American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Advisory Council for General Surgery News: Summer 2019

Greetings from the ACS General Surgery Advisory Council

The Advisory Council for General Surgery met at the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Clinical Congress 2017 in San Diego, CA, to discuss topics and activities relevant to the practice of general surgery. For additional information on the following updates, please reach out to the Advisory Council’s Communication Subcommittee:

Updates from the Council


There are more than 82,000 members of the ACS; approximately 50 percent are general surgeons. ACS membership continues to increase, with a record number of Initiates (approximately 2,000) for 2019.

Although membership in the College among U.S. graduates is increasing, there are challenges associated with recruiting subspecialty members, particularly in training tracts with early specialization that have less general surgery exposure than in the past.

Opportunities for enhanced membership recruitment and retention were discussed, including the requirement of the traditional three-year period between completion of training and ACS membership.

ACS Board of Regents Report

An outside consulting group, Weber Shandwick, has been engaged to help develop a global integrated communication strategy to improve communication with ACS fellows. A new, more personalized College News Scope called My ACS NewsScope is now available, which provides users with individually tailored health-related, economic, and global health care issues content via an artificial intelligence algorithm based on user preferences.

Collaboration among ACS Divisions, Advisory Councils and the Board of Governors was made a priority. Joint meetings of the Advisory Council Pillars with the Board of Governor Pillars were held during the 2019 Leadership & Advocacy Summit.

The Board of Regents approved and ACS Statement on Guidelines for Ethical Use of Social Media by Surgeons, which was published in the May issue of the ACS Bulletin. The guidelines are intended to provide guidance for how surgeons can maintain an online presence while adhering to the ACS standards of professionalism.

ACS IPV Task Force

The ACS Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Task Force was formed in January 2018 to raise awareness of this public health problem in the surgical community and to educate surgeons about the signs, consequences, and prevention and escape strategies associated with IPV. A tool kit was created with appropriate resources for surgeons.

ACS Foundation

Donations to the ACS Foundation can be made in honor of or in tribute to a person that has inspired or mentored you. The ACS Foundation supports skills courses at the Clinical Congress, Stop the Bleed® training in rural communities and elsewhere, patient education materials, fellowship research awards, Operation Giving Back, and other notable College programs.


A surgical quality verification program is being developed based on the standards recommended by the Optimal Resources for Surgical Quality and Safety (the Red Book). Site visits have been conducted at various hospitals to pilot test the program.

Clinical Congress 2019

One of the key functions of the Advisory Council for General Surgery is to provide program proposals for the annual Clinical Congress. The majority of programs at the Clinical Congress are generated from proposals sponsored or co-sponsored by the ACS Advisory Councils. The advisory councils were responsible for 132 proposals for Panel Sessions, Postgraduate and Skills Courses, Meet-the-Expert sessions and Town Hall meetings at last year’s Clinical Congress.