The Integrated Pathway

for Medical Students

The Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at USC offers a highly competitive 6-year integrated residency that fulfills the requirement for Board Certification in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. The program is designed to introduce the resident to a comprehensive and highly detailed experience with faculty involvement throughout. At the end of his/her training, the resident should have all the necessary tools for an academic career or private practice. Progressive responsibility is emphasized from the first rotation on, ending with the chief resident in charge of his/her own service at L.A. County + USC Medical Center.

Most of the rotations are based across 9 USC hospital affiliates with over 40 full-time (geographical) faculty with expertise in all areas in plastic surgery. The residency is six years in length and admits three residents per year. The first three years of the integrated residency tracks are organized by our Division to incorporate rotations offering clinical experiences deemed appropriate for a Plastic Surgeon, including Trauma Surgery, General Surgery, Pediatric Surgery, Head & Neck Surgery, Orthopedics and Ophthalmology.


The Independent Pathway

for Surgeons trained in General, Orthopaedic, Head and Neck, Urologic, Oral and Maxillofacial, or Neuro Surgery

We are looking for accomplished, highly motivated surgeons who have completed or will complete training in General Surgery, Orthopedics, ENT, Oral and Maxillofacial surgery, or Neurosurgery. Outstanding individuals who have completed at least 3 years of General Surgery will also be considered. The program participates in the National Resident Match Program and applications can be requested from the NRMP website or by calling 602.528.7727.

Philosophy of Program

The plastic and reconstructive surgery training program at USC is designed and committed to training our residents to become the next generation of leaders in our specialty.

To accomplish this, we have capitalized on the breadth and expertise of multiple venues and faculty available in the greater Los Angeles area. The program is based on the USC Health Sciences Campus near downtown Los Angeles includes core rotations at the USC University Hospital, Norris Cancer Center and the Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center. These hospitals combine a total of 1200 beds and allow our residents to participate in the treatment of complex tertiary reconstructive care at UH, world class cancer treatment and reconstruction at Norris and active involvement in treating patients at one of the oldest and largest public hospitals in the country.

With 21 residents, the size of our residency allows us to partner with many of the best plastic surgeons and hospitals in the region. These centers combine for an additional 2500 beds for which our residents provide plastic surgical care under close mentorship.

Our residents receive extensive training experiences in general reconstructive surgery, microsurgery, post-oncologic reconstructive surgery, aesthetic surgery, acute and reconstructive burn care, treatment of craniofacial deformities and congenital deformities of the hand, treatment of vascular malformations, wound care and treatment of acute and chronic hand disease.

We utilize both fully Integrated and Independent models for training plastic surgeons. The Integrated path matches trainees after graduation from accredited medical school and lasts 6 years. The Independent path requires a minimum of 3 years of training after training in another surgical discipline. Although it varies from year to year, we typically match 3 Integrated and 1 Independent trainees into each program respectively and finish 4 residents each year.

The program stresses excellence in surgical treatment with sufficient, supervised "hands-on" experience to ensure that our residents leave the program with the technical surgical skills and medical treatment skills needed to successfully treat patients through our the breadth of plastic surgery. The diverse venues within our system provide this broad experience. The many surgeons on full-time and clinical faculty demonstrate a variety of techniques and approaches which increase the opportunities for learning.

Graduates from the USC Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery program practice in a mix of academic, managed and private environments. When a graduate is seeking advanced or specialized training in a subspecialty area, our trainees have been very successful in matching into top tier fellowships in hand surgery, craniofacial surgery, microsurgery and burn surgery.

I hope the gives you a sense of what our program is about. We all believe that there is not a better training program in the country. Contact us for information or any questions.


Joseph N. Carey, M.D.
Program Director

Mark Urata, M.D., D.D.S.
Division Chief