How Is A Plastic Surgeon Trained?
The path to becoming a plastic and reconstructive surgeon involves many years of training in a multitude of fields. In the United Kingdom, most surgical trainees begin their professional career after six years of undergraduate medical school.This is followed by a year as an Intern (house officer).
Basic Postgraduate Surgical Training
Four years of successful postgraduate training in General Surgery are then necessary before the trainee can present for the Fellowship Examination in Surgery. This requires satisfactory completion of a written examination, clinical examination in two parts, following which the general Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS England, FRCS Glasgow, FRCS Edinburgh or FRCS Ireland) is conferred.
Postgraduate Plastic Surgical Training
The trainee can now apply for accredited training in Plastic Surgery. This requires six years of training in different areas of plastic surgery with staged increases in clinical and surgical responsibilities, working under supervision in recognized training centres.The training covers aspects such as trauma and injury, burns, reconstruction of the face, head, neck, nose, lips, ears, breasts, trunk, upper and lower limbs, and congenital deformities.
If the governing body for Plastic Surgery, the Specialist Advisory Committee, is satisfied that the plastic surgeon-in-training has completed the required and recommended training in all aspects, he or she is then eligible to present for the Intercollegiate Examination in Plastic Surgery. This comprises a written examination with assessment of the clinical skills of the surgeon and several oral examinations in all aspects of plastic and reconstructive surgery.
Specialist Accreditation in Plastic Surgery
If performance in this examination is to the required standard, the surgeon will then be accredited in the United Kingdom and the European Union in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and will be eligible for entry to the General Medical Council Specialist Register as a Specialist in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
The surgeon is then entitled to list the letters FRCS (Plastic Surgery) or FRCS (Plast) after his name. A surgeon cannot be listed on the Special Register without satisfactorily completing an accepted training period and passing the required examinations for Plastic Surgery in the UK or EU.
The entire process of becoming a fully accredited plastic surgeon requires 17-20 years of education/training from admission to medical school, to completion of training as a Consultant Plastic Surgeon.
Advance (Subspecialty) Plastic Surgical Training
Upon completion of formal training, some surgeons will choose to pursue additional subspecialty training, or clinical fellowships, in areas such as microvascular surgery, hand surgery, craniofacial surgery, burns/critical care, or cosmetic surgery. These fellowships are undertaken in centres of excellence recognized for their high clinical volume where concentrated training and exposure to difficult and challenging clinical cases can be obtained. Mr. Yap has successfully completed four Fellowships ? in craniofacial surgery, cosmetic surgery, microvascular surgery and ear reconstructive surgery.
It is your right to verify that the surgeon you choose is on the Specialist Register and also registered with the General Medical Council.
The GMC Specialist Register
Tel No: 0845 357 8001