Summary: The current Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education guidelines separate residents' education into six core competencies or subjects. The authors address the least intuitive of these, systems-based practice. In systems-based practice, educators and residents must demonstrate an awareness of and responsiveness to the larger context and system of health care and the ability to effectively call on system resources to provide care that is of optimal value. Plastic surgery is a specialty that is intimately involved with the economics, coordination of care, and real-life experience of resource allocation. It should be avant-garde in the development of a systems-based educational experience and be in the forefront in creating an appropriate and well-thought-out teaching agenda for graduate medical education. The authors explain and expand this definition to include objectives for plastic surgery training, programs, and individual learning goals. A series of didactic lectures, small group discussions, and grand round presentations are suggested to fulfill and facilitate the educational objectives. A potential time allotment and method of objective and subjective evaluations are offered.