Interview Prep with AI, Research Rats & Anki updates.

In this week's edition, dive into plastic surgery trends, AI-enhanced interview prep, and critical discussions on research vs. clinical skills, and much more...
Interview Prep with AI, Research Rats & Anki updates.

In this week's edition

  1. ✍️ Letter from P'Fella
    Your "Fluff" Research is eroding your Clinical Skills.
  2. 🤓 The Sunday Quiz
    Gorlin's syndrome - a common exam question
  3. 🔦 Spotlight
    Plastic Surgery Interview Prep in 2024 now with AI.
    Limited to 30 participants.
  4. 📸 Image of the Week
    AI-generated vascular tumour.
  5. 🐣 Tweets of the Week
    What was hot on Twitter this week.
  6. 🤔 Ask P'Fella
    How to apply for plastics.
  7. 📝 Articles of the Week
    Dupuytren's, Carpal Tunnel and Fatigue
  8. 💕 Feedback
    Suggest ideas & give feedback!

PS - the Anki Deck Builder is improved - less buggy now!

A Letter from P'Fella

"Fluff" Research Erodes Clinical Skills.

Hey team!

What's up? I've got something on my mind that's been gnawing at me lately. Noticed how it seems like everyone's racing to rack up research papers? It's like there's this obsession with publishing, and I can't help but feel we're missing the big picture here..


Every hour lost to mediocre research is an hour not spent in the trenches, learning from real patient interactions or sharpening our clinical expertise.

Ever noticed how CVs are now jam-packed with publications and presentations? Yeah, it's like ever since test scores and grades took a backseat, there’s this mad rush to fill up pages with research stuff. But are we actually learning and improving, or just trying to look good on paper?

Red Flag:

54.3 abstracts, presentations, and publications needed to "Match Plastic Surgery" in America.

That's a big number. Check it out below.

"Fluff Research"

Here's what's up: a lot of what's passing as research these days is just fluff. It's the kind that boosts CVs more than it boosts our knowledge or makes a real impact. And don't get me started on those 'Open Publications' - feels like they're just cashing in, not really pushing science forward. But let's be real, we can spot fluff a mile away, and it's usually the research rats churning it out.

Red Flag:

And then there's the social media show-off game. Have you seen folks boasting about how many papers they've published

It's like a competition to see who looks the smartest, not who actually is.

So, what should we do?

Here's what I think: Research shouldn't be a mandatory tick-box, especially in competitive specialties. It's leading to a focus on quantity over quality. We’re talking about skilled clinicians feeling pressured into research they’re not passionate about.

We need to recalibrate. Solid, meaningful research should complement, not compromise, our clinical expertise. Because what’s the point of being a doctor if our practical skills aren’t up to par?

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for top-notch research - the stuff that genuinely enlightens us. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this. Just reply to this email!




· Obsession with publishing overshadows core surgical skills.
· 54 abstracts, presentations, publications "needed" to "Match"
· 'Fluff research' is about CV padding than real science.
· Social media publication counts now a bragging contest.
· Research should complement clinical skills, not be mandatory for all.

The Sunday Quiz

Steps to a Finger Replant

Gorlin syndrome (Basal Cell Naevus Syndrome) is an autosomal dominant condition associated with PTCH gene mutations on chromosome 9. It can also be a sporadic mutation in ~50% of patients.

Features of this systemic condition include:

  • Skin: Multiple early BCCs (before the age of 20)
  • Limbs: Palmar and planter pitting
  • Brain: Falx cerebri calcification, low IQ, blind, paediatric medulloblastoma
  • Craniofacial: odontogenic keratocysts, supraorbital ridging, hypertelorism.
  • Torso: bifid ribs, ovarian fibromas, hypogonadism

Finger Replant

Multiple Choice Question

Which of the following statements is true regarding the management of Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)?

