The purpose of this study was to evaluate the importance of factors influencing the selection of candidates for academic positions in plastic surgery. This study reports the results of a survey investigating these factors. The survey was conducted in 1994, canvassing the chairpersons from the 120 plastic surgery programs in the United States and Canada with responses from 91 (76 percent) of the plastic surgery programs. The study examined individual accomplishments and areas of additional training. Training in a specific area of clinical interest, clinical and basic science experience, and training in cosmetic surgery were the most highly rated areas of additional training. The ideal time to receive this training was also assessed for each area of additional training. Postgraduate degrees in basic science, epidemiology, or clinical research were not highly rated. The highest rated personal accomplishments were the personal interview, letter of reference from the program chairperson, publications, and presentations. Despite the survey's attempt to evaluate factors other than personal characteristics (i.e., honesty, integrity, affability, etc.) more than 25 percent of the respondents indicated that these attributes are highly rated and cannot be judged separately. The information collected in this survey represents an opinion from 1994, which defines some of the factors that are considered important when residents and newly trained plastic surgeons are considering a career in academic plastic surgery.