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Additional Education

Cross-Specialty Summit on the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Surgical Training

Posted June 2, 2020

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) Division of Education organized and hosted a virtual Cross-Specialty Summit on the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Surgical Training May 27−28. Leaders from the ACS, certifying boards, specialty societies, review committees, and program director organizations from across the House of Surgery were invited to participate in the Summit.

Representatives of 12 surgical specialties participated in the Summit. Each surgical specialty highlighted challenges and opportunities with regard to teaching, assessment, certification, and accreditation within the domain of surgical training that have been affected by the pandemic and have charted a new course for the future. This overview was followed by small group discussions that addressed these topics in greater depth, with cross-specialty participation and an exciting exchange of ideas. The information and recommendations from this Summit will be of great benefit in transforming surgical training across the House of Surgery well into the future.

For further information, contact Ajit K. Sachdeva, MD, FACS, FRCSC, FSACME, Director, ACS Division of Education, at asachdeva@facs.org or 312-202-5405.

New Approaches to Educating Surgeons of the Present and Future: Determine the Decision-Making Skills of New Residents with ACS ERRA

Posted May 26, 2020

Uncertainties regarding the preparedness of entering residents are increasing because of the COVID-19 pandemic; hence, it will be more important than ever that training programs identify gaps. The American College of Surgeons (ACS) Division of Education has developed the ACS Entering Resident Readiness Assessment (ACS ERRA)—an online, case-based program that measures the clinical decision-making skills of entering surgical residents for cases frequently encountered at the beginning of residency. Now in its third year, this innovative assessment provides surgery program directors and residents with psychometrically rigorous measures of key decision-making skills needed to safely assume new clinical responsibilities.

The case scenarios address 20 clinical topics through special “key features” questions that specifically assess clinical decision-making skills, rather than simple recall of factual knowledge. The results of this formative assessment provide the percent correct in each topic area for the individual residents, for the program as a whole, and in aggregate form for comparison with other participating programs. Results can be used to identify strengths and highlight areas for reinforcement using learning plans and associated resources.

Participating programs will be asked to identify a time between June 15 and July 10 to administer the assessment. Enrolled residents will need to be excused from clinical duties for about three hours and can complete the assessment at the same time as one group, or individually at different times, as long as they have access to computers with an Internet connection in a proctored environment. The fee per resident is $105.

For additional information, visit ACS ERRA or e-mail acserra@facs.org. The enrollment deadline has been extended to June 5, 2020.

ACS Academy of Master Surgeon Educators Committee Addresses Challenges and Opportunities in Surgical Training during COVID-19

Posted May 19, 2020

COVID-19 has affected so many aspects of life. Lives have been lost, many people find themselves unemployed, life milestones such as weddings and graduations have been missed. Few adversities can affect the private surgeon in Arizona in a very similar manner to the surgical resident in Massachusetts. Resilience is defined as the ability to thrive in the face of adversity. A major tenet of resilience is positive psychology that relies on optimism. We learn that adversity is not personal, pervasive, or permanent. A growth mindset guides us to thrive and improve as a result of the adversity we are facing.

It is with this spirit of resilience and positive thinking that the ACS Academy of Master Surgeon Educators™ set up a Special Committee, co-chaired by L.D. Britt, MD, MPH, DSc(Hon), FACS, FCCM, FRCSEng(Hon), FRCSEd(Hon), FWACS(Hon), FRCSI(Hon), FCS(SA)(Hon), FRCSGlasg(Hon), ACS Past-President, and Ajit K. Sachdeva, MD, FACS, FRCSC, FSACME, Director, ACS Division of Education, to explore ways of innovating and improving surgical education in the aftermath of COVID-19. The goal of the committee from inception in March 2020 was to assist surgical educators who were living with a surge of COVID-19 or who were anticipating it, with the task of teaching their learners. A second objective of the committee was to document the effects of COVID-19 on surgical education. The final purpose was to use this adversity to innovate in surgical education. The latter objective led to the formation of the Subcommittee on Novel Teaching and Assessment Methods.

