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Message from the Program Director

Joseph E. Losee, MD
Joseph E. Losee, MD
Vice Chair & Program Director

For departments of academic medicine and surgery, the educational mission of training future physicians and surgeons remains one of the primary responsibilities.
At the University of Pittsburgh, this residency tradition began in 1948.  S. Milton Dupertuis, MD, the first Division chief and program director, recruited John C. Gaisford, MD as Pitt’s first plastic surgery resident – at a salary of $34 a month. The following year, Ross H. Musgrave, MD became Pitt’s second plastic surgery resident. These pioneers of the Pitt Plastic surgery residency would lead the way of academic excellence, setting precedence for what would become a tradition of training leaders in plastic surgery.  Dupertuis, White, and Musgrave would each serve as President of the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery; and, Dupurtis, Musgrave, and Hanna all served as Directors of the American Board of Plastic Surgery.  Following this strong beginning, Pitt Plastic Surgery has produced generations of leaders in our field.

To date, there have been approximately 318 residents and fellows trained at Pitt Plastic Surgery, accounting for generations of leaders in our field.  At last count, 22 alumni of Pitt’s residency program have served at one time as Division Chiefs at nearly a quarter of the nations 90 plastic surgery programs.
In 2008, we were given approval by the American Board of Plastic Surgery to establishment of one of the first “categorical plastic surgery training programs” in the United States.  This innovative program is similar to other core surgical residencies, uniquely designed to train and prepare plastic surgeons. As our goal is to produce surgeon-scientists, the curriculum includes a required year of basic science research in one of our three independently funded laboratories.

Our mission remains one of cultivating and nurturing future leaders, surgeon-scientists, and those academic plastic surgeons that will become the next generation of program directors, chairman, and presidents of national societies. Each year we try to identify and recruit those who demonstrate potential and passion for life long leadership in academic surgery.
Today our residency program consists of both an Integrated and Independent training pathway, accredited for 27 full-time residents.  Our citywide program benefits from a strong and positive “town and gown” participation, consisting of 7 hospital sites, with 24 full-time faculty, and 11 voluntary faculty. Our faculty currently edit 10 textbooks in plastic surgery.  We offer fellowship training in hand surgery, pediatric plastic/craniofacial surgery, body contouring surgery, and reconstructive microsurgery.

As one of America’s largest plastic surgery programs, we are incredibly proud to follow in the tradition of our founding fathers, and carry on the mission of training future leaders in American Plastic Surgery.