Choosing a Plastic Surgery training program
Choosing your training program also means choosing a city to live in for 6-7 years, friends, colleagues, and mentors for life. It's a big decision
This is a very personal decision. Hopefully you were taking notes during your interview process (we talk about this in our "Interview Guide"). Ultimately your goal is to get the best surgical training. You have to balance that against (sometimes) competing desires to be near family/friends, in a geographic location that offers certain benefits (oceans, mountains, cultural activities), at a program with a "big name," ability to do advanced degrees or high level research, at a place with a great faculty/resident vibe. Put an initial list on paper just based on your gut feeling. Then go through each pair (1 and 2, 2 and 3, etc), and revise up and down based on your goals and the perceived strengths of each program. Once you've got a good draft list in place, go back to the residents and your faculty mentors at your home program and talk it over with them. They will likely have friends at these programs and can give you the inside scoop - that the general surgery years at X program are a disaster, or they've heard that the chairman will be leaving soon, or that the residents have no real independence in the OR. Use this to help refine your list.