The members of this subcommittee include Mohsen M. Shabahang, MD, PhD, FACS (Chair); ACS Regent Anthony Atala, MD, FACS; Dr. Britt; Paris Butler, MD, MPH; ACS Regent James Denneny, MD, FACS; Brenessa Lindemann, MD, MEHP; John Mellinger, MD, FACS; Dr. Sachdeva; and Kathryn Spanknebel, MD, FACS. The group began deliberations in late March through a series of interviews with each member. The fundamental tenets that emerged from these early deliberations can be summarized in the following principles:

  • There is a need for increased communications among thought leaders in surgical education, such as members of the Academy, to discuss and curate the innovations that will be necessary as a result of the pandemic.
  • The use of virtual methods for communication and education should be used to allow for the purpose of “democratization” of surgical education, allowing all learners in different programs access to thought leaders and experts.
  • These concepts should be used to provide some guidelines for long-lasting innovation in surgical education, including concepts of distance learning.

This group has met weekly and, through an iterative process, arrived at action items and deliverables for the principles above. Some action items have already been set in motion, some will be done over the next month, and others will take form over the next few months. Here is a list of deliverables:

  1. Increased communication among surgical educators: The most important deliverable in this area is the creation of the Academy listserv. The Academy listserv was created to allow the exchange of ideas between members in a dynamic, organic, and flexible fashion. We plan to promote discussions about issues that are facing us in the aftermath of COVID-19. However, this mechanism will allow for a continual discussion of issues pertinent to surgical educators. We believe that the postings and discussions will illuminate areas of debate that can then be further explored in other forums.
  2. The discussions of the subcommittee in the arena of utility of virtual learning methods has led to two areas of focus:
    1. Virtual grand rounds: Throughout our surgical careers, we have held the concept of grand rounds as an opportunity to be exposed to a thought leader who traveled to our institution. What if this could be accessible at our discretion any time? That is the thought process behind this concept. The subcommittee plans for this process to take shape in three different ways:
      1. Make available archived audio and video recordings of lectures from the ACS Clinical Congress to membership.
      2. Provide a live virtual grand rounds with experts starting in June 2020. These will be recorded and made available in an asynchronous fashion.
      3. Archive and provide access to recordings of grand rounds delivered by visiting professors donated by departments of surgery.
    2. Surgical learning collaboratives: The members of the subcommittee have discussed methods for bringing groups of learning programs together to share resources. These resources can be in the form of faculty and their expertise, assessment methods, and simulation. Many programs already do this in the form of regional mock orals. We anticipate that by possibly linking this concept to the Consortium of ACS-Accredited Education Institutes, we can further formalize some of these relationships. Through the use of virtual methods, we can downplay the limitations of physical distance in surgical education.
  3. As we considered the most pressing issues in surgical education, especially in the era of COVID-19, the subcommittee has decided to focus on two areas:
    1. Virtual interviews: As many have used virtual technology for didactic teaching, high-stakes examination such as the Certifying Exam of the American Board of Surgery, and fellowship interviews, the group plans on studying the use of virtual interviews in the recruitment of surgical learners. This takes on more significance as organizations such as the American Association of Medical Colleges have recommended virtual interviews for the recruitment season in 2020–2021. The plan is to explore this topic through the viewpoint of program directors, learners, and our colleagues in the business world. The logistics and reliability of the interview as an assessment tool will be addressed. These guidelines will be published by August 2020, before the start of the next recruitment season.
    2. Telemedicine: One of the most significant outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic in the medical world has been the intense increase in the use of telemedicine for patient visits. This technology provides obstacles to surgical education, but the opportunities far outweigh the challenges. The subcommittee membership will be exploring best practices in incorporating surgical learners into clinical visits using telemedicine. We will further explore opportunities that telemedicine offers in surgical education.

In summary, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused much suffering. Ironically, as much as physical travel has been reduced, the pandemic has allowed us to explore ways in which virtual technology brings us closer together as a community. The work of this subcommittee has focused on applying this reality to surgical education.

RISE Article Discusses Using Neuroscience of Learning to Prepare for ABSITE Test

Posted May 12, 2020

A new Resources in Surgical Education (RISE) article, “These three practical tips can help you use the neuroscience of learning to successfully prepare for the ABSITE Exam,” is available online. This article describes several self-directed learning techniques as a tool to better prepare residents for the American Board of Surgery In-Training Examination (ABSITE) and is intended for surgical residents, program directors in surgery, and surgical educators. The specific learning objectives of the article are as follows:

  • Describe the basic features and rationale of three neuroscience of learning concepts (testing effect, retrieval practice, and interleaving)
  • Describe how these concepts have been shown to be effective in improving learning
  • Provide specific examples of how these can be used and leveraged by residents and faculty in preparation for ABSITE

The article is available on the RISE web page by selecting “Articles” on the left navigation pane.

