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

Advisory Council for Pediatric Surgery News: Winter 2017-2018

Happy New Year from the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Advisory Council for Pediatric Surgery. We hope that 2018 will be a year of personal and professional fulfillment. In an effort to make the activities of the ACS increasingly relevant and accessible to its pediatric surgical membership, we issue twice yearly newsletters on general activities of the College, and those of the Advisory Council. Our goal is to bring high value to you, the practicing pediatric surgeon.

Advisory Council Updates

Clinical Congress 2017

Diana L. Farmer, MD, FACS, FRCS, Chair of the ACS Board of Governors, received the Owen H. Wangensteen Scientific Forum Award at Clinical Congress 2017, in recognition of her extraordinary contributions as a surgeon-scientist and her exemplary role modeling for young investigators.

Dr. Farmer accepts the Owen H. Wangensteen Scientific Forum dedication from ACS Past-President, Courtney M. Townsend, Jr., MD, FACS.

Kathryn D. Anderson, MD, FACS, FRCS, ACS Past-President and a retired pediatric surgeon, delivered the Olga M. Jonasson Lecture titled A Quiet Pioneer Who Started a Revolution, which honored Elizabeth Garrett Anderson—the first woman surgeon in England, an advocate for women’s rights, and a champion of the underserved and underprivileged.

Dr. Anderson delivering the Olga M. Jonasson, MD, Named Lecture at Clinical Congress 2017.

Optimal Pediatric Surgical Care Task Force

Led by Mary Fallat, MD, FACS, Past-Chair of the ACS Advisory Council for Pediatric Surgery and Past-President of the American Pediatric Surgical Association, the Optimal Pediatric Surgical Care Task Force is exploring two areas of perceived gaps in children’s surgical care: rural/underserved populations and pediatric trauma services.

To understand the specific needs of pediatric trauma services, the task force—which has broad, national stakeholder support—has developed a needs assessment with a members’ survey. The survey is directed toward practicing rural and general surgeons who either take care of a percentage of children in their practice or evaluate and transfer children to a higher level of care. (Canadian surgeons will be surveyed separately at a later date.)

The task force is interested in learning more about the existing surgical resources for children in the U.S. and how to improve future care through training, Continuing Medical Education, and innovative communication models including telemedicine. Survey results will be shared through ACS communication platforms when they are available.

Surgical Volunteerism or Humanitarian Award

Pediatric surgeons continue to be ACS leaders in the area of surgical volunteerism. Consider nominating a colleague for one of the 2018 Surgical Volunteerism and Humanitarian Awards. These annual awards recognize surgeons who have made significant contributions to surgical care through organized volunteer activities or who have dedicated a significant portion of their surgical career to full-time or near full-time humanitarian efforts. The nomination deadline is February 28, 2018. For more information, contact or visit the awards web page.

Resident and Associate Society (RAS-ACS)

The RAS-ACS continues to offer a variety of opportunities for Resident and Associate Fellow engagement. The RAS asks all ACS members to encourage residents in their home programs to join the RAS, and to participate in the activities of the RAS Committees: Advocacy and Issues, Communications, Education, and Membership. The RAS also sponsors an interactive and archived webinar series that tackles issues of special relevance for young surgeons.

Hot Topics for Members

Maintenance of Certification (MOC)

The American Board of Surgery (ABS) announced changes in the program on lifelong learning and continuous board certification, formerly known as Maintenance of Certification. These changes are based on feedback received from diplomates. The changes are intended to offer surgeons greater flexibility and more practice relevant options for continuing their certification, to support them in their goal of life-long learning, and high quality patient care. The new program will feature shorter, lower-stakes, open-book assessments required every two years, with immediate feedback. Diplomates will be able to take the assessment on their own computer, at a time and place of their choosing. There will be no need to travel to a testing center.

The general surgery assessments will have two sections. One section will cover core surgical principles common to all areas of surgery, and for the other, diplomates will select from a list of practice-related components. More component choices will be added as the program develops and the ABS will be engaging diplomates and surgical societies for their input. For more information on continuous board certification, visit the ABS website.

The Opioid Epidemic

The ACS released a Statement on the Opioid Abuse Epidemic with a number of strategies including a prescription drug monitoring program, increased research regarding safe and effective prescription practices, establishing a program for at-risk veterans, and increased safety regulation for patients. The ACS also released a Statement on Opioids and Motor Vehicle Crash Prevention. For additional information on surgeon stewardship regarding the opioid epidemic, please see the August 2017 edition of the Bulletin of the ACS.

ACS Releases Optimal Resources for Surgical Quality and Safety

The Optimal Resources for Surgical Quality and Safety manual is intended to serve as a trusted resource for surgical leaders seeking to improve patient care in their institutions, departments, and practices. The “red book” introduces key concepts in quality, safety, and reliability and explores the essential elements that all hospitals should have in place to ensure the delivery of patient-centered care.

Specific topics covered in the manual include the following: the domains and phases of surgical care, peer and case review, responsibilities of the surgical quality officer, institutional infrastructure, privileging and credentialing, and more. The manual also includes a look at some of the “soft skills” that influence quality and safety in health care, as well as the individual surgeon’s responsibility to the patient, colleagues, and the next generation of surgeons.

Optimal Resources for Surgical Quality and Safety is available for $44.95 (includes shipping) for single copies (up to a quantity of nine) or $39.95 (includes shipping) for per copy for 10 copies or more on the ACS website or via Amazon.