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

News from the Neurological Surgery Advisory Council: Spring 2017

Message from the Chair

I work primarily at the Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia, and I have been a proud member of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) since 1997. As the newly elected Chair of the Advisory Council, I will do my best to provide the exemplary leadership of our previous Chair, Shelly D. Timmons, MD, PhD, FACS, FAANS, and I look forward to serving my fellow neurosurgeons in this unique capacity.

William C. Welch, MD, FACS
Advisory Council Chair

Clinical Congress 2016: Neurosurgery Overview

by Charles J. Prestigiacomo, MD, FACS
Advisory Council Program Liaison


The Advisory Council for Neurological Surgery sponsored sessions at Clinical Congress 2016 on such topics as polytrauma and spine access surgery. The Advisory Council also sponsored the Charles G. Drake History of Surgery Lecture, which was titled the Athletic Head Trauma: The Interface Between Sport, Science, Pseudoscience, Politics, and Money, and presented by H. Hunt Batjer, MD, FACS. Dr. Batjer provided a wonderfully erudite historical analysis of sport, science, and medicine, followed by a presentation on the genesis of the current treatment of athletes sustaining head injury.

The session titled Getting to the Right Spot: The Role of the Access Surgeon in Spine Surgery was moderated by Michael A. Golden, MD, FACS, and Dr. Welch and featured a robust primer on safe and effective access of the spine. Attendees learned the nuances of approaching the lumbosacral spine as well as the risks of vascular injury.

Ziad C. Sifri, MD, FACS, and Dr. Prestigiacomo moderated a session titled The Multidisciplinary Care of the Neurotrauma Patient, which described the challenges facing trauma surgeons and neurosurgeons in polytrauma. The lecture provided insightful and challenging questions from the audience, and included a presentation on the controversial dilemma of anticoagulants in the setting of head trauma. Two unique additions to this session were the discussions on managing geriatric patients in the setting of polytrauma and the important role of palliative care.

The future educational offerings at Clinical Congress, particularly as they relate to neurosurgery, promise to be both innovative and exciting. The development of an educational taxonomy for programming will bring an organized view of what the membership needs and expects from these educational sessions. This taxonomy will serve as a guide through which programming that is in alignment with the educational gaps of ACS members can be tracked and further developed. Furthermore, this taxonomy can offer an opportunity to develop special programming on a biannual/triannual cycle, which will appeal to surgeons and neurosurgeons alike.

Clinical Congress 2017: Save the Date

This year’s Clinical Congress is scheduled for October 22–26 in San Diego, at the San Diego Convention Center.

Registration opens in June for Clinical Congress 2017

ACS Committee on Trauma

The College’s 83-member Committee on Trauma (COT) oversees more than 3,500 Fellows working to develop and implement meaningful programs for trauma care in local, regional, national, and international arenas.

Our neurosurgery colleagues currently serving on the COT include the following (all MD, FACS):

  • Richard Ellenbogen, Seattle, WA
  • Jamshid Ghajar, Palo Alto, CA
  • Christopher J. Madden, Dallas, TX
  • Geoffrey T. Manley, San Francisco, CA
  • Daniel B. Michael, Royal Oak, MI
  • Craig H. Rabb, Oklahoma City, OK
  • John Ragheb, Miami, FL
  • Javed Siddiqi, Redlands, CA

Helmet Usage

The COT’s Subcommittee on Injury Prevention and Control prepared a statement to educate surgeons about the effectiveness of general helmet usage in preventing severe traumatic brain injury and to encourage surgeons to support legislation in their respective states.

Hot Topics for ACS Members

MACRA and QPP

Payment policies outlined in the Medicare Access and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) Reauthorization Act (MACRA) using the newly developed Quality Payment Program (QPP) are in the early stages of implementation. Videos are available on the ACS website to explain how to navigate the new Medicare physician payment system.

Concurrent Surgery

The issues related to distinguishing overlapping and concurrent surgery have received considerable attention in the lay and professional media prompting the College to explore and restate its position in its “Statement on Principles—the intraoperative responsibilities of the primary surgeon.”

OR Attire

The publication of operating room (OR) attire recommendations by the Association for periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN), and their adoption as required standards by regulatory agencies such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), led the ACS to develop its own guidelines for appropriate OR attire. In response to the original AORN recommendations, the ACS Young Fellows Association surveyed its constituents and has published a thoughtful article examining the issues of policy implementation without strong supporting evidence, and its effect on morale and maintaining an optimal and ethical practice environment.

Access New Surgeon and Resident Well-Being Resources

Surgeon Well-Being

Personal and professional well-being are vital to the success of members of the ACS and your patients. Many health care professionals experience periods of distress, yet few physicians seek help. In an effort to provide relief to interested surgeons, the ACS has compiled several resources to support surgeons and residents as they confront the challenges associated with surgical care.

One of these new resources is the Physician Well-Being Index. All U.S. Fellows and Associate Fellows in active practice, as well as Residents Members and Fellows in training, are invited to use this validated screening tool that provides an opportunity for you to better understand your overall well-being and identify areas of risk in comparison with physicians and residents across the nation. (Access for International members is not yet available). Local and national resources also will be tailored to you based on your results. The tool is completely anonymous. Your information and score is private, and your individual score will not be shared with anyone, including the ACS. 

Visit the ACS Surgeon Well-Being page to learn more about the tool and how to access it, as well as review other helpful resources.