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Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
MD Education

Plastic Surgery

"It has been said that plastic surgeons operate on 'the skin and its contents,' alluding to the fact that on any given day plastic surgeons might find themselves operating on the face, on the hand, inside the cranium, or inside the abdominal or thoracic cavities. The field has developed from the contributions of people from many different backgrounds, including general surgery, orthopedics, oral and maxillofacial surgery, dermatology, neurosurgery, and otolaryngology. Plastic surgery encompasses all of aesthetic surgery, yet it also deals with clinical entities, including chronic wounds, limb replantation, and head and neck reconstruction…..The breadth of anatomy seen within a typical week (or even within a single day) often includes the head, neck, chest, abdomen, lower and upper extremities, breast, and hand. Some may view this as a liability. Most plastic surgeons, however, welcome the variety and tend to become bored if repeatedly faced with the same types of clinical problems. They enjoy the beauty of anatomy, especially that of the more intricate regions, such as the hand and face."

— Freeman, B. (2013). The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Medical Specialty. 3rd Ed. Lange Medical Books/McGraw-Hill: New York. p. 407-409.

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M1 and M2 Students

  • What advice would you offer first- and second-year students who are interested in pursuing your specialty?

    Find a mentor. Spend time in the office, the operating room, at Grand Rounds and reviewing clinical projects. If you have bench research skills, plan early to see if you can have a lab research project for the summer. For chances to participate in clinical shadowing, contact faculty members by email to see if they have opportunities to shadow. If you make a commitment to shadow, keep it and do not fade away. If you have laboratory skills and want to do research work, contact Dr. Robert Galiano, who is in charge of the research enterprise. If you are interested in a clinical research project, contact one of the PGY5, 6 or 7 residents to see what projects they have cooking.

  • How important is a research experience in your specialty? If important, does it need to be in the specialty itself?

    A completed project separates good applications from strong applications. It helps but is not essential. It is better to have a small, complete project that you understand well rather than many partial projects. Pick something and stick with it, whether in plastic surgery or elsewhere. It is preferred that you pick a project related to plastic surgery.

M3 and M4 Students

Plastic Surgery Resources

Request a Plastic Surgery Adviser


Gregory Dumanian, MD
Plastic Surgery Career Advising Coordinator
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Mohammed Alghoul, MD
Plastic Surgery Career Advising
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For More Information

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Northwestern University
Feinberg School of Medicine
675 N. St. Clair St., Suite 19-250
Chicago, IL 60611-2923
Phone: (312) 695-6022
Fax: (312) 695-5072