numerous programs during his or her first few years of medical school to determine qualifications needed to be accepted by a plastic surgery fellowship program. Available fellowship opportunities may vary depending on the location, and students may want to research outside of his or her local area.

A bachelor's degree is needed before attending medical school, and students should choose a four year university that has a strong pre-medical department. In order to prepare for admissions exams and medical school, students should advance in mathematics, sciences, and pre-medical courses, such as physiology and anatomy. Employment or internships in health care services can be additionally beneficial to achieving a plastic surgery fellowship. Students should begin preparing for any necessary medical school admissions exams during the second or third year of undergraduate school. These scores in addition to grades and experience will be important when applying for a plastic surgery fellowship.


The first year or two of medical school is general coursework in a classroom, and the last few years are usually spent in laboratories and medical facilities. There are usually general surgery requirements needed before focusing on plastic surgery. After graduating from medical school, students must enroll in a residency program, which may include three years of general surgery followed by three years of plastic surgery. Students must have an enhanced knowledge of general surgery to perform specialized surgeries. Most plastic surgery fellowship programs will place great emphasis on residency success and may request a recommendation letter from the residency program director.

Recommendation letters are extremely important because they reveal in-depth details of the student's medical experience, and candidates are required to disclose all surgery related experience to fellowship consultants. The amount of experience will definitely assist applicants in displaying his or her competency and career devotion. Students must submit college and medical transcripts, a completed fellowship application, any related honors or certification, and usually at least three letters of recommendation.

Although a plastic surgery fellowship is not required to practice as a plastic surgeon, fellowships are designed to sharpen an individual's skills in a specified area of plastic surgery. Some of these surgical areas may include craniofacial, hands, aesthetic, or laser surgery. This experience will enable the student to focus on his or her expertise and advance in the field.



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