Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Skip Navigation LinksHome > Blogs > PRS Resident Chronicles > Education Summit
PRS Resident Chronicles
Monday, December 16, 2013
Education Summit

by Jordan Ireton, MD

When I was interviewing for residency programs I paid close attention to rotation schedules, curriculum details, and didactic formats.  It was important to me that a program was well organized and had rotation schedules that appeared logical.  What I did not realize at the time was how complicated it all can be.


I recently attended our department’s Education Summit, a yearly event where our faculty members and associated staff spend the day dissecting every detail of our curriculum in order to make changes.  Prior to this event each resident is given a chance to evaluate rotations with anonymity, and this document is submitted to the department.  I was thrilled to learn that the residents would also be invited to this event. 



My first impression of the meeting was surprise that each and every one of our faculty members was present (and we have quite a few).  This was a day that had been given absolute priority and was taken seriously by all involved. Our program director gave a presentation about the pros and cons of every rotation by post-graduate year based on our survey results.  Is this particular rotation helpful for our residents?  If the goals are to learn x,y, and z, are the residents accomplishing those goals or should we try something else?  The residents were then asked to weigh in, providing our input as to whether or not to continue with the rotation, or how we could improve it. Often it involved extending the duration of a rotation, or moving people around so that there were more residents on some services and fewer on others.  It was incredibly productive, because if an issue was presented, faculty who had trained all over the country provided their opinion on ways to improve any issues we were having.


One of our senior residents then presented an integrated and independent program rotation proposal, based on the experiences of the residents.  He and the senior residents had emailed us previously to provide our suggestions, and they put together what they felt would be an ideal schedule.  The faculty were receptive to our ideas, applauding some and explaining the pitfalls of others based on their experiences.  I left feeling excited about the changes that would be made. 

I learned a lot by attending this event.  The first is that all programs change. People come and go; curriculum formats and rotation schedules all change. What you see on paper on interview day may be completely different a year later. Change is what makes a program great. I now see that it’s not the month my month rotation schedule that I should have been paying attention to, but rather how it has changed over the years and what role the residents played in helping to make those decisions. 

About the Blog

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

PRS Resident Chronicles” is the official Resident blog of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Visit this blog to follow the unique journeys of several young doctors as they go through residency in their respective Plastic Surgery Programs across the country.

We want to hear from Plastic Surgery Residents across the globe as well: how do you use PRS in your residency? What are some of the challenges you’ve faced and successes you’ve had? Join the on-going conversation by commenting, and if you think you have a potentially interesting-enough entry to be a unique blog post, email us at

Bookmark the “PRS Resident Chronicles,” subscribe to the RSS feed and join in the on-going conversation with Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. This is your journal; have fun, be respectful, get engaged and interact with the PRS community.

Keep in mind that the views and recommendations presented in this blog do not necessarily indicate official endorsements or opinions of the Publisher, PRS, or the ASPS. All views are those of the authors and the authors alone.

Rod J Rohrich, MD


Andre Alcon is a fourth-year medical student at Yale University where he is starting a one year research fellowship in tissue engineering with the department of plastic and reconstructive surgery.

Ashley Amalfi is currently a fifth year Plastic Surgery Resident at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. She attended the George Washington University and received dual degrees in Fine Arts and Art History. She returned home to attend The University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in Rochester, NY. Ashley met her husband, a urologist, during her training at SIU. She enjoys yoga, reading, travel and cooking in her free time.

Jordan Ireton is in her first of six years at the University of Texas Southwestern Plastic Surgery residency program.


 Anup Patel, MD, MBA, is a resident in the Yale Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Program. He co-founded Cents of Relief, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, that empowers victims of human trafficking through health and educational initiatives including those related to reconstructive surgery. Along those lines, he has interest in surgical burden of disease and healthcare policy. He has been selected to serve on the American Society of Plastic Surgeons Board of Directors as resident representative.


Justin Perez is a fourth-year medical student at Weill Cornell Medical College. Born and raised in Reading, Pennsylvania, Justin moved to New York City to attend Fordham University, where he graduated summa cum laude with degrees in Biology and Spanish Literature. His academic interests include tissue engineering and wound healing, the topics of his current research. His hobbies include theater and biking.


Raj Sawh-Martinez, MD is a current resident at the Yale Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery program.  He grew up in Yonkers, NY and completed his undergraduate work in Neural Science at New York University.  He graduated from the Yale School of Medicine in 2011.

Ajul Shah, MD is a graduate of University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and is now a resident in his second of six years at the Yale Plastic Surgery residency program.

Jacob Unger, MD was raised in New Jersey on the shore. He attended Tulane University for his undergraduate work where he rowed on the Tulane Crew Team and majored in Philosophy. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa, Summa cum Laude with honors and then attended New York University School of Medicine. When not working, he enjoys traveling with his wife, surfing, and skiing.

Former Resident Chronicle contributors

Eamon O’Reilly, MD LCDR USN is an active duty US Navy full-time outservice resident in his second of three years at the University of Texas Southwestern Plastic Surgery residency program in Dallas, TX.