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Plastic Surgery Residency celebrates 2017 graduates

Penn State College of Medicine’s Plastic Surgery Residency graduated two students in 2017, Christine Jones, MD, and Kavita Vakharia, MD.

Dr. Jones said, “Hershey Medical Center has been a wonderful place to train. I’ve grown to appreciate the combination of a comprehensive training program, supportive environment, and people who truly care about you – and realize how special this is.

“I am thankful for all the mentorship from our attendings along the way. Even now, just a few weeks out from graduation, I hear your words of advice echoing in clinical situations. It has been a pleasure working alongside such talented co-residents; you have been an inspiration to reach toward higher goals every day.

“One of the highlights of residency was travelling to the underserved region of Zhenxiong, China with Operation Smile. Seeing how much could be done with few resources was humbling, and makes you really appreciate what we have in the US. I hope to incorporate similar international mission work into my career in the future.

Just before graduation, Kyle and I welcomed our daughter Adelyn into our family. She has been a delight and is teaching us new things about the world every day.

This year, I will be completing a fellowship in Craniofacial and Pediatric Plastic Surgery at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. After that, I am looking to start a job in academic plastic surgery.

With all that lies ahead, I’m sure there will be plenty of complex and challenging situations. However, I am confident that my training at Penn State has prepared me well. Thank you to all who have led me to this point and I look forward to collaborating with you in the future.”

Dr. Vakharia wrote, “It has been an honor and a privilege being a resident here at Hershey and learning from all of the attendings and my co-residents, both present and past. I have enjoyed my time here immensely and am eagerly looking forward to my fellowship year. After completing my hand fellowship at the University of New Mexico, I hope to perform some extra training in pediatric hand surgery and to participate in a fellowship in Australia focusing on melanoma treatment and research.

“In addition to participating in several memorable cases and clinics during my six years here, I have had the opportunity to supplement my residency training with unique experiences including working for a month at the University of Pennsylvania with the Orthopaedic Hand Surgery team, visiting China for an Operation Smile mission, and spending a month as a medical journalist for ABC News in New York. I envision my eventual practice to be similar to that of the attendings that I have received my excellent training from here at Penn State, within academics and varied but with a focus on reconstruction.

“I am thankful for the wonderful memories that were created during my time in Hershey and look forward to continued friendship and collaboration ahead.”

See more information on past Penn State Plastic Surgery residents here.

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