Does International Surgical Mission Involvement During Residency Predict Involvement in Practice?

Daniel C. Sasson, Aaron M. Kearney, Arun K. Gosain*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite efforts to incorporate global health rotations during residency, it is unclear whether this experience affects the likelihood that plastic surgeons will continue such missions during practice. The authors conducted a survey of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Council of Academic Plastic Surgeons members regarding the impact of international experiences before practice upon future involvement. 138 surveys were analyzed. Ten percent participated in missions before medical school, 13% during medical school, 53% in residency, and 61% in practice. Sixty-seven percent of surgeons in an academic practice continued to engage in international missions, versus 55% in nonacademic practices (P = 0.152). No significant difference in the number of surgeons participating in missions was found between those who had attended their first mission before starting practice instead of those starting in practice (P = 0.163). Surgeons who graduated recently were more likely to have attended a mission during residency (P = 0.015). Fifty-four percent of surgeons reported that a mentor initiated their interest in missions, and 44% reported that their involvement in missions had decreased over the last 5 years, with most citing a financial disincentive. Given that over 2/3 of plastic surgeons from all practice types participate in international missions, it would behoove residency programs to offer formal training in global health to facilitate this interest. Our study is the largest thus far attempting to quantify the downstream effects of surgical mission participation in residency and highlights the need for further inquiry into this matter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1090-1092
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Craniofacial Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 1 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Career
  • international mission
  • residency
  • residency curriculum
  • surgical mission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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