Contact Krashina Hudson at khudson@facs.org or at 312-202-5335 for additional information.

Medical Students: Has Your Education Been Affected by COVID-19? New ACS National Professional Development Seminars Can Help

Posted May 12, 2020

With the recent disruption of medical education resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, medical students have found it difficult to access the requisite guidance they need to chart their pathway toward surgical careers. To address this situation, the American College of Surgeons Division of Education has planned two webinars titled the National Professional Development Seminars for Medical Students. These webinars are being conducted under the aegis of the Committee on Medical Student Education. Medical students are encouraged to avail themselves to the advice of this robust panel of seasoned surgical educators.

The first live webinar is scheduled for Thursday, May 14, 7:00 pm Central Time and will be targeted toward rising fourth-year medical students.

The second is scheduled for Tuesday, May 19, 7:00 pm Central and will address the concerns of second- and third-year students.

Both webinars are offered at no cost and will be recorded for subsequent viewing.

Faculty will include:

Ajit K. Sachdeva, MD, FACS, FRCSC, FSACME
Director, ACS Division of Education

Stephen C. Yang, MD, FACS
Chair, ACS Committee on Medical Student Education

Jesse S. Moore, MD, FACS
Past-Chair, Association for Surgical Education (ASE) Clerkship Directors Committee

Ranjan Sudan, MD, FACS
Curriculum Co-Director, ACS/ASE Medical Student Core Curriculum
Past-President, ASE

Jennifer N. Choi, MD, FACS
Executive Committee, Association of Program Directors in Surgery (APDS)

Paul J. (PJ) Schenarts, MD, FACS
Vice-Chair, ACS Committee on Medical Student Education
Past-President, Association of Program Directors in Surgery

Medical Students should register in advance for this meeting using the following links:

National Professional Development Seminars for Medical Students - Webinar 1
May 14, 7:00 pm Central

National Professional Development Seminars for Medical Students - Webinar 2
May 19, 7:00 om Central

Questions from medical students are invited beforehand and may be submitted at MSAdvising@facs.org. For those students unable to attend, the recorded webinars will be available for viewing in the near future.

For details about registration, contact Brad DeFabo Akin at bakin@facs.org or Kim Echert at kechert@facs.org.

For additional information, please contact Ajit K. Sachdeva, MD, FACS, FRCSC, FSACME, asachdeva@facs.org.

Board and RRC Updates

Posted May 12, 2020

Final Report and Recommendations for Medical Education Institutions of LCME-Accredited, U.S. Osteopathic, and Non-U.S. Medical School Applicants

ACS Online Platforms and Educational Initiatives

Posted May 8, 2020

In response to the challenges of providing live educational programming during the COVID-19 pandemic, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Division of Education is providing access to several programs through an online format that meets the needs of learners.

The ACS Learning and Content Management System (LCMS) is fully integrated with the ACS website, the ACS member database, and the MyCME (Continuing Medical Education) platforms. The content management system delivers more than 45 online educational programs to various groups of learners, with more than 16,000 ACS members enrolled to date. The LCMS also supports the dissemination of the ePosters from Clinical Congress 2019.

Various virtual meeting and video hosting technologies—including live (synchronous) and prerecorded (asynchronous) programs—are currently being explored to efficiently record and disseminate critical information to learners. In addition, electronic tools are being used to promote collaboration across programs.

The ACS is evaluating various technology platforms, in a fiscally responsible manner, with the goal of delivering the content of several large conventions and meetings, which will benefit both the learners and the faculty.

Training of staff, as well as the formation of committees and workgroups, are essential to support the wide array of programs available, and these efforts are in progress.

Horizon-scanning and evaluation of new technologies is an ongoing process. The support of ACS leaders, members, and staff is greatly appreciated.

For further information, contact Olivier Petinaux, MS, Senior Manager, Distance Education and E-Learning, ACS Division of Education, at opetinaux@facs.org, or Ajit K. Sachdeva, MD, FACS, FRCSC, FSACME, Director, Division of Education at asachdeva@facs.org.

