Plastic Surgery Research Council (PSRC)
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Brian Gastman, MD, PSRC Chair
Brian Gastman, MD
PSRC Chair

With a new year upon and an end to COVID-19 on the horizon thanks to brilliant technology and science’s most talented minds, we are all looking forward to somewhat of a return to normalcy later this year or last year. Despite the challenges that we all faced last year and those that remain ahead, I would like to start 2021 with thanks and gratitude.

I offer a heartfelt thank you to all of our plastic surgery colleagues and trainees who volunteered or were reassigned to care for COVID-19 patients this year. You cared and continue to care for the sickest of patients under the most stressful of circumstances. Each and every one of you is an inspiration to the Research Council community.
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Summer Hanson, MD, PhD
Summer Hanson, MD, PhD

Summer Hanson, MD, PhD

We moved during the global pandemic. There is a universal truth that humans need connection. This is particularly crucial when starting a new job, finding a new home, or being in a new place. My husband is an orthopedic surgeon and we were chatting about this transition to a new practice and new partners. One of the main things that we both miss is the block of a few minutes before or after morning conference when you have face time among the faculty, residents and students to check-in. You see how the weekend was, if anything interesting came in on call, or get an opinion about an upcoming case. You don’t get that with FaceTime – or Zoom, or whichever video conferencing platform you choose. We all look to find our place, a niche, a purpose; we seek to find where we fit. But how do you find connection during a global pandemic?
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Noopur Gangopadhyay, MD

How many of you are “Zoomed” out? Are you tired of getting another invitation to an online webinar or lecture? Do you feel exhausted by the frequency of virtual conferences? It’s not just you. A lot of us are struggling with virtual lecture overload.

So how do we engage our audience, so that we come away with memorable presentations? And ensure that we enjoy making another virtual lecture?
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Plastic Surgery residents and fellows reflect on the PSRC Virtual Meetings:

Celine Yeung MD MSc

Celine Yeung MD MSc
PGY4, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
University of Toronto

The PSRC virtual meeting was an excellent, international platform that brought together world experts in the field of plastic surgery throughout North America. The breadth of topics covered was diverse, thought-provoking, and stimulated excellent discussion amongst our resident group.

Through the first mini meeting session, I learned ways by which decisional conflict and opioid consumption can be minimized through the use of decision aids and the implementation of Enhanced Recovery Pathways, respectively, in breast reconstruction patients. The debate between TMR and RPNI to improve prosthetic function and pain control during the Nerve Smackdown session was both fascinating and entertaining. The opportunity to watch international experts debate a controversial and quickly evolving field was an invaluable educational experience that stimulated me to look up the references cited to learn more on the topic.

What I also appreciated from the virtual meetings was the attention it garnered on social media. Platforms like Instagram put names to faces of individuals I might not have met had the meeting been in-person. The online presence of the PSRC continues to be an effective and innovative way of connecting our close-knit community of plastic surgeon scientists!

Importance of Rapid Adaptation and Innovation During Pandemics

Derrick Wan, Editor
Jouseph Barkho, MD, FRCSC
Presenting my research project virtually at the Plastic Surgery Research Council 65th annual meeting taught me the importance of rapid adaptation and innovation during pandemics. By presenting virtually, I was able to abide by local distancing precautions while still disseminating my findings. We had the option to do voice overlay for our presentation or combine a video of ourselves and I opted the video route, as I believed it would add a personal touch and hopefully be more memorable. It was a challenge to shorten my presentation to 1 minute while still including most of our important findings. I believe all of our videography skills will improve throughout this pandemic. We will all continue learning how to combine video with slide presentations such that our information is enriched with a personal touch.

EPSRC Update from Captain Salvatore Giordano, MD, PhD, FACS

Salvatore Giordano, MD, PhD
Salvatore Giordano, MD, PhD
EPSRC Captain 2020

We are still organizing a traditional meeting here in Turku (Finland), next August 26-29th 2021. However, we do not know yet if it will be possible due to the pandemic and restrictions. I hope the vaccine will be available and effective before that. In case of restrictions we are still thinking about a hybrid meeting, but not completely online.

Michael W. Findlay, MBBS, PhD

The past year has been significantly impacted by COVID, but we have battled hard with significant restrictions (including a 120+ day lockdown in my home state) to achieve no new cases in most jurisdictions for over 35 days now.

In summary-
In Australasia, we have made significant progress in developing our research network despite COVID, with a number of important milestones:

  1. We now have our website for our clinical trials network (Australasian Clinical Trials in Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery) up and running: and we welcome submissions and contacts about multi centre clinical research opportunities.
  2. We have 5 active trials underway and plan to double this number in the next year.
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Shailesh Agarwal, MD
Shailesh Agarwal, MD
Associate Surgeon
Brigham and Women’s Department of Surgery
Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

What was your light bulb moment/turning point into research?
When I was in high school, I had the unique opportunity to engage in basic science research during the summer after tenth grade. That program held at Michigan State University was specifically designed for high school students who wanted exposure to research in the natural sciences – be it biology, chemistry, physics, engineering, etc. That program was my first foray into research, but as you can imagine a summer is hardly enough time to get started on a research project. Throughout the years, I had the opportunity to engage in laboratory research for brief periods of time, which maintained my overall interest, but were not able to further develop my ability to critically assess the literature or formulate testable hypotheses.
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Upcoming Meetings

PSRC News Staff

Paige Fox, Editor
Joseph Catapano, Assistant Editor
Edward Davidson, Assistant Editor
Noopur Gangopadhyay, Assistant Editor
Summer Hanson, Assistant Editor
Benjamin Levi, Assistant Editor