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Information for Residents

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There are two McMaster University teaching hospitals involved in the Plastic Surgery training of residents. These are: Hamilton Health Sciences Corporation with three sites, Hamilton General Hospital, Henderson Hospital and McMaster University Medical Centre; and St. Joseph's Hospital. Each hospital provides areas of special expertise selected to fit with resident's training. We have a full service pediatric, burn and trauma unit in our city with an excellent microsurgical reconstruction program linked with Head and Neck.


The residency rotations are designed to meet the new requirements of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

Quick Facts

  • There are opportunities for interprovincial and international electives while training in our program.
  • Ratio of residents to faculty in senior years is 1:1
  • Average patient load per resident is 5-10

PGY-1 & 2

There are two years of ​Surgical Foundations. All candidates at the completion of the Surgical Foundations program will be regarded as eligible to take the Principles of Surgery Examination, as well as the MCCQE Part II examinations. As such, the rotations are broad and include rotations in general surgery and the other surgical subspecialties. In addition, there are rotations in general surgery, orthopedic surgery, emergency, and internal medicine. 

PGY-2 rotations include Vascular, Pediatrics, ICU, ENT, and Plastic Surgery. There will also be a rotation through St. Joseph's Hospital in the Head and Neck Surgery Service.


PGY-3 will include rotations through the Hamilton General Hospital and St. Joseph's Hospital. During this year, the emphasis will be on exposure to various types of trauma (oral and maxillofacial surgery, hand trauma, including reimplantations) and burn management, but residents will be exposed as well to the spectrum of plastic surgical procedures. This experience will be obtained at the Hamilton General Hospital. 


PGY-4 will alternate between Hamilton General Hospital and McMaster University Medical Centre. This year will have further experience in burns and trauma. During this year, there will be an opportunity for elective rotation for community experience. Rotation through McMaster University Medical Centre will provide experience in pediatric plastic surgery.


PGY-5 will be spent at St. Joseph's Hospital and McMaster University Medical Centre, with emphasis on head and neck reconstructive microsurgery, oncologic surgery, hand surgery, as well as further pediatric plastic surgery. Aesthetic surgery rotation will take place in a dedicated cosmetic surgery hospital.


In each year of training (beginning in PGY 2 year), the residents are expected to produce a manuscript worthy of publication in a peer-reviewed journal for presentation at the Residents' Research Day and/or at a national meeting. A microsurgical laboratory, as well as fresh cadaver laboratory are available for research. Residents will be encouraged to approach faculty members to initiate or complete an ongoing research project/idea. 

One peer reviewed publication is expected during training.


In the first two years of the Surgical Foundations program there are weekly principles of surgery lectures and structured learning events. In the subsequent three years, a didactic program of seminars in provided on a weekly basis. Regular journal clubs are held to encourage critical appraisal and evidence-based practice.

Selection Criteria

Candidates will be graded on the basis of their academic records, their e-CaRMS curriculum vitae, the e-CaRMS Application, the strength of their references, and the demonstration of their interest in plastic surgery. Three reference letters are required, one of which preferably should come from a plastic surgeon you may have worked with.

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