Cosmetic surgery training in Canadian plastic surgery residencies: Are we training competent surgeons?

Quinton J. Chivers, Jamil Ahmad, Frank Lista, Richard J. Warren, Amr Y. Arkoubi, Raman C. Mahabir, Kenneth A. Murray, Avinash Islur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Background: With the demand for cosmetic surgery continuing to rise, it is necessary to reevaluate the current state of cosmetic surgery training during plastic surgery residency. An evaluation of cosmetic surgery training in US plastic surgery residency programs in 2006 identified several areas for improvement, resulting in changes to both the duration and content of training. Objectives: The authors assess the current state of cosmetic surgery training in Canadian plastic surgery residency programs. Methods: A paper survey of all graduating Canadian plastic surgery residents eligible to complete the 2009 Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada fellowship examinations was performed (N = 29). The survey was conducted primarily at the Canadian Plastic Surgery Review Course in February 2009, with surveys collected from absent residents by e-mail within 1 month after the course. The survey covered 2 broad areas: (1) specifics regarding resident cosmetic surgery training and (2) confidence and satisfaction associated with this experience. Results: Of the 29 residents surveyed, 28 responded (96%). The majority of Canadian plastic surgery residency programs (75%) have a designated cosmetic surgery rotation, but 90% of respondents felt it has become increasingly difficult to gain exposure to cosmetic procedures as most are performed at private surgery centers. Elective rotations at cosmetic surgery practices and resident cosmetic clinics were considered the most beneficial for cosmetic surgery education. Residents considered cosmetic surgery procedures of the face (such as rhinoplasty and facelift) more challenging, but they had more confidence with breast and body contouring procedures. Conclusions: Canadian plastic surgery residency programs need to ensure that residents continue to receive comprehensive exposure to both surgical and nonsurgical cosmetic procedures to ensure our specialty's continued leadership in this evolving and highly competitive field. A multidimensional approach utilizing a variety of readily available resources will ensure that the current and future cosmetic surgery educational needs of Canadian plastic surgery residents are met.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)160-165
Number of pages6
JournalAesthetic surgery journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013


  • Aesthetic surgery training
  • Canada
  • Cosmetic surgery training
  • Education
  • Residency training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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