Plastic Surgery Fellowship | Graduate Medical Education at PCOM
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Plastic Surgery 
Fellowship Program

Director: Benjamin Lam, DO, FACOS, FACS
Positions: 4

Our plastic surgery fellowship program offers top-notch training through clinical rotations which fulfill a thorough spectrum of disciplines within the plastic and reconstructive surgery specialty.

As a fellow during the three-year program you will receive training in general reconstruction, trauma, maxillofacial surgery, hand surgery, microvascular surgery, aesthetic surgery, breast reconstruction, burn care, oncoplastic surgery and cleft lip/cleft palate.

All rotations include academic conferences as well as several didactic sessions throughout the residency. Fellows are required to attend weekly plastic surgery conferences which include textbook and selected readings, chapter review, Journal Club, morbidity/mortality case review and weekly service reports. Fellows also utilize cadaver labs at PCOM and participate in required in-service training examinations.

Applicants must have completed general surgery residency training to be considered for the program.

The mission of the plastic surgery fellowship program is to train and develop physicians to practice as competent, caring plastic and reconstructive surgeons in the ambulatory, hospital and extended care settings.

Following prerequisite training in general surgery, the resident is trained in all major areas of plastic and reconstructive surgery so he or she will be able to practice this specialty completely; be prepared to take and pass the board certifying examination; and to understand and have the ability to perform research in plastic and reconstructive surgery.

The program goals and objectives are distributed to faculty and residents at the plastic surgery orientation each July. Residents are required to review their assigned rotation goals and objectives prior to each rotation change.

All rotation goals and objectives include general competencies and the principles of plastic and reconstructive surgery.

The overall goals and objectives are to:

  • Provide residents with quality instruction and experience in a wide range of plastic surgery areas, including both the functional and aesthetic management of congenital and acquired defects of the face, neck, trunk, body, and extremities.
  • Produce residents who are well trained in the broad areas of general plastic and reconstructive surgery.
  • Produce residents who exhibit continued competent skills and characteristics in the six general competencies (assessed on each rotation by the faculty member or members to whom the resident is assigned):
    1. Patient care: Compassionate, appropriate, effective management of responsibilities and promotion of health. The resident will gather essential and accurate information. He will perform all essential skill required for the rotation. He is expected to work effectively with patients, families, and other professionals. 
    2. Medical knowledge: The resident will demonstrate investigative and analytical thinking in problem solving by applying basic and clinical sciences principles. 
    3. Practice‐based learning and improvement: The resident will analyze practice experience and locates evidence from scientific studies. He is expected to utilize information technology. He will study and understand study design and statistical methods.  
    4. Interpersonal and communication skills: The resident will maintain sound relationships and communicates effectively with patient, family, and other members of the healthcare team. 
    5. Professionalism: The resident will demonstrate respect, integrity and responsiveness that supersede self‐interest. He will develop a commitment to excellence and professionalism and high ethical standards. He will respect confidentiality and sensitivity to patients regardless of culture, age, gender or disabilities. 
    6. Systems-based practice: The resident will demonstrate awareness of the larger context of healthcare. This includes cost‐effective care and resource allocation. He will assist and partner with patients in dealing with system complexities. This includes working with managers to coordinate and improve healthcare and system performance. 

The competency based goals and objectives are outlined for each rotation over a three‐year period. Upon reaching the second- and third-year rotations, the senior (chief) residents have increased responsibilities and authority in patient and operative care. This includes supervisory responsibility for junior residents. The clinical and specific milestones to be reached are outlined for each year demonstrating progressive responsibilities toward the third and final year.

Residents will receive specific training in:

  • Congenital defects of the head and neck, including clefts of the lip and palate, auricular deformities, and craniofacial surgery.
  • Neoplasms of the head and neck, including the oropharynx and training in appropriate endoscopy.
  • Craniomaxillofacial trauma, including fractures.
  • Aesthetic (cosmetic) surgery of the head and neck, trunk, and extremities.
  • Plastic surgery of the breast.
  • Surgery of the hand and upper extremity.
  • Plastic surgery of the lower extremities.
  • Plastic surgery of the congenital and acquired defects of the trunk and genitalia.
  • Burn management, acute and reconstructive.
  • Microsurgical techniques applicable to plastic surgery.
  • Reconstruction by tissue transfer, including flaps and grafts.
  • Surgery of benign and malignant lesions of the skin and soft tissues. 

