UCSF is the only campus in the University of California system that is solely devoted to health sciences. There are schools of medicine, dentistry, nursing and pharmacy on campus; the medical school is over 135 years old. UCSF has one of the oldest plastic surgery residencies in the country. Established in 1951, the first chief of plastic surgery was Harry Blackfield, followed by William Morris. Steven Miller (presently Chair of the ABMS) headed the program briefly. Luis O. Vasconez took over in 1978; he and Dr. Stephen Mathes were the first full time faculty in plastic surgery at UCSF. Dr. Mathes became Chief of Plastic surgery in 1985 and directed the program until 2005, when he stepped down as chief and was succeeded by Dr. William Hoffman.
Beginning originally as more of a private practice based program, Dr. Vasconez and Dr. Mathes built the program to its present scope, with 8 full time and 15 clinical faculty. The residency expanded from four positions (2 per year) to six in 1994. The first coordinated residency position was offered in 1997; the coordinated program was expanded to three positions a year starting in 2002. A residency review site visit was performed in spring 2005 and the program received full accreditation for another three years; this was shortened from the usual five years because of the change in program directors.