I read with much interest Dr. Rohrich's editorial mandating plastic surgery departments in academic centers (Plast Reconstr Surg. 2008;121:1499–1502). The article reveals the author's years of clinical, academic, and administrative knowledge and his interest in developing plastic surgery as a student- and patient-friendly department all over the world. I congratulate his extensive research work on achieving the autonomy, parity, strategic planning, resident training, and developing partners with other departments for the improvement of plastic surgery. Regarding the training of doctors, I would like to add a point that might be valuable in structuring an academic program. In my opinion, the roots of plastic surgery must begin from the days of internship. A young intern who wishes to become a surgeon, irrespective of the specialty (e.g., general surgery or orthopedics) which he or she chooses, must start the internship from the plastic surgery department. The basic knowledge and skills of wound care, dressings, bandaging, suturing, and clinical photography can be imparted to the young doctor by none other than a plastic surgeon. For the young doctor, this will avoid a lot of unlearning and relearning of basic skills during the resident period. Therefore, I would like to conclude that plastic surgery must be considered as a basic specialty rather than a resident-oriented specialty in all academic centers. This can be achieved by following the facts mentioned by the author. I once again thank and appreciate Dr. Rohrich for his effort to take our specialty to higher levels.
A thousand mile journey starts with one small first step.
The author has no financial interests to disclose.
Nambi Ilango, M.S.
Department of Plastic Surgery
Christian Medical College
Vellore, Tamilnadu, India 632004
Letters to the Editor, discussing material recently published in the Journal, are welcome. They will have the best chance of acceptance if they are received within 8 weeks of an article’s publication. Letters to the Editor may be published with a response from the authors of the article being discussed. Discussions beyond the initial letter and response will not be published. Letters submitted pertaining to published Discussions of articles will not be printed. Letters to the Editor are not usually peer reviewed, but the Journal may invite replies from the authors of the original publication. All Letters are published at the discretion of the Editor.
Authors will be listed in the order in which they appear in the submission. Letters should be submitted electronically via PRS’ enkwell, at www.editorialmanager.com/prs/.
We reserve the right to edit Letters to meet requirements of space and format. Any financial interests relevant to the content of the correspondence must be disclosed. Submission of a Letter constitutes permission for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and its licensees and asignees to publish it in the Journal and in any other form or medium.
The views, opinions, and conclusions expressed in the Letters to the Editor represent the personal opinions of the individual writers and not those of the publisher, the Editorial Board, or the sponsors of the Journal. Any stated views, opinions, and conclusions do not reflect the policy of any of the sponsoring organizations or of the institutions with which the writer is affiliated, and the publisher, the Editorial Board, and the sponsoring organizations assume no responsibility for the content of such correspondence.