Residents will gain experience in:

  • Surgical design
  • Surgical diagnosis
  • Surgical and artistic anatomy
  • Surgical physiology and pharmacology
  • Wound healing
  • Surgical pathology and microbiology
  • Adjunctive oncological therapy
  • Biomechanics
  • Rehabilitation
  • Surgical instrumentation

Residents completing the program must display judgment and technical capability for achieving satisfactory surgical results.

Instruction in the basic sciences is provided as an integrated part of the clinical training. Formal conferences and lectures enable discussion to broaden the resident’s knowledge in basic sciences (anatomy, pathology, physiology, embryology, radiation biology, genetics, microbiology, and pharmacy) and surgical principles fundamental to clinical plastic surgery. These didactic sessions and discussions allow time for evaluation of current medical literature and studies. Each faculty member is assigned didactic lectures in their area of expertise. In addition, attending physicians provide a great deal of one-on-one teaching regarding specific cases and problems encountered during ongoing patient care. Residents participate in the presentation of educational material at the conferences.

Residents are not encouraged to emphasize a particular area of plastic and reconstructive surgery during the three-year program; e.g. hand, head and neck, aesthetic, micro-vascular, or craniofacial surgery. However, if residents develop a specialized interest during their training, they are encouraged to seek a fellowship at another institution or remain with our program for an additional year to develop further expertise in that specialized area.

During each rotation, the resident will gain understanding of medico-legal and psychiatric aspects of plastic surgery practice. Residents regularly obtain informed consent from the patient.

During training, each resident demonstrates the following:

  • Obtain informed consent from all patients and effectively document the consent agreement.
  • Evaluate patients for aesthetic surgery from a physical and psychological perspective

Upon completion of training, the resident demonstrates competence as follows:

  • Identify the medical and legal perspectives of the contractual agreement between physician and patient.
  • Identify the concepts of informed consent and implied guarantee.
  • Identify the role of the medical record as a legal document.
  • Identify the impact physical deformity can have on patients and their families.
  • Recognize and implement techniques to explore the motivations of patients seeking cosmetic surgery and how to distinguish acceptable, unacceptable, and pathological motivations.

It is the goal and objective of our training program to produce clinically and professionally competent independent surgeons in plastic surgery.

The close daily working relationship with a faculty member allows direct observation and interaction by the faculty with the resident in the clinics, office, conference, and operating room. This provides an excellent way to assess the general competencies and the accomplishment of all goals and objectives of the residents.

The program has a detailed goals and objective systems of rotations that are competency based. Close supervision of residents by faculty using multiple assessment tools documents yearly progression toward milestones and ultimate obtainment of goals. Completion of this process documents competency of the resident to independently practice plastic surgery.

Applicants must have completed general surgery residency training to be considered for the program.

Applicants must apply through the San Francisco Match (SF) at

Designated Osteopathic Residents

All PCOM residents/fellows will be Designated Osteopathic Residents. All must have sufficient background and/or instruction in osteopathic philosophy and techniques in manipulative medicine to prepare them to engage in the program's curriculum.

The Eligibility Requirements must be met before an applicant is eligible to receive an invitation to interview.


Notice to Applicants

All applicants for PCOM residency and fellowship programs must be legally authorized to work in the United States.


For more information about this program, please contact:

Christine Wilkinson
Program Coordinator
Phone: 215-871-6693


Plastic Surgery Fellowship Program

Our Fellows
Steven Agafonoff, DO


Marc Gorvet


Timothy Wolff, DO


Contact Us

Department of Graduate Medical Education

4190 City Avenue, Suite 409

Philadelphia, PA 19131