Plastic Surgery Residency Program

Welcome to the Plastic Surgery Residency Program at the University of Alberta.










Interview/CaRMS Specific Information 

Interviews are on January 22, 2024.  All interviews will be done in a virtual environment. Details will be circulated closer to the interview date. 

Program will notify all applicants through CaRMS Online and will send email invitations directly to applicants selected for an interview. 

For further information please see the program description on the CaRMS website.

Want to arrange an elective with our program?

Please click here for postgraduate electives.

Medical students please click here.

Contact Us

Plastic Surgery Residency Program
University of Alberta
Office of Surgical Education
2D2.01 WMC, 8440 - 112 St NW
Edmonton AB T6G 2B7

Asha Belisle
Program Administrator

Dr. Jay Zhu
Program Director

Dr. Curtis Budden 
Assistant Program Director

Welcome to Our Program!

In Plastic Surgery, more than any other specialty in medicine, do form and function intertwine – from the artistry involved in reconstructing a soft and natural breast post-mastectomy, to rigidly fixating the craniofacial skeleton following a facial smash, the principles of Plastic Surgery pervade. The ideal candidate for a residency position in Plastic Surgery at the University of Alberta is hard working, self-motivated, and a team player.  He or she is able to take direction and prior experiences and synthesize treatment plans and perform surgical procedures. Teaching should be an interest, as should the desire to care for patients in the most effective way possible.  Research is strongly encouraged, and some of our residents have enjoyed and successfully completed extra training in conjunction with the Clinician Investigator/Surgeon Scientist Program.

Plastic Surgery training in Edmonton is amongst the best in the country.  The Alberta Program has a strong commitment to training and educating future leaders in the field.  Plastic Surgery in Edmonton is a very busy, active clinical program – currently there are 12 residents. Ample operative experience (residents are commonly first assist in the operating room even in their R1 year!) allows the resident to become fully competent in all major procedures required in Plastic Surgery.  Graduates from our program are comfortable practicing in many areas, even fresh out of residency or fellowship.

Residents at the University of Alberta work closely with the Attending Plastic Surgeons.  Schedules are based on specific Preceptor-Based Rotations that allow the resident to focus on certain sub-specialties in Plastic Surgery, and consistently work with the same surgeons.  Not only does this foster a closer working relationship between staff and resident, but also allows staff to evaluate the resident more accurately, and to ensure they are getting the necessary exposure needed to be competent and technically proficient Plastic Surgeons. 

Dr. Jay Zhu

Our Program

The Residency Program in Plastic Surgery at the University of Alberta is five years in length and starts in the Surgical Foundations Program. The hospitals associated with the program treat a broad spectrum of plastic surgery patients including large volumes of general trauma, acute and reconstructive hand surgery, burn surgery and virtually all aspects of facial trauma. Acute and reconstructive microsurgical experience is offered at the University and Royal Alexandra Hospitals. High intensity plastic surgical cases are centered primarily at the University of Alberta Hospital, and to some extent, also at the Royal Alexandra Hospital. The vast majority of low intensity inpatient and outpatient elective plastic surgery in the City is done at the Misericordia Hospital, on a daily basis.

Group in scrubs

International and interprovincial electives are possible, at the discretion of the Program Director


There are no mandatory rural rotations


All major areas of plastic surgery are well covered by Fellowship trained surgeons

Established outpatient clinics in brachial plexus and congenital hand clinic, hand surgery, cleft lip and palate surgery, general plastic surgery, and burn surgery are available for resident participation and teaching purposes

The iRSM Unit at the Misericordia Hospital offers experience in the use of osseointegrated implants and maxillofacial prosthetics

Residency at a Glance

Learn about each year of the program with an overview of each year.


The Surgical Foundations year consists of the following rotations:

  • 6 blocks of Plastic Surgery
  • 1 block of Emergency Medicine
  • 2 blocks of General Surgery
  • 1 block of Pediatric General Surgery
  • 1 block of Internal Medicine
  • 1 block of Orthopedic Surgery
  • 4 Weeks vacation
  • 6 blocks Plastic Surgery
  • 2 blocks of Intensive Care Unit
  • 1 block Otolaryngology
  • 1 block or Orthopedic Surgery
  • 1 block Dermatology
  • 1 block of Selective
PGY-3 & PGY-4

Residents will gain exposure to the following areas:

  • Burn Unit
  • Pediatric Plastic Surgery
  • Breast Reconstruction
  • General Plastic Surgery
  • Craniofacial
  • Hand & Wrist
  • Microsurgery
  • Cosmetic

The fifth year of Plastic Surgery is considered the Lead Resident year and is a crucial step in transforming the resident into a competent staff physician ready to qualify for the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada exams in Plastic Surgery.  The Lead Resident will have rotations at both the Royal Alexandra Hospital as well as the University of Alberta Hospital. They are not preceptor based but rather run a service at one of the two respective hospital sites. They are given increasing amounts of responsibility both with clinical management of patients, teaching and administration of resident staff.

