Background: Resident experience in aesthetic surgery is often deficient in many training programs around the country. Objective: This study is the first to review the 10-year experience of a resident aesthetic clinic and identifies important educational aspects necessary for residency training in aesthetic surgery. Methods: The operative experience of each chief resident from 1994 through 2004 and the database of the resident aesthetic surgery clinic during the same period were reviewed. A questionnaire was also distributed to all past chief residents regarding their experience with the clinic. Results: Over 1600 new patients were evaluated in the resident aesthetic clinic in the last 10 years, with 482 patients undergoing 805 procedures. Each chief resident performed 104.5 ± 25.1 (mean ± SD) procedures as a primary surgeon. The resident clinic contributed 82.4% of the total aesthetic surgery procedures, as recorded by the chief residents' Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education operative logs. For the last 10 years, the reoperative complication rate was 3.1%, and no litigation has been brought against any resident or attending surgeon. Conclusions: Our resident aesthetic surgery clinic emphasizes an intensive exposure to aesthetic surgery with the opportunity to gain "hands-on" operative experience, while reducing the liability for the attending surgeon. The means to obtain adequate resident education in aesthetic surgery and ways to improve such an experience are also discussed.
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