Continuing Education in Plastic Surgery

It’s an exciting time to be a plastic surgeon.  Innovative ideas and technologies continually enhance our abilities to provide great experiences and outcomes for patients.  It’s a lot to keep up with, though, so how do we do it?

Professional Plastic Surgery Societies

There are two major national societies for plastic surgeons.  I am proud to be a member of both.   These include

More regional plastic surgery societies also exist.  For the Texas area, we have the Texas Society of Plastic Surgeons. I am also a member of that.  These societies routinely provide updates on things that are going on in the world of plastic surgery.  They keep us informed of innovations, guidelines, ethical standards, and legislative updates.

Plastic Surgery Meetings

In addition to updating us through emails and mailings, each of these societies also has a yearly meeting.  Those meetings are attended by plastic surgeons from around the U.S. as well as other parts of the world.  Surgeons present ideas and techniques.  Companies showcase their new technologies.  These are great opportunities for learning and networking.  Here’s a photo of me at the ASAPS meeting in San Diego in April 2022:

Fort Worth plastic surgeon Dr. Kunkel in San Diego at ASAPS meeting

These societies also have ‘subgroups’, groups that focus on more individual surgical procedures.  For instance, ASAPS also has a yearly meeting called Experienced Insights in Breast and Body Contouring.  This year it was held in Dallas.  It’s a smaller meeting, providing the opportunity for more personal interactions and discussions.  I attended the meeting in September and learned quite a few things.

There are also international plastic surgery societies, and they also have meetings.  I recently traveled to Istanbul, Turkey, to attend the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery yearly symposium.  It was amazing!  Plastic surgeons from around the globe presented their ideas on everything from facelifts to body contouring to breast surgery.  It’s really helpful to see and hear how colleagues around the world view issues and create solutions.  Here’ a photo from me at that meeting:

Fort Worth plastic surgeon Dr. Kunkel by ISAPS poster in Istanbul

Plastic Surgery Journals

As with many professions, we have many monthly journals as well.  Plastic surgeons present ideas and techniques in peer-reviewed journals, and often there is robust discussion within the journals.  Here are a few of the more well-known journals:

  • Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
  • Aesthetic Surgery Journal
  • Clinics in Plastic Surgery
  • Annals of Plastic Surgery
  • Archives of Plastic Surgery

Plastic Surgery Continuing Education

In plastic surgery we are always learning, always evolving.  While my formal training in plastic surgery ended years ago, my education never stops.   Our quest to provide the best possible outcomes in the safest ways possible changes as new techniques and technologies emerge.  Societies, journals, and meetings are some of the major ways new ideas become known.  Scientific studies help us understand which techniques and technologies are safe and effective.

It’s a great time to be a plastic surgeon!

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