About The Gazette Search Back Issues Contact Us    
The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University November 5, 2007 | Vol. 37 No. 10
JHU Launches Tuition-free Web Training for Plastic Surgery Residents

By John Lazarou
Johns Hopkins Medicine

In a program designed to increase safety and effectiveness of cosmetic surgery, officials of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the National Cosmetic Network, a company specializing in medical video production and distance learning, have joined in a new initiative to provide free, Internet-based, live-patient specialty training for the more than 400 surgical residents enrolled in accredited plastic surgery training programs in the United States.

The program is a fully accredited Continuing Medical Education course developed by Johns Hopkins specialists in plastic and reconstructive surgery with invited faculty from around the country. NCN provides the delivery system for the program, which consists of filming surgical procedures and programming Web-based and DVD-assisted course work.

Details of the program were announced to members of the Association of Academic Chairmen of Plastic Surgery on Oct. 27, during the annual meeting of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons in Baltimore.

"Making it possible for all plastic surgery residents to observe and learn from leading experts in the field is an important way to raise the level of patient safety and professionalism in cosmetic surgery," said Stanley A. Klatsky, associate professor of plastic surgery at Johns Hopkins and co-chair of the JHU/NCN program with Paul Manson, professor and chief of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Johns Hopkins.

The program will be funded by in-kind grants from the two entities, valued at more than $750,000, with no financial support from industry. Upon completion of the course, physicians can take a post-test to receive CME credit from Johns Hopkins.

According to project directors, distance learning opportunities for medical professionals offer efficient and effective training at lower cost than traditional surgical and medical conventions and meetings.

Launched in 2005, JHU/NCN distance learning programs were originally distributed only on DVD, but advances in technology have now made it possible to deliver high-quality surgical instruction through the Internet.

"Surgeons need to see anatomical detail in the context of live surgery demonstrations, and until recently the only way to get this kind of quality experience outside of an operating room has been through a DVD format," said William Mays, NCN's chief executive officer. "Now, surgeons have the additional option of logging onto the member area of our Web site, selecting a program and either viewing it as streaming video or downloading it to watch later on a computer or iPod, and the quality is still there."

"Cosmetic surgery is an area of plastic surgery training that is highly dependent upon exposure to a variety of cases as well as observation of different clinicians and their individual approaches," said Manson. "This poses a challenge for residency programs, making distance learning an important component of training."

For more on the JHU/NCN live surgery programs, go to


The Gazette | The Johns Hopkins University | Suite 540 | 901 S. Bond St. | Baltimore, MD 21231 | 443-287-9900 |