Craniofacial Surgery Fellowship

This ACGME-accredited 1-year program is a destination for aspiring craniofacial surgeons. Fellows receive comprehensive clinical training in a high-volume academic medical center that also excels at clinical and basic science research.

Our craniofacial surgery fellowship, one of a handful in the country to earn accreditation from the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education, offers:

  • Clinical experience with all aspects of craniofacial surgery, combined with a comprehensive teaching curriculum.
  • Training by leaders in the field of craniofacial surgery, including experts in translational and basic science research and in surgery education.
  • Instruction in the ethics of medical decision-making, led by Dr. Christian J. Vercler, who holds a master of ethics and a master of divinity and is co-director of the Clinical Ethics Program at the Center for Bioethics & Social Sciences in Medicine at U-M.
  • Opportunities to conduct research in our NIH-funded bone laboratory led by Dr. Steven R. Buchman MD founder of the U-M Craniofacial Research Laboratory.
  • Access to a huge caseload, and its attendant clinical data, as part of the U-M Health System.

Clinical Experience

You’ll receive one-on-one instruction in some of the most complex cases in craniofacial surgery, including monobloc advancements, frontal orbital advancements, total cranial vault reshaping, distraction osteogenesis, and facial trauma. Our program is also one of the few to offer training in orthognathic surgery to include Lefort I, Sagittal split, Genioplasty as well as rapid palatal expansion and a full dental lab for construction of splints and performance of face bow transfers.

Our Craniofacial Anomalies Program is one of the largest of its kind in the country, treating more than 500 new patients a year. The Section of Plastic Surgery performs an average 4,000 major operations a year. This case volume means that fellows will see a wealth of interesting cases.

Throughout your fellowship, you’ll be mentored by faculty who are actively pursuing new knowledge in craniofacial surgery and sharing their expertise through their roles as leaders in national organizations.

Core program faculty:

  • Steven R. Buchman, MD; Director, Craniofacial Surgery Fellowship Program; Chief, Pediatric Plastic Surgery; Director, Craniofacial Anomalies Program
  • Steven J. Kasten MD, MHPE, FACS; Associate Director, Craniofacial Surgery Fellowship Program; Director, Pediatric Plastic Surgery Residency Program; Associate Director, Craniofacial Anomalies Program
  • Christian J. Vercler, MD, MA; Clinical Assistant Professor, Craniofacial Anomalies Program


Craniofacial surgery fellowship appointments run for 1 year, from July 1 through June 30.

Training includes regular conferences, clinical rounds and discussions, and journal club.



Didactic Conference Schedule

Research & Academic Opportunities

During your time as a craniofacial surgery fellow, you’ll write and submit 2 manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals under the guidance of your research mentors. You’ll also have the opportunity to contribute to clinical and basic science research efforts elsewhere in the department, including in Dr. Buchman’s NIH-funded Craniofacial Research Laboratory.

Research in the craniofacial lab focuses on 4 main areas:

  • Analysis of the relationship of biomechanical environment on bone graft behavior.
  • Analysis of the etiology of craniosynostosis and cranial suture morphogenesis as they relate to the bones of the skull.
  • Studies of the molecular mechanisms of distraction osteogenesis as they relate to the bones of the craniofacial skeleton.
  • Optimization of distraction osteogenesis and bone healing in the radiated craniofacial skeleton to increase efficacy in post-oncologic reconstruction.

Funding is available for fellows to attend academic meetings and to pursue research projects.

How to Apply

Craniofacial surgery fellowship candidates must have completed plastic surgery training in an accredited program in the U.S. or Canada.

The Craniofacial Surgery Fellowship Program at the University of Michigan is an ACGME-accredited program. One fellow is accepted each year.

For the 2018-19 academic year, the position will be filled through the SF Match. Applicants must register with the SF Match. The deadline for application is August 1st.

Craniofacial Fellowship Application Form (PDF)

Application Packet

Please submit the following information in your application packet:

• A completed craniofacial surgery fellowship application form.
• A personal statement.
• A curriculum vita.
• Your medical school transcript.
• A copy of your USMLE Steps I, II, and III scores.
• 3 letters of recommendation, including one from your program director.
• Your email and phone number so we can contact you.

Mail your completed application packet to:

Steven R. Buchman, M.D.
M. Haskell Newman Professor in Plastic Surgery
Chief, Pediatric Plastic Surgery
University of Michigan
C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital
1540 E. Hospital Dr., 4-730
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-4215

Contact Us

Please contact the Department of Surgery Education Office with any questions.

Program Director

Steven R. Buchman, M.D.
M. Haskell Newman Professor in Plastic Surgery
Professor of Neurosurgery,University of Michigan Medical School
Chief, Pediatric Plastic Surgery, CS Mott Children's Hospital
Director, Craniofacial Anomalies Program