Plastic Surgery Fellowship

About the Program

The goal of the Plastic Surgery faculty is to offer the highest quality training in Plastic Surgery that can be provided. We strive to continually improve the program to assure that we provide the tools for our graduates to succeed in either private practice or in academia. We hope to attract individuals that are intelligent, hardworking, responsible and creative in that the quality of any training program is related to the quality of individual it attracts. Probably most importantly, we want everyone involved in the program to have fun and enjoy our rigorous, top quality program.

Program Mission

To develop well-trained comprehensive plastic surgeons, who are excellent and compassionate clinicians, and will be leaders in patient care while contributing to the specialty.

The University of Iowa Plastic Surgery Program aims to:

  • Train future surgeons in providing comprehensive, high-quality, and multidisciplinary care
  • Provide the breadth and depth of training necessary for independent specialty practice
  • Be recognized nationally for standard of excellence in clinical care and education
  • Contribute high-quality academic research in the field of plastic surgery
  • Cultivate future healthcare leaders for our communities
  • Improve the health and wellbeing of our communities
  • Provide cutting edge patient care, advancing the practice of plastic surgery

Board Requirements

Please visit The American Board of Plastic Surgery website for board certification requirements. 

Didactic Schedule

Microsurgery Lab
Plastic Surgery didactic sessions take place on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Topics and sessions include Grand Rounds, M&M, Journal Club, Lectures, Skills Lab, and Cadaver Lab. 


Scholarly activity is actively encouraged for trainees in the Plastic Surgery program. A number of research projects are currently in progress within the division. It is expected that each trainee in the program will complete at least one project appropriate for presentation during each year of their training.

Research and Scholarly Activity by Plastic Surgery Fellows

  • What Plastic Surgeons Need to Know When Negotiating Employment Agreements
  • Technique for Implant-Based Breast Reconstruction Using SERI
  • A Safe and Practical Path to Surgery Resident Autonomy
  • Immediate External Compression Following Lymphaticovenular Anastomosis
  • Artificial Leech as an Alternative to the Biologic Leech for Venous Flap
  • Combination of Liposuction with Skin Excision for the Treatment of Solid Predominant Lymphedema
  • Strategic Incision Placement to Facilitate Successful Lymphaticovenular Anastomoses
  • Lateral Thoracodorsal Flap in Breast Reconstruction–7 Year Experience at University of Iowa
  • Transgender Mastectomies in Iowa
  • Refinements of Venous Flap Design: Shunt Restriction


Rotations are based on 4 week blocks with a total of 13 blocks in the year. Rotation sites include University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, The Iowa City VA Hospital, and Private Practice with Dr. PJ Hawkes and Dr. Takintope Akinbiyi in Cedar Rapids, IA. Each of the three years of training include the following rotations:

Year 1

Plastic Surgery | 9 Blocks

Burn Surgery | 1 Block

Dermatology | 1 Block

Hand Surgery | 2 Blocks

Year 2

Plastic Surgery | 8 Blocks

Oral Surgery | 1 Block

Oculoplastic Surgery | 2 Blocks

Otolaryngology | 2 Blocks

Year 3

Plastic Surgery UIHC | 8 Blocks

Plastic Surgery Cedar Rapids | 2 Blocks

Hand Surgery | 2 Blocks

Elective Rotation | 1 Block




How to Apply

The training program in Plastic Surgery at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics is a three-year Independent Program that trains individuals that have met the prerequisite training requirements defined by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.  The prerequisite training requirements can be met by:

  • Completing five progressive years of training in general surgery sufficient to qualify for certification by the American Board of Surgery
  • Completing and reaching Board eligibility in a formal, ACGME–accredited training program in one of the following ABMS specialties: vascular surgery, neurologic surgery, orthopedic surgery, otolaryngology, thoracic surgery, or urology. 
  • Alternatively, individuals with both a dental and medical degree may meet the perquisite requirements by completing an ADA-approved training program in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery that includes 2 years of Surgery training. 


Applications to the program are accepted through the Central Application Service of the San Francisco Match at

Our People

Plastic Surgery Group Photo

The Division of Plastic Surgery is a dedicated team whose expertise in education, research, clinical, and operative experience spans the entire field of plastic and reconstructive surgery. We are dedicated to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion in our Division and our training programs.

The primary faculty in Plastic Surgery at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics includes Jerrod Keith, MD (Division Director and Program Director), Takintope Akinbiyi, MD, Mark Fisher, MD, P.J. Hawkes, MD, Kelly Ledbetter, MD, and Andrei Odobescu, MD.

During the training program, trainees also work with faculty in the Burn Center and in the Departments of Orthopedics (Hand Surgery), Otolaryngology, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, and Oral Surgery.

Current Fellows

Third Year Fellow

Iryna Chesnokova, MD

Iryna Chesnokova, MD

General Surgery Residency, University of Iowa

Second Year Fellow

Kendall Keck, portrait

Kendall Keck, MD

General Surgery Residency, University of Iowa

First Year Fellow

Mike D. Dixon, MD

Mike D. Dixon, MD

General Surgery Residency, University of North Dakota


Jerrod Keith, MD

Jerrod N. Keith, MD

Clinical Associate Professor
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Division Director
Program Director

Tope Akinbiyi, portrait

Takintope Akinbiyi, MD, MSc

Clinical Assistant Professor
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Kelly Ledbetter, portrait

Kelly Ledbetter, MD

Clinical Assistant Professor
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Mark D. Fisher, MD

Mark D. Fisher, MD

Clinical Associate Professor
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 

Andrei Odobescu, MD, PhD

Andrei Odobescu, MD, PhD

Clinical Assistant Professor
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Patrick Hawkes portrait

Patrick J. Hawkes, MD

Clinical Assistant Professor
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Graduated Residents

Jeni Carr, MD

Jeni Carr, MD

Current Position: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N.C.

PJ Hawkes portrait

PJ Hawkes, MD

Current Position: University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa

Thathyana Fernandes Fensterer, MD, PhD

Thathyana Fernandes Fensterer, MD, PhD

Current Position: Medical Director, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Baptist Health, Ky.

Ali Reza Abtahi, portrait

Ali Reza Abtahi, MD

Current Position: Aesthetic Fellowship, with Sacha Obaid, MD, North Texas Plastic Surgery, Dallas