ACS Expands E-Learning Opportunities

Posted May 5, 2020

To support ACS members affected by the cancellation of live educational activities, the ACS Division of Education offers a variety of virtual, high-quality educational programs. These include the ACS Entering Resident Readiness Assessment (ACS ERRA), as well as the three phases of the ACS/Association of Program Directors in Surgery (APDS) Resident Skills Curriculum: Core Skills, Advanced Procedures, and Team-Based Skills.

ACS Entering Resident Readiness Assessment (ACS ERRA)

Target Audience: Surgical Residency Program Directors

ACS ERRA is a formative assessment designed to give surgical residency program directors insights into the preparedness of entering postgraduate year one (PGY-1) residents to assume their new clinical responsibilities. Using a proven key-features approach, ACS ERRA focuses on clinical decision making, rather than simple recall of factual knowledge. The online assessment includes 40 cases and covers an array of important clinical topic areas. The results of the assessment are provided as individual reports for residents and aggregated reports for program directors that show the performance of their program as a whole as well as in comparison with all participating residents. To get the most value from the ACS ERRA, each resident and program director is provided with instructions and a template for formulating individual learning plans to help residents address areas that need additional preparation or reinforcement.

Now in its third year, the administration window for the 2020 ACS ERRA is June 15 to July 3, and enrollment is open until May 29.

For additional information, contact Melissa Gesbeck, PhD, at mgesbeck@facs.org or 312-202-5154, or Kevin Wasielewski, MPH, MBA, at kwasielewski@facs.org or 312-202-5746.

ACS/APDS Surgery Resident Skills Curriculum–Phase 1: Core Skills

Target Audience: Faculty, Residents, Medical Students

The ACS/APDS Surgery Resident Skills Curriculum–Phase 1: Core Skills is designed to teach 16 essential surgical skills to residents in the early stages of their training, ranging from the principles of asepsis and knot tying to basic laparoscopic skills and anastomoses. This curriculum recently was redesigned to be more comprehensive, interactive, and user friendly for educators and resident learners. The curriculum includes self-paced modules and expert performance videos for resident learners. It also includes objective assessments, proficiency-level recommendations, and comprehensive instructions to set up each simulation for faculty and staff.

For more information, contact Kim Echert at kechert@facs.org.

ACS/APDS Surgery Resident Skills Curriculum–Phase 2: Advanced Procedures

Target Audience: Faculty, Residents

The ACS/APDS Surgery Resident Skills Curriculum–Phase 2: Advanced Procedures is designed to teach mid- to senior-level resident learners how to perform more complex procedures. This phase contains instructions for simulating 15 common surgical procedures from laparoscopic appendectomy to hernia repair and colon resection.

For more information, contact Ms. Echert at kechert@facs.org.

ACS/APDS Surgery Resident Skills Curriculum–Phase 3: Team-Based Skills

Target Audience: Faculty, Residents

The ACS/APDS Surgery Resident Skills Curriculum–Phase 3: Team-Based Skills is designed to teach residents optimal team behavior through simulation. This modular curriculum covers 10 scenarios in which the surgeon must work with a team for a successful patient outcome and includes topics ranging from patient handoffs to a variety of emergent patient cases. The curriculum includes suggestions for developing and implementing successful simulated cases to teach and assess resident team skills.

For more information, contact Ms. Echert at kechert@facs.org.

Educating and Advising Medical Students during and after the COVID-19 Pandemic

Posted May 1, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in new regulations at both the national and local levels that are significantly affecting medical student education and career counseling. The ACS Division of Education has taken several steps to address these challenges.

Major changes in medical student rotations on surgery and surgery specialty services have occurred during the third year of medical school, and some fourth-year student sub-internships and elective rotations are likely to be affected. Medical students, particularly those individuals interested in pursuing surgical careers, have not been exposed to clinical and technical experiences that are necessary for optimal education in surgery.

Furthermore, the lack of exposure or insufficient exposure to surgical faculty both in university settings and in community locations has resulted in inadequate guidance, advising, and mentoring for medical students within the context of structuring their fourth-year rotations, pursuing specific educational opportunities, and preparing appropriately to enter surgery training programs. These significant gaps need to be addressed without delay, with a special focus on medical students interested in pursuing surgical careers. The ACS Division of Education has taken several steps to address these challenges, as outlined in this news brief.

