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

Medical Student Program

Medical Student Program

The ACS Division of Education invited students from all four years of medical school to participate in this program designed specifically for those considering a career in surgery. Programming was varied from day to day, and students were welcome to attend all or selected portions of the three-day program. The program was free to ACS Medical Student members who registered in advance. Nonmembers were charged a nominal registration fee. Learn about ACS Medical Student membership benefits.

Topics included exploring various lifestyle issues in surgery, decision making on the path to residency, navigating the residency application process, and interviewing successfully. Speakers included College leaders and surgical educators at both the medical student and resident levels. Students were able to practice some basic surgical skills and hone their interviewing technique in interactive sessions with surgeons, as well as network with specialty surgeons, residency program directors, surgical residents, and others.

Program Highlights

Sunday’s Program

Special features of Sunday’s program included an informal discussion on lifestyle issues in surgery entitled “Walk the Talk”: Work-Life Integration During Residency, followed by a presentation by Martha Zieger, MD, FACS. Later in the day, there was a networking event with surgeon representatives from different surgical specialties and various practice settings. Residency program administrators were also be on hand to answer “nuts and bolts” types of questions for aspiring residents.

Also incorporated in this program was the Medical Student Program e-Poster Session, during which 48 medical students presented their research in one of three categories: clinical research; basic science research; or outcomes, innovation, or education research. Surgeon and resident volunteer judges critiqued these presentations. First- and second-place winners in each category were formally recognized during Tuesday’s program.

Download the e-Poster Schedule

Monday’s Program

Special features of Monday’s program included a talk by Roy Phitayakorn, MD, MHPE (MEd), FACS, on technology in education. This was followed by a presentation on the Boston Marathon Bombing from a surgical perspective by David R. King, MD, FACS, followed by comments from ACS President, Ronald V. Maier, MD, FACS. Also featured were a resident panel discussing decision making on the path to residency and beyond, and roundtable sessions for students to learn and practice knot tying and suturing, discuss elements of an effective personal statement, and learn more about the residency application process. 

Tuesday’s Program

Tuesday’s program included a presentation by the Chair of the ACS Board of Regents Leigh A. Neumayer, MD, FACS. This was followed by a presentation by Ajit K. Sachdeva, MD, FACS, FRCSC, Director, ACS Division of Education. After, students learned the critical elements of the residency interview from an in-depth panel discussion, and then practiced their interviewing skills during an interactive session with surgeons. They then had the opportunity to informally network with residency program directors.

For additional information, contact Katie McKenzie at or at 312-202-5404. 

Sponsored by the Committee on Medical Student Education.