The Plastic Surgery Foundation
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Grants We Funded

Grant applicants for the 2021 cycle requested a total of over $3.3 million dollars. The PSF Study Section subcommittees of Basic & Translational Research and Clinical Research evaluated 106 grant applications on the following topics:

The PSF awarded research grants totaling more than $755,000 to support 25 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.

Overlapping Worlds of Art and Plastic Surgery: Implications for Surgical Training

Principal Investigator
Audrey Nguyen MD


University of California

Funding Mechanism
ASE/PSF Combined Research Grant

Focus Area

The relationship between art and plastic surgery has interested plastic surgeons for almost fifty years. Intuitively, there is a positive relationship between art and plastic surgery. These two fields are thought to share similar concepts, such as aesthetics and proportion, and skills, such as anatomic drawing and manipulation of physical objects, required for occupational mastery. These potential overlapping concepts and skills, which are used to train both artists and plastic surgeons, have led some surgeons to suggest inclusion of artistic training in standard plastic surgery education. These surgeons believe that artistic training leads to a better understanding of the concepts of symmetry, proportion, and dimensionality and skills such as anatomic drawing and hand-eye coordination. Two past studies describe art courses for plastic surgeons, and the authors report an improvement in medical charting of patients' anatomic problems and overall attention-to-detail. Though methodologically not rigorous, these two studies offer some intriguing evidence that an education in art can help in the overall education of plastic surgery trainees. The purpose of this study is to identify the shared concepts and skills within the fields of art and plastic surgery through a qualitative analysis of interviews of 15 plastic surgeons and residents and 15 community artists and art students. Our specific aims are to describe the core concepts and skills of plastic surgery and art through interviews and to develop a theoretical framework of those concepts and skills. The aims are designed to establish the central, aligning concepts and skills within art and plastic surgery. From the results of this study, we can enhance the educational experience of plastic surgery trainees by designing curriculum featuring this concepts and utilizing art techniques.

Audrey Nguyen is a categorical resident in the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.S. in Bioengineering at the University of California, Los Angeles. She received her M.D. from University of California, Irvine (UCI) and was honored with the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Graduating Student, the most prestigious award at the School of Medicine. She has pursued positions of mentorship in medical education during her career. Dr. Nguyen was the President of the Surgery Interest Group at UCI, where she organized programs for medical students interested in a surgical specialty. During her first year of residency, she was awarded first place in the “Surgical Skills Lab Competition” for best overall performance of surgical skills when she was tested among her peers. Dr. Nguyen was also the course director for the Surgery Skills Elective for medical students, where she designed and conducted classes for students’ preparing for their surgery clerkships. She also directed a video-based “Teaching Series” covering main topics within plastic surgery, which are now available on the UCSF Plastic Surgery website. She has also successfully presented at multiple major national meetings, and she is a co-author in a chapter of a published plastic surgery textbook. Dr. Nguyen is also a published illustrator, and her anatomy drawings can be found in the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery journal.