The Plastic Surgery Foundation
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Grants We Funded

Grant applicants for the 2022 cycle requested a total of over $2.9 million dollars. The PSF Study Section subcommittees of Basic & Translational Research and Clinical Research evaluated 115 grant applications on the following topics:

The PSF awarded research grants totaling almost $550,000 to support 19 plastic surgery research proposals.

ASPS/PSF leadership is committed to continuing to provide high levels of investigator-initiated research support to ensure that plastic surgeons have the needed research resources to be pioneers and innovators in advancing the practice of medicine.

Research Abstracts

Search The PSF database to have easy access to full-text grant abstracts from past PSF-funded research projects 2003 to present. All abstracts are the work of the Principal Investigators and were retrieved from their PSF grant applications. Several different filters may be applied to locate abstracts specific to a particular focus area or PSF funding mechanism.

Head Mounted Video Cameras for Surgical Skill Education

Principal Investigator
Aaron Berger MD, PhD


Stanford University Medical Center

Funding Mechanism
ACAPS/PSF Research Grant

Focus Area
Education, Technology Based

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education recently enacted reform from a system that valued a program's potential to train its residents to a system that requires the measurement of educational outcomes. This is being performed through the use of six core competencies: patient care, medical knowledge, practice-based learning and improvement, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, and systems-based practice. The acquisition of technical skills (surgical competency), however, is an equally important basic tenet of a surgical residency that is not reflected in the six core competencies. We propose a new method for training and evaluating surgical competency via personalized video-documented surgical skills analysis. In this way, trainees will be equipped with custom-designed miniaturized head-mounted cameras specifically developed to meet the unique filming requirements of the operating room. In conjunction with the technology, we aim to develop and validate a quantitative grading system for evaluating technical performance. Such a tool can be used to systematically assess technical skills and provide valuable constructive feedback on discrete areas that require improvement. By providing trainees with a database of their own video-recorded cases, the learning process can be accelerated and reinforced. Professional athletes have utilized video analysis for decades to perfect their skills. Similarly, with personalized video-based analysis, we propose the learning trajectory for mastery of surgical techniques can be made steeper and ultimately improve the delivery of healthcare. The proposed project has the potential to revolutionize the way surgical technique is taught and evaluated across the country through the use of personal video simulation.

Aaron Berger, MD, PhD is a Chief Resident in the Integrated Plastic Surgery Residency Program at Stanford University Medical Center. He was then selected for the Medical Scientist Training Program at Yale University School of Medicine, where he received M.D. and Ph.D. degrees. Dr. Berger received his Ph.D. from the Department of Pathology, and his dissertation involved the development of a molecular assay to predict the metastatic potential of primary melanoma, as well as identification of biomarkers that may serve as therapeutic targets in metastatic melanoma. After completion of residency, Dr. Berger will be pursuing a fellowship in Hand and Microvascular Surgery at UCLA Medical Center.