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The formal didactic educational program consists of weekly conferences that are based on the curriculum goals and objectives.
These conferences are formal didactic experiences supervised by faculty course directors. The course directors work into their curriculum the key components of each topic, including: embryology, anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, pathology, microbiology, biomechanics, and other fundamentals to the science of surgery.
Benchmarks as to the success of the didactic education are obtained through the following assessment tools: Global Assessment of Medical Knowledge, In-service Examination, Mock Oral Boards, Conference Specific Written Examinations, and Written Board Examinations.

Conference Schedule and Descriptions

Core Curriculum Conference (Mondays 5 to 6 p.m.) is run by Lorelei Grunwaldt, MD. Each week consists of a multimodality format designed to instruct the plastic surgery resident on the core topics pertinent to general plastic surgery. A weekly quiz, Oral Board Exam type case, didactic lecture, and Written Board question and answer session is incorporated, utilizing Grabb and Smith’s Plastic Surgery, Sixth Edition in a two-year rotating conference schedule. Topics include the full spectrum of reconstructive surgery, as well as aesthetic surgery.
Plastic Surgery Hand Conference (Mondays 6 to 7 p.m.; weeks 1, 3 and 5) is run by Alexander J. Davit III, MD and Lance Brunton, MD. Weekly reading assignments from Trumble, Principles of Hand Surgery and Therapy, are discussed in the first half of the conference. The second half of the conference is used to discuss specific cases encountered in the emergency department, outpatient clinic, or operating room since the last conference. A Socratic format is used with opportunities for residents to freely ask questions and exchange experience.
Cleft-Craniofacial Surgery Conference (Mondays 6 to 7 p.m., weeks 2 and 4) is run by Joseph E. Losee, MD. This conference is an interactive teaching conference designed to comprehensively cover the core topics of cleft and craniofacial surgery over a one year cycle. Weekly reading assignments are provided (landmark articles and reviews, book chapters, etc.) and a formal didactic lecture series, with active attendance participation, makes up the conference. 
Grand Rounds Conference (Wednesdays 7 to 9 a.m., weeks 1, 2, 4 and 5). The first hour of weekly Plastic Surgery Grand Rounds is a formal didactic lecture given by a faculty member or visiting speaker who would be considered an expert in the material presented. It is during this time that required topics such as practice management, ethics in science and clinical medicine, medico-legal issues, etc. are covered. Active and lively participation by the sponsoring institutions full-time faculty and community clinical faculty create a unique environment of “Towne and Gown” and this dynamic significantly adds to the educational benefit of this conference. The residents are given a unique and rounded perspective of both the academic and private practice of plastic surgery. The second hour of grand rounds, except during the first Wednesday of each month, is dedicated to resident presentations of interesting, difficult, or complicated cases. The residents, in this Oral Board Examination style experience, present the patient case, field questions from the faculty, discuss treatment plans and complications, as well as alternatives and options for treatment. A short didactic presentation on the topic is then presented by the resident.
Research Conference (Wednesday 8 to 8:30 a.m., week 1) is run by Dr. Kacey Marra, PhD. This laboratory conference follows the first hour of Grand Rounds Conference during the first Wednesday of each month. During the first half-hour, invited speakers present topics pertinent to the general practice of research (e.g. scientific journal critique, research ethics, statistics, etc.). The second half-hour consists of updates from key members from one of the research laboratories. This conference is required for all students, fellows, and residents who are full-time involved in clinical and basic science research. The goal of the conference is to update and attract residents and members of our plastic surgery community on the research being performed in our various labs, promotes a spirit of inquiry and scholarship, and offer guidance and technical support (i.e. research design, statistical analysis) for students, fellows, and residents involved in research.
Mortality and Morbidity Conference (Wednesday 7 to 9 a.m., week 3) is run by Michael White, MD. One Wednesday morning Grand Rounds per month is dedicated to this two (2) hour Mortality and Morbidity Conference. This formal educational experience is attended by full-time and clinical faculty with active participation from residents and staff. All complications for each rotation and institution are collected and the data processed. In an Oral Boards style presentation, residents having cared for the patients with complications are prepared to present the history, decision making process, and discuss the complication.
Journal Club (Monthly) Journal Club is held on the last Tuesday evening of each month. An assigned faculty member is designated to lead the discussion and choose the journal articles to be reviewed. The R1-3 plastic surgery residents, if not on in-house call, are encouraged to attend this conference. Plastic Surgery R4-6 residents are requested to attend. The attending faculty that moderates the session will call upon a resident to review the paper and critically analyze its structure and scientific merit. Following the conference, each resident discussing a paper is required to fill-out a written analysis of the paper (standardized evaluation form) and submit it to the residency office.
Combined Orthopaedic and Plastic Surgery Hand Conference (Friday 6:30 to 7:30 a.m.) is a combined conference attended by the plastic surgery and orthopaedic surgery residents rotating on the hand service, the hand surgery fellows, and the plastic and orthopaedic hand surgery attendings. This conference uses a case-oriented format for teaching. Typically three cases will be presented by the hand fellows or residents, followed by a brief review of the topic. A structured discussion is then conducted on the pathophysiology, diagnosis, treatment, operation, and rehabilitation for the condition. 
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