Schools with Cosmetic Surgery Training Programs and Courses
Cosmetic surgeons are physicians who treat their patients by improving their appearance or altering undesirable physical features. Read on to find out more about schools that offer training and courses in cosmetic surgery and what's needed to become licensed.
Entering into a residency program for cosmetic surgery can be a tough challenge. Residencies are offered at some of the country's top schools, as standalone programs or integrated with a medical degree.
What Are the Requirements to Attend Schools with Cosmetic Surgery Training Programs and Courses?
If your goal is to become a cosmetic surgeon, you'll have to complete medical school, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The prerequisites for medical school include completing at least three years of college, including classes in organic and inorganic chemistry, physics and biology, taking the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and providing letters of recommendation.
Once accepted into medical school, you will complete two years of classes in anatomy, pharmacology, epidemiology, pathology, immunology and other topics, and two years of rotations through various medical departments, such as pediatrics, internal medicine, psychiatry and surgery. Upon graduation from medical school, you will have to pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) in order to become a licensed medical doctor.
How Can I Apply to a Residency Program?
After passing the USMLE, you can apply to residency programs that specialize in cosmetic or plastic surgery. To apply, you'll need a completed application form, a copy of your medical school transcript, national board scores (obtained from an exam taken after completing a previous residency) and letters of recommendation. Many schools use the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) to match residency openings with appropriate applicants.
Which Schools Offer Residency Programs for Cosmetic Surgeons?
Residency programs for cosmetic surgeons are offered through some of the nation's most prestigious academic institutions. Some of these residencies are paired with highly competitive degree programs.
- A plastic surgery residency program is available at Stanford University
- UCLA offers an Integrated Plastic Surgery Residency Program and an Independent Plastic Surgery Residency Program
- Ohio State University makes available to students a three-year plastic surgery residency in a six-year joint-general surgery and plastic surgery program
What Will I Learn?
Plastic surgery residency programs must follow the training requirements set forth by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), which requires that residents first acquire basic surgical knowledge and experience, followed by more specific and advanced plastic surgery techniques. Many cosmetic surgery training programs take six years, with the first three years spent rotating through several sections of the surgery department, such as vascular, transplant and cardiothoracic surgery. The final three years are spent in plastic surgery departments, such as reconstructive plastic surgery, breast aesthetic surgery and burn surgery. Once you have completed your residency, you will be eligible to pursue board certification through the ABPS.
Cosmetic surgery training is provided through residency programs. These programs exist as independent or integrated pathways along with degrees for future surgeons.