Dr. Lesley Wong takes over as Plastic Surgery residency director

Dr. Lesley Wong officially took over as the new Director of the UK Plastic Surgery Residency Program in July 2018.

The transition to the leadership role has been an education by itself. Fortunately, Dr. Wong said that she has the benefit and support of Jan Mock, Plastic Surgery Residency Coordinator, to train her for the job. Ms. Mock has been coordinator of the residency program for well over 20 years and knows well the details involved in managing the graduate medical education program.

“Jan has been a very important part of getting me started and I’m grateful for her help. I’ve been training residents in the OR for years, but I had no idea how much behind the scenes work was involved. Jan has taught me a lot,” Dr. Wong said.

Dr. Wong completed a general surgery residency at New York University Medical Center and her residency in Plastic Surgery at Johns Hopkins University. She remained at Johns Hopkins to complete fellowships in burn/critical care and research.

Before coming to the University of Kentucky, Dr. Wong was a faculty member with the University of Tennessee’s College of Medicine in Chattanooga and director of the Burn Unit and Wound Healing Center with Erlanger Health Systems. She has been a full time member of the Plastic Surgery faculty at UK since 2010 and Director of UK HealthCare’s Burn Unit.

Plastic Surgery residents at UK see an impressive volume of cases across a broad spectrum of procedures in their five years of training, Wong said. Procedures include reconstructive surgeries, craniofacial surgery, hand surgery, burn and wound care, pediatric plastic surgery, as well as aesthetic procedures. There are also plenty of opportunities for multidisciplinary surgical experiences with other surgical divisions and departments.

A hallmark of the UK program is that the residents form a tight knit group, both professionally and socially. “Our residents look out for each other and lend a supportive hand in the OR when necessary. That sense of camaraderie is a big reason why we have such an excellent program,” Wong said.

As residents progress through our process of graduated responsibility, they will work with patients presenting some of the most complex pathologies in the country, she continued. Often times, a seemingly simple procedure will take on a new level of difficulty because of a patient’s general health.

“Learning under those circumstances produces a competent plastic surgeon,” Wong said.