Best Medical Schools for Plastic Surgery: List of Top Schools

Doctor of Medicine programs in plastic or reconstructive surgery offer residents concentrations in specialties such as cosmetic surgery, craniofacial surgery, hand surgery, microsurgery, post-bariatric surgery, burn treatment and various reconstructive surgeries. Find out more about the rankings and program distinctions of the nation's top medical schools for studying plastic surgery.

School Overviews

The University of Washington and the University of California - San Francisco feature leading programs in plastic surgery. The nationally-ranked institutions offer students a variety of areas of specialization to focus their training in plastic surgery.

1. University of Washington in Seattle

School Highlight: UW ranked number one on the 2015 U.S. News & World Report list of best medical schools for primary care.

The University of Washington (UW) School of Medicine's residents may practice at UW Medical Center, where the focus is on cosmetic surgery, breast reconstruction, trunk surgeries and microsurgery. The UW plastic surgery program is recognized by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).

Residents in the plastic surgery program are trained in surgical and medical care, patient care, research and administration during a 6-year residency. The first three years are spent learning general surgery and the final three are spent in a plastic surgery residency. Fellowships are also available in pediatric craniofacial and maxillofacial surgery, hand and microsurgery and burn reconstruction for those who have completed a plastic surgery residency.

2. University of California in San Francisco

School Highlight: UCSF ranked tied for number three in medical school research in 2015 according to U.S. News & World Report.

The University of California - San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine was the third best medical school as ranked by U.S. News & World Report in 2015. Residents of the plastic surgery program, which is accredited by the ACGME, may practice at the UCSF Medical Center, which was ranked eighth among all hospitals in 2015-16 by U.S. News & World Report. The 6-year clinical training program highlights extremity reconstruction, complex wounds, burn care and reconstruction, facial fractures, breast reconstruction, abdominal wall reconstruction and hand surgeries.

Top Plastic Surgery Programs

College/University Name Distinction Location
Harvard University Plastic surgery residents can rotate through Boston's five teaching hospitals Cambridge, MA
University of California - Los Angeles University's reconstructive plastic surgery department specializes in microvascular breast reconstruction and craniofacial surgery Los Angeles, CA
University of California - San Francisco Established in 1951, the plastic surgery program was one of the first in the nation San Francisco, CA
University of Colorado Denver Plastic surgery residents can pursue training in 12 sub-specialties, including cosmetic surgery, burn surgery and head and neck reconstruction Denver, CO
University of Iowa Surgical residents can complete up to two years of research during their program Iowa City, IA
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Plastic surgery residents can complete surgical rotations at one of four major medical facilities located in St. Paul, Minneapolis or Robbinsdale, MN Minneapolis, MN
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Plastic surgery residents can attend weekly conferences on subjects like orthopedic hand, craniofacial, breast and melanoma surgeries Chapel Hill, NC
University of Pennsylvania Plastic surgery residency program has a three-year independent track and a six-year integrated track Philadelphia, PA
University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh Campus Plastic surgery fellows can pursue training in body contouring surgery, hand surgery, reconstructive microsurgery and pediatric plastic and craniofacial surgery Pittsburgh, PA
University of Wisconsin - Madison Plastic surgery program has a sister program in Nicaragua, and students have the option of training there during the final year of their residency Madison, WI

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