The ACS Division of Education, in collaboration with the Association for Surgical Education (ASE), has developed state-of-the-art curricula for all medical students focusing on cognitive, clinical, and technical skills. The ACS/ASE Medical Student Core Curriculum includes 22 online modules and the ACS/ASE Medical Student Simulation-Based Skills Curriculum contains 33 modules. In addition, the Division of Education has developed a Prep Curriculum in collaboration with the Association of Program Directors in Surgery and ASE. The latter curriculum is aimed at senior medical students after the match who are preparing to enter surgery training programs. The Prep Curriculum includes 23 core essential modules that senior medical students need to complete and more than 40 modules from which course directors may choose to provide fourth-year medical students based on the individual learning needs and local institutional resources. The Division of Education has developed an online curriculum builder site to facilitate the creation of individualized experiences for medical students. A certificate is provided by the ACS affirming the completion of the Prep Curriculum, and a list of specific modules that each student has completed is appended.

The modules of the ACS/ASE Medical Student Core Curriculum are being coupled with live tutorials and these will be made available to medical students as online interactive webinars and also recorded for later access. In addition, the aforementioned curricula are being bundled to provide medical students as well as clerkship and course directors with packaged resources that are modular and can be readily accessed online.

Plans also are under way to offer a surgical skills program to third-year medical students the summer prior to the start of the fourth-year rotations to address gaps in technical skills. In addition, webinars are being planned to offer medical students guidance and advice relating to career planning and educational needs.

The Division of Education also is pursuing a national mentoring program to allow medical students to benefit from the expertise of mentors from university- and community-based settings across the U.S. who are willing to work with the medical students remotely.

For additional information, contact Ajit K. Sachdeva, MD, FACS, FRCSC, FSACME, Director, ACS Division of Education, at asachdeva@facs.org.

ACS Home Skills Kits Help Patients, Caregivers Implement Complex Care at Home during Pandemic

Posted April 28, 2020

Some patients and their caregivers are struggling to implement complex care in the home—many without the support of home care nurses due to COVID-19 restrictions. Best practice patient education resources and skills training are available to meet these training needs.

Surgical Patient Education Home Skills Kits provided by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Division of Education Patient Education Program are a valuable resource to patients, caretakers, and health care providers. These evidence-based programs use video and booklets with step-by-step instructions and checklists to effectively support self-care postdischarge. Training for management of ostomies, feeding tubes, central lines, and complex wounds is available through digital, print, and e-learning programs. Surgical professionals have identified these skills kits as effective self-care resources that reduce complications and improve confidence in care and patient satisfaction.

Surgical Patient Education Home Skills Kits are available on the ACS website, and links also may be placed on your website as well as sent directly to a patient electronically or via their portal. The electronic resources, including the new e-learning courses, are offered at no charge. The kits with simulation equipment can be purchased and sent directly to a patient, and are covered by patients’ health savings accounts.

Add these links to your website and refer patients, caretakers, and health care providers to the following resources:

Each of the Wound Programs in the preceding list includes a comprehensive booklet and access to all of the following skills videos:

Academy of Master Surgeon Educators Special Committee Creates Pandemic Survey

Posted April 24, 2020

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) Academy of Master Surgeon Educators Special Committee—under the guidance of ACS Past-President L.D. Britt, MD, MPH, EdD(Hon), FACS, and Ajit K. Sachdeva, MD, FACS, FRCSC, FSACME, Director, ACS Division of Education—was formed to collect information from surgical educators and assess the impact of COVID-19 on surgical education programs. A survey was created to determine the following aspects of the pandemic: how it changes over time; the frequency of infection with COVID-19 for faculty, surgical trainees, and medical students; and how it affects surgical education. The Special Committee anticipates that the aggregate data will be analyzed by mid-summer 2020 to determine the educational challenges posed by the pandemic and solutions going forward. Read more about the Special Committee here.

ACS Offers E-Learning Educational Programs

Posted April 21, 2020

To support the ACS members affected by the cancellation of live educational activities, the ACS Division of Education offers a variety of online, high-quality educational programs. Read more here about the ACS Fundamentals of Surgery Curriculum® and Introduction to the ACS Fundamentals of Surgery Curriculum® for Medical Students, as part of our series of programs featured in this newsletter.