  • Mohs micrographic surgery is recommended for all types of BCC regardless of risk profile.
  • Topical therapy with imiquimod is not an approved treatment modality for superficial BCC.
  • Radiotherapy is primarily recommended for patients with Gorlin Syndrome presenting with BCC.
  • Cryosurgery is an effective treatment for selected low-risk, well-defined BCCs.


thePlasticsInterview - Limited Spots in 2024

thePlasticsInterview (now with AI)

A specialized platform for comprehensive plastic surgery interview preparation. It focuses on essential areas like interview skills, academic knowledge, and clinical expertise, offering AI-enhanced personalization and expert resources to foster genuine professional growth in the field.

What to expect?

  • 📄 Answer Templates: structured responses specific to Plastics
  • 📚 Academic Skills: Enhance your knowledge in key areas of Audit, Research, Evidence-based Practice, Clinical Risk Management, and Teaching.
  • 🧑‍🏫 Probity/Professionalism: Focus on Governance, Ethics, Open Disclosure.
  • 🧑‍🏫 Commitment: Specialized content on suitability for surgery, personal development, and training insights.
  • Clinical Knowledge: Tackle 20 scenarios in plastic surgery emergencies and clinical cases.
  • 🧑 Personal Skills: Build confidence in presenting personal strengths and weaknesses, coping under pressure, and problem-solving.
  • 🧠 AI Personalisation: Use AI to refine your answers, with a model trained on GPT-4.
  • ⚽ Live Mock Practice: Practice with past interview questions using a webcam. Record and improve your technique.
thePlasticsInterview 2024

Limited Enrollment Notice:

thePlasticsInterview maintains a strict limit of 30 participants per year. This selective approach guarantees a personalised and authentic interview preparation experience. Our goal is to ensure that your answers remain unique and tailored, reflecting your individual strengths and characteristics.

Image of the Week

AI-generated clinical images

This AI-generated image has been created for the clinical case scenario on paediatric vascular tumours.

Tweets of the Week

Don't forget to follow P'Fella!

Ask P'Fella

You ask, P'Fella answers.

Every Sunday, you can ask P'Fella anything related to plastic surgery. You'll be answered the following week. Let's check out what questions came in. 

Mary's Question

Any advice for 3rd year medical students who want to apply to plastics with average clerkship scores and a few publications to their name? How can we make it work? Thanks!

Gotcha, here's a friendly and straightforward take:

  1. Good Research Matters: Focus on a few meaningful projects you're actually into.
  2. Impress in Rotations: Use your clinical time to show your skills and dedication.
  3. Network Smartly: Chat with folks in plastics, get insights and make connections. Have you seen this?
  4. Personalize Your Application: Your personal statement and recommendations should reflect who you are and your passion for plastics.
  5. Be Real in Interviews: Just be yourself and share your genuine interest in the field.
  6. Have a Backup Plan: Consider other options or a research year if needed.
  7. Look After Yourself: Stay balanced and avoid burnout.

Hope this helps! Keep your spirits up, and good luck!


11 questions submitted in the last 30 days...

Articles of the Week

3 must-read articles!

3 Must-reads

  1. Amyloid in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
    Brunet J et al. Prevalence of transthyretin amyloidosis in patients undergoing carpal tunnel surgery: a prospective cohort study and risk factor analysis. J Hand Surg Eur Vol. 2023 Dec.
  2. Send Dupuytren's to the lab?
    Liu D et al. Utility of Routine Pathologic Examination for Fasciectomy for Dupuytren Contracture. J Hand Surg Am. 2023 Dec;48(12):1273.e1-1273.e5.
  3. Don't operate when tired!
    Reijmerink IM et al. Impact of fatigue in surgeons on performance and patient outcome: systematic review. Br J Surg. 2024 Jan

P'Fella is looking for an educational fellow!

Ready to dive into the world of plastic surgery education?

P'Fella is looking for a sharp, eager Educational Fellow to join the team.

What You'll Do:

  • Collaborate with P'Fella
  • Read articles and create insightful journal club analyses.
  • Keep your finger on the pulse of the latest in plastic surgery.
  • Enjoy a role that pays you to explore your passion!

📍 Flexible Location
💼 Part-Time
💸 Competitive Salary
🗂️ Full accreditation for your CV.



Any suggestions, ideas and even negative feedback is appreciated!

About the author

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Plastic Surgery

A curated suite of educational tools designed specifically for the evidence-based Plastic Surgeon.

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