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Fourth-Year Medical Student Visiting Elective

Dr. Wincour, Dr. Pearce, and Dr. Schaheen with acting intern (Now physician and plastic surgery resident) Dr. Al Valmadrid. The team was performing a microvascular tissue transfer for the release of a burn contracture.

ROTATION DATE CHANGE: Due to safety and travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are unable to accept visiting medical students through May 24, 2020.  We will accept applications starting with the 4-week rotation block beginning on May 25, 2020 and ending June 21, 2020, however, these dates are subject to change.”

The Department of Plastic Surgery offers medical students a wide variety of training opportunities at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Our rotations provide exposure to the full spectrum of plastic surgery including but not limited to congenital and traumatic craniofacial reconstruction, microsurgery, hand surgery, breast surgery, general reconstructive surgery, and cosmetic surgery.

Our four-week comprehensive sub-internship is designed to teach at the PGY-1 (intern) level. In addition to broad exposure to operative plastic surgery, students are expected to see and evaluate consultations, round in the ward, and participate in pre- and post-operative patient care.

Our visiting sub-intern positions are competitive and limited to one visiting student per month. This maximizes the students’ ability to participate in hands-on training while gaining wide exposure to faculty of the plastic surgery department. 

Interested students must submit an application through the Visiting Student Application System (VSAS).  Applicants are advised to have a mentor write to the program director, Dr. Brian Drolet (brian.c.drolet@vanderbilt.edu), with a letter of support on the behalf.


The Vanderbilt department of Plastic Surgery is one of the well-known jewels of the medical student clinical electives. With different courses tailored to second years who are fresh on the wards, third years looking to sharpen their skills, and fourth years preparing for their intern year, there is something for every student within the Plastic Surgery Department. Students know that when they rotate on plastics, they will be truly considered a member of the team and will have the opportunity to learn advanced suturing and surgical skills. The fellows and attendings within the department are uniquely invested in teaching, and it makes an obvious difference for all rotating students!

-Kianna Jackson