DOI: 10.1097/gox.0000000000005461 ISSN: 2169-7574

A SWOT Analysis of Hot Topics in Plastic Surgery Resident Education: Consensus From the ACAPS 10th Annual Winter Meeting

Meera Reghunathan, Justin M. Camacho, Jessica Blum, Gabriela Sendek, Thanh T. Luong, Shirley Chen, Perry Bradford, Jason Llaneras, Paris D. Butler, Amanda A. Gosman
  • Surgery
  • General Medicine


With the aim of facilitating a critical self-reflection on how to align plastic surgery education with making excellent plastic surgeons, a rotating small-group session followed by live interactive audience polling was used to perform a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis at the 10th Annual American Council of Academic Plastic Surgeons Winter Meeting.


The final day of the conference included a 3-hour session of rotating small groups followed by live interactive audience polls discussing the following six relevant educational topics: the Plastic Surgery Common Application and resident selection, aesthetic surgery education, leadership development and business education, embedded fellowships and focused training, mentorship, and faculty retention.


A total of 60 individuals participated in the activity. A SWOT analysis was successfully performed for each educational topic, and a minimum of four opportunities were identified per topic to help guide future endeavors. Examples of opportunities include releasing recommendations for the implementation of holistic review; developing formal guidelines for aesthetic surgery education in residency via collaboration between ACAPS, American Society of Plastic Surgeons, and The Aesthetic Society; creating extended focused elective rotations; integrating business education into formal curricula for all training levels; enforcing transparency regarding position expectations and offerings including salary, call schedule, and current challenges; and more.


The results of this study will help guide future initiatives by the ACAPS to improve resident education and academic retention.

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