The Wright State University School of Medicine was established in 1973 by the Ohio General Assembly. From about 1979 to 1998, a Wright State University Plastic Surgery Residency Program existed under the direction of Drs. Thomas Graul, Ralph Snider and James Apesos. This program trained many outstanding plastic surgeons. However, the loss of a sponsoring institution with the closure of St. Elizabeth's Hospital was instrumental in the voluntary withdrawal of the training program in 1998.
Dr. R. Michael Johnson subsequently re-established the Wright State Plastic Surgery Residency Program with the assistance of Premier Health Partners (PHP), the parent company of Miami Valley and Good Samaritan Hospitals. PHP recommended an investment be made by the institution to fund a plastic surgery residency program to help with the long-term specialty service needs of the community. It was understood by the institution that the residents would not supply this service need. The presence of a residency training program would result in some graduates remaining in the area to increase the specialty workforce.
The residency program director has a unique experience and vision for the balance between the institutional needs, surgical education and the available resources within the local area. This is due to the fact that he has worked within this institution as a resident, in private practice in plastic surgery and in academic plastic surgery practice. Due to this long term commitment to the Dayton area, the program director has direct knowledge of the talents of the individual surgeons. This knowledge and vision, combined with the support of Wright State to improve the level of scholarship, led to the development of a proposal for a plastic surgery residency. This proposal was accepted by PHP.
An investment in the scholarship of discovery was identified as a need for a strong residency program in plastic surgery. The addition of Andrea Hoffmann, Ph.D., led to the development of a basic science research program. Increased collaboration with basic scientists at the medical school is seen as a positive experience for both the university and the Division of Plastic Surgery.
Review of the institutional and program requirements of the ACGME was undertaken to decide if an adequate, broad based experience in plastic surgery could be provided in this community. Adjunct clinical faculty members were contacted in each area of the specific program requirements to ensure a broad based experience. All clinical faculty have had prior teaching experience, and all chosen faculty agreed to participate in the program.
All of these pieces of the puzzle were in place-institutional support, basic research program and full-time and clinical faculty with broad based clinical experience. It was felt the time was right to resurrect plastic surgery training in Dayton, Ohio.