On call responsibilities are on a “second on-call” basis. The last three months of the PGY-5 year are designated as a period to gain exposure to Cosmetic Surgery at the privately owned Plastic and Cosmetic Laser Surgical Centre, as well as at the hospital and as a period of study for the Royal College exams that occur at the end of this block of time.

Program Supports

  • Mentorship program
  • Academic Advisors
  • Dedicated Faculty
  • Approachable and accessible Program Director and Assistant Program Director
  • Residency Program Committee


  • Hand and Wrist Surgery
  • Pediatric Plastic Surgery
  • Microsurgery and Flap Reconstruction, including that for cancers and breast reconstruction
  • Cosmetic Surgery
  • Oculoplastic Surgery and Lid Reconstruction
  • Craniofacial and Traumatic Facial Reconstruction
  • Autologous and Prosthetic Bone-Anchored Ear Reconstruction
  • Burns and Burn Reconstruction
  • Peripheral Nerve Surgery and Reconstruction
  • Trunk and Vaginal/Perineal Reconstruction
  • Body Contouring After Massive Weight Loss
  • General Plastic Surgery

Frequently Asked Questions

Why did you choose your specialty?
I chose plastic surgery because of the variety & highly technical nature of the different procedures that one gets to perform. It provides a lot of flexibility in lifestyle as well as a wide range of surgical sub-specialties.
How do you see your discipline changing over the next decade?
Plastic Surgery is always growing and changing. New advances in reconstructive surgery are continually being made and applied to the field. The largest challenge in Canada in the next decade will be the shrinking size of the workforce and increasing size of the population. There will be increasing demand to train more plastic surgeons and increasing job availability for those who are graduating.
What types of clinical cases do you commonly see?

Plastic Surgery cases range in variety from pediatric reconstructive procedures to cranial- facial, peripheral nerve, microsurgery, wrist reconstruction, cancer reconstruction, burn reconstruction, and cosmetic surgery.

What can a potential candidate do now in order to be an appealing applicant to your program?
The potential candidate should have some exposure to research (not necessarily in the field of Plastic Surgery). They should demonstrate themselves to be ethical, hard-working, and a good team player.
What distinguishes the U of A program from other programs?
We are one of the few programs in the country that have a strong background in all domains of plastic surgery. The clinical volume and caseload that a resident gets exposed to is larger and more diverse than any other program.

Resident Testimonials

We asked our residents what they like about Edmonton, their highlights of the program, and one piece of advice for applicants about the interview process. Here is what a few of them had to say.
Emilie Robertson

What are the highlights of the program for you? We have a great group of staff and residents that make operating educational, supported and fun. There is a high volume of trauma, reconstructive, and electives cases and we get to operate a lot right off the bat. I remember my first day of residency I suddenly went form being the sponge/retractor med student in a breast reduction case to having one side to do on my own (with a lot of staff help and guidance, of course).

What do you like about Edmonton? Edmonton is a big city that feels like a small town. It's my home town and I'll always love the summer festivals, river valley (and floating on the river!), tons of parks, hot/dry summers, and great restaurants.

What's one piece of advice you want to share with applicants about the interview process? Be honest and be yourself! Honestly.

– Emilie ('Aim') (PGY-4)
Adrian Battiston

What are the highlights of the program for you? Excellent mentorship, dedication to teaching and patient care, high volume and diversity of cases.

What do you like about Edmonton? Big city with small town feel, the people, lots of opportunity for outdoor activities, close to the mountains.

What's one piece of advice you want to share with applicants about the interview process? Residency is a lot of work but also a lot of fun so try not to get too stressed out and enjoy the process as much as possible.

– Adrian Battiston (PGY-2) 
River valley

What are the highlights of the program for you?  High volume, broad exposure and great staff to work with.

What do you like about Edmonton? Beautiful river valley, great places to eat, lots of activities.

What's one piece of advice you want to share with applicants about the interview process? Always stay keen and positive. Remember why you wanted to do this in the first place and hold onto that.

– Courtney Wilkes (Recent Graduate)