ACS Fundamentals of Surgery Curriculum

Target Audience: Surgical Residency Programs for Entering Postgraduate Year (PGY)-1 Surgery Residents

The ACS Fundamentals of Surgery Curriculum (ACS FSC) is a case-based, online curriculum that residency programs purchase for their new residents to reinforce the critical knowledge required for the first months of residency. Using cognitive simulation, the learners work through 108 case scenarios addressing 14 essential content areas. Enrollment includes self-evaluations for residents and reporting for program officials.

ACS FSC—Urology Select Cases
Target Audience:
Urology Residency Programs for their Entering PGY-1 Urology Residents

A subset of ACS FSC case scenarios most relevant to PGY-1 urology residents. Includes 76 case scenarios across 11 essential content areas.

ACS FSC—Otolaryngology Select Cases
Target Audience: Otolaryngology Residency Programs for their Entering PGY-1 Otolaryngology Residents

A subset of ACS FSC case scenarios most relevant to PGY-1 otolaryngology residents. Includes 63 case scenarios across 11 essential content areas.

ACS FSC—Orthopaedic Surgery Select Cases
Target Audience: Orthopaedic Residency Programs for their Entering PGY-1 Orthopaedic Residents

A subset of ACS FSC case scenarios most relevant to PGY-1 orthopaedic surgery residents. Includes 67 case scenarios across 10 essential content areas.

Introduction to the ACS Fundamentals of Surgery Curriculum® for Medical Students

Target Audience: 4th Year Medical Students and Medical School Faculty

The ACS Division of Education is offering a selection of ACS FSC case scenarios to medical schools and students at no cost.

For more information, please contact Kim Echert at fundamentalsofsurgery@facs.org.

Free Access to E-Posters from Clinical Congress 2019

Posted April 17, 2020

Clinical Congress 2019 e-Poster presentations are now available from the American College of Surgeons with Continuing Medical Education Credit available in three categories: General Surgery, Trauma/Burns/Critical Care, and e-Posters of Exceptional Merit.

The e-Posters for Clinical Congress 2019 were selected by the Committee for the Owen H. Wangensteen Scientific Forum. The Scientific Forum provides a platform for scientific and surgical researchers across all levels of training and experience, including junior scientific investigators, to present original research.

ACS Offers E-Learning Educational Programs

Posted April 14, 2020

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) Division of Education offers a spectrum of online educational resources that support members of the College affected by the cancellation of live in-person training as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The College programs include Selected Readings in General Surgery (SRGS®), ACS Multimedia Atlas of Surgery, the UltraSound Essentials for Surgeons (USES) Course, Clinical Congress 2019 Webcasts.

In addition see Surgical Education and Self-Assessment Program 17, Evidence-Based Decision in Surgery, and Optimizing Perioperative Pain Management: An Evidence-Based Approach.

Selected Readings in General Surgery

Target Audience: Practicing Surgeons, Surgery Residents

SRGS continues to publish evidence-based reviews of the medical literature and the cycle of topics is designed to cover the field of General Surgery in 33 months. The education and self-assessment model of SRGS is especially designed to promote mastery of learning in surgery, and multiple journal subscription types are available, including various with Continuing Medical Education (CME) online-only formats, three resident formats, and several print formats. One of SRGS's latest new online-only offerings is a freely available audio companion.

The SRGS program contains an overview providing reviews of approximately 110 articles per issue. These are chosen from the medical literature by the surgeon expert. Also included is a concise review of 10 recently published articles accompanied by an expert commentary for each article, as well as an editorial “The Knowledgeable Surgeon.”

SRGS offers the opportunity to earn 80 Self-Assessment Credits per year, and 20 multiple-choice questions are available for a CME test.

For additional information, contact Whitney L. Greer, Managing Editor, at wgreer@facs.org.

ACS Multimedia Atlas of Surgery

Target Audience: Practicing Surgeons, Surgery Residents

A comprehensive, atlas-style text, the ACS Multimedia Atlas of Surgery volumes include open and laparoscopic surgical techniques in the following domains:

  • Bariatric Surgery
  • Liver Surgery
  • Pancreas Surgery
  • Hernia Surgery
  • Colorectal Surgery

For more information, contact Olivier Petinaux at opetinaux@facs.org.

