Plastic Surgery Research Council (PSRC)
Spring 2022 Facebook  Instagram  Twitter

Gregory Borschel, MD, PSRC Chair
Gregory Borschel, MD
PSRC Chair

Dear PSRC Members and Friends:

We are only a few short weeks away from gathering in person in Toronto. With roughly 300 attendees registered already we are looking forward to seeing everyone in person and welcoming you to Toronto. We will kick it off with the Welcome Reception being held at none other than the Hockey Hall of Fame!

Thanks to Program Chair Brian Gastman and the Program Committee for a program packed with new and hot topics from the 652 abstracts we received. This year we will feature Oral Presentations, “Quick Shots,” Posters and ePosters. The program will also include two Joint Panels with the Plastic Surgery Foundation and a half day of panels dedicated to Mentorship developed by the PSRC Mentorship Committee.

PSRC now includes more members than ever. We are 798 members strong, with 22 new members added in 2022 so far. PSRC is pleased to include members from 24 different countries, and we look forward to expanding even more throughout 2022 with the help of our current members and our International Liaisons.

Thank you again to Paige Fox for her fifth edition of the PSRC newsletter as Editor-in-Chief. Looking forward to seeing everyone soon!


Greg Borschel


Harvey Chim, MD
Harvey Chim, MD

Harvey Chim, MD
Associate Professor
University of Florida

As a resident and fellow, you are often overwhelmed by information and work, trying to take care of patients and still have a life outside medicine. Hence, oftentimes you tend to accept everything you read in textbooks as truth. A large part of my practice now focuses on brachial plexus and peripheral nerve reconstruction, but it took me a while to understand the thinking and nuances behind different treatment options.

One of the traditional dictums in peripheral nerve surgery is that short nerve grafts are better than long nerve grafts. This makes a lot of sense, intuitively. Hence, traditionally in brachial plexus reconstruction, the focus has been on short nerve grafts from the roots to proximal targets such as the upper trunk. In brachial plexus reconstruction, however, it is not just the length of the nerve graft but the target that makes a difference in functional outcomes. Read More


Christopher L. Sudduth, MD
Christopher L. Sudduth, MD

Christopher L. Sudduth, MD
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Department of Plastic and Oral Surgery
Boston Children’s Hospital
Harvard Medical School

Single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) is a novel technique increasingly utilized by basic and translational researchers. At its essence, scRNA-seq enables investigators to compare transcriptional profiles between individual cells. Prior to the first scRNA-seq experiment in 2009, RNA sequencing was typically performed on “bulk” populations of cells. A major downside of bulk RNA sequencing was the inability to identify RNA expression changes in samples that were comprised of numerous cell types. Analysis at the single-cell level offers many advantages: (1) identification of cell heterogeneity (2) description of gene expression changes during development (3) ability to understand gene-regulatory networks (4) association of allele-specific effects of somatic mutations. In turn, unique and rare cell populations may be described. Additionally, distinct cell lineages can be traced during development. ScRNA-seq has had a profound impact on our knowledge of development and the cellular mechanisms underlying disease processes including cancer, immunology and wound healing. Read More


Nishant Ganesh Kumar, MD
Nishant Ganesh Kumar, MD
Michael Sorkin, MD
Michael Sorkin, MD
Nishant Ganesh Kumar, MD
Resident Physician
Department of Surgery, Section of Plastic Surgery
University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Michael Sorkin, MD
Department of Plastic Surgery
Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio

Foreign (FMGs) and International (IMGs) Medical Graduates (FIMGs) account for nearly a quarter of the United States (US) physician workforce.1 They primarily comprise individuals who have non-US citizenship and are graduates of foreign medical institutions. Historically, FIMGs have played an important role in addressing primary care needs and providing high quality care in the United States.2-4 The majority of these medical graduates, and their training and hiring patterns, are in non-surgical fields; internal medicine, neurology, psychiatry, family medicine and pediatrics.5 However, while FIMGs represent a significant portion of primary care practices, their representation among surgeons is significantly lower.6 For instance, although IMGs make up 25% of the US physician workforce, they represent only 10% of academic plastic surgeons.7 However, there has been an increase in FIMGs who have successfully matched into Plastic Surgery programs over the past few match cycles indicating the high quality of applicants and willingness of programs to accommodate international candidates.

Besides the competitive nature of securing a surgical residency, one of the primary reasons for the underrepresentation of FIMGs in surgical subspecialties, including plastic surgery, is the challenge of overcoming visa obstacles associated with surgical training. J1 visas are provided with a condition that once training is completed, a 2-year home-country “physical presence” is required.8 This clause enforces a surgical resident to relocate back to the home country for a minimum of 2-years at the time of graduation, a critical window in launching an academic surgical career. While waivers exist to offset the 2-year home-country requirement, these include demonstrating significant hardships.9 There are also state programs that waive the 2-year requirement in exchange for serving in a healthcare shortage area or working within the Veteran’s Health Administration system. However, these programs are designed almost exclusively for primary care fields.10 H1B visas are even harder to come by for surgical training as H1B visas are approved for only 3 years at a time. Furthermore, applying for the H1B visa involves a significant commitment of time and costs that include meetings, petitions, and lengthy paperwork for the hosting institution. The uncertainty associated with these processes further deters surgical programs from accepting FIMGs and ultimately affects their hiring patterns... Read More


Christopher M. Frost, MD
Christopher M. Frost, MD

Christopher M. Frost, MD
Integrated Plastic Surgery Resident
Johns Hopkins/University of Maryland Program

I went to the University of Michigan as a first-generation college student interested in medicine and engineering. Like many first-generation college students, early mentorship was invaluable. I started working on basic science research with Dr. Melanie Urbanchek and Dr. Paul Cederna since my freshman year of college. My project focused on an early version of what would later become the regenerative peripheral nerve interface (RPNI). I found the work incredibly fulfilling and exciting. At that time, the research was very preliminary, but we showed that a severed rodent peripheral nerve would sprout and form neuromuscular junctions within an RPNI.

The first research meeting I attended to present this work was at PSRC in Pittsburgh PA. This was the first major academic meeting I attended and was an eye-opening introduction to the world of academic medicine. It was at that meeting that I won the John F Crikelair award for research given to the best presentation by a college or high school student. Read More


Upcoming Meetings


PSRC News Staff

Paige Fox, Editor
Paige Fox
Editor
Harvey Chim, Assistant Editor
Harvey Chim
Assistant Editor
Summer Hanson, Assistant Editor
Summer Hanson
Assistant Editor
Benjamin Levi, Assistant Editor
Benjamin Levi
Assistant Editor
Christopher Sudduth, Assistant Editor
Christopher Sudduth
Assistant Editor
Melanie Urbanchek, Assistant Editor
Melanie Urbanchek
Assistant Editor