UltraSound Essentials for Surgeons Course

Target Audience: Practicing Surgeons, Surgery Residents

he online, on-demand USES course provides the learner with basic education and training in ultrasound imaging as a foundation for specific clinical applications. It fulfills the prerequisite needed for ACS Ultrasound Skills Courses and offers the opportunity to earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ and claim Self-Assessment Credit.

For more information, contact Olivier Petinaux at opetinaux@facs.org.

Clinical Congress 2019 Webcasts

Target Audience: Practicing Surgeons, Surgery Residents

Webcasts from Clinical Congress 2019 sessions are available online and organized by track. Sessions not eligible for CME Credit include "No CME" in the title. CME Credit claiming is available until December 31, 2020.

For more information, contact Olivier Petinaux at opetinaux@facs.org.

ACS AEI Webinar: Simulation Training for COVID-19 Caregivers”

Posted April 10, 2020

Simulation Training for COVID-19 Caregivers—an archived webinar presented April 6—can now be accessed free-of-charge here. The webinar features speakers from Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey; University of Toronto, ON; and University of Wisconsin–Madison/UW Health, who discuss simulated training scenarios at their institutions. The webinar is part of the American College of Surgeons Accredited Education Institutes (ACS-AEI) Virtual Seminar Series.

Download the print-friendly overview

New Online Program: Introduction to the ACS Fundamentals of Surgery Curriculum® (ACS FSC) for Medical Student

Posted April 3, 2020

Available at No Cost

This new online program will help medical students and medical school faculty whose educational plans have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a goodwill gesture, the ACS Division of Education is providing six online interactive surgical case scenarios that address basic surgical concepts to medical schools and students for their use. 

Providing these basic six case scenarios immediately will address the urgent needs of the medical education community to provide online materials for their students. Unlike the ACS FSC for residents, learners will not need to be registered or enrolled, nor will tracking or assessments be provided. What is provided is pure educational content—available at no cost to 4th-year medical students and faculty.  Feedback via a short three-question survey is requested. Some students may be provided the entire curriculum of ACS FSC by their receiving residency program.

The six case scenarios include:

  • Patient and Practitioner Safety
  • Introduction to Postoperative Hypotension
  • Postoperative Hypotension
  • Pulmonary Issues
  • Wound Care
  • Fluid & Electrolyte Management

These case scenarios are available now on the website and will be available through May 15, 2020.

These interactive, online case scenarios:

  • Require no faculty involvement or oversight
  • Teach fundamental surgical concepts through decision making in simulated patient cases
  • Can be used in remote interactive conferences

This program has been developed with the input and support from the ACS Division of Education and the ACS FSC team led by Curriculum Directors, Drs. Patricia J. Numann and James C. Hebert. Providing these educational materials will help.  

Should you have any questions, please contact Stephanie Hermes, ACS FSC Administrator, at fundamentalsofsurgery@facs.org.  

Download the print-friendly overview

Webcast Available—Telemedicine, Telehealth, and Telemonitoring in Surgical Practice—from the 2019 ACS Clinical Congress

Posted April 3, 2020

Available at No Cost

As health care professionals are seeking information about how to maintain social distancing during the COVID-19 Pandemic, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Division of Education has made available at no cost the webcast from the 2019 ACS Clinical Congress on Telemedicine, Telehealth, and Telemonitoring.

This session discussed the development of a telemedicine program, reviewed successful ophthalmology programs—especially in the Veterans Affairs System—and related its value to rural surgery practices, as well as to busy inner-city hospital systems. Please click on the links below to view each presentation from this timely Panel Session.

Download the print-friendly overview

ACS Mastery in General Surgery Program Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

Posted April 3, 2020

During the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Mastery in General Surgery Program understands that many sites are continuing to recruit for the next class and/or will begin recruiting for 2021, as appropriate. The program supports institutional efforts to follow local guidance, restrict travel, and conduct interviews remotely. Program participants, prospective participants, and participating institutions should contact MasteryGS@facs.org or 312-202-5653 for advice or for answers to any questions.

ACS Division of Education Takes Steps to Address the Pandemic

Posted March 27, 2020

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) Division of Education has embarked on a major effort to address education and training needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The following steps have been taken:

  1. A Special Committee of the ACS Academy of Master Surgeon Educators has been appointed to identify challenges and propose innovative solutions in surgery residency training and medical student education. The work of this committee is aimed at ensuring optimal outcomes across all surgical specialties.
  2. A resource document is being developed to list and briefly describe the innovative E-learning Programs of the Division of Education to address specific needs in surgery residency training and medical student education.
  3. Changes in the requirements for relicensure and CME Credits to support this process from various licensing authorities across the country are being compiled and will be made available and kept updated to support surgeons in practice.
  4. Specific patient education resources have been developed to support the work of practicing surgeons and surgical teams.

We look forward to your comments and suggestions and wish you the very best of health during this pandemic.

Ajit K. Sachdeva, MD, FACS, FRCSC, FSACME
Director, Division of Education

States Alter Licensing Renewals during COVID-19 Pandemic

Updated April 13, 2020

The Certification, Validation, and Accreditation Section of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Division of Education has created a list of states that have altered license renewal schedules and/or Continuing Medical Education (CME) requirements as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The following information has been extracted from web pages of various licensing authorities for your convenience. If your state does not appear in the list below, it is because we have no information from your state at this time. The ACS encourages members to continue to check directly with their licensing board for additional COVID-19 updates.

State COVID-19 Emergency Response Altered License
Renewal Schedules and/or CME Requirements

ARIZONA

  • State of Arizona Executive Order 2020-17 defers requirements to renew licenses if the renewals cannot be completed online. Physicians are able to renew Arizona licenses online. There is no renewal extension for physicians at this time.

CALIFORNIA

  • Waiver of any CME or examination requirements for the renewal of licenses that expire from March 31, 2020, through June 30, 2020. Licensees will be allowed six months after the state of emergency declaration is lifted to make up these requirements.
COLORADO
  • A provider with an expired or lapsed license, registration, or certification may operate within a 60-day grace period without being subject to penalties or fines. Note: Medical professionals must be aware of reimbursement and liability concerns beyond the date of license expiration.

CONNECTICUT

  • If your license was active on or after March 30, 2020, your license will not expire during the COVID-19 civil preparedness emergency. You will be able to renew your license at any time now and during the six-month period following the date of the resumption of the renewal requirements

FLORIDA

  • The governor has directed all agencies to suspend licensing and renewal requirements for existing professional licenses for 30 days.

FLORIDA (DO)

  • The Florida Board of Osteopathic Medicine waived the requirement for live, participatory attendance for certain continuing medical education credit hours.
  • Osteopathic physicians may complete the following continuing medical education requirements via distance learning: Florida Laws/and Rules; Professional and Medical Ethics; and, Prevention of Medical Errors.

IDAHO

  • The 2020 spring license renewal period has been extended through October 2020.

ILLINOIS

  • The state has automatically extended licenses through September 30, 2020.
  • All requirements for in-person continuing medical education and all deadlines and other requirements for continuing medical education that are unable to be satisfied due to the health emergency, are suspended during the period of this health emergency. If a licensee is unable to complete the required continuing medical education required for renewal of their Iowa medical license due to the health emergency, they should note that on their next renewal application.

IOWA

  • All license renewal requirements and deadlines are suspended during the period of this health emergency. If a licensee had an active medical license on March 22, 2020, the expiration date will be automatically extended for the duration of this health emergency.

MAINE

  • The governor has issued an order that keeps licenses from expiring or needing to be renewed for 30 days after the end of declaration of the emergency (including CME requirements).

MARYLAND

  • All physicians whose licenses have or will come up for renewal during the State of Emergency, which was declared on March 10, 2020, shall have their renewal date extended until 90 day after the end of the Emergency.

MASSACHUSETTS

  • All physicians whose licenses have or will come up for renewal during the State of Emergency, which was declared on March 10, 2020, shall have their renewal date extended until 90 day after the end of the Emergency.

MICHIGAN

  • Effective immediately and continuing through April 14, 2020 at 11:59 pm, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) may renew a license to practice, regardless of whether the licensee has satisfied the continuing education requirement applicable to their license.
  • Effective immediately and continuing through April 14, 2020 at 11:59 pm, LARA may recognize hours worked responding to the COVID-19 emergency as hours toward continuing education courses or programs required for licensure.

MINNESOTA

  • The Minnesota health-related licensing boards are authorized to defer continuing education requirements until the first full reporting cycle following the termination of the peacetime emergency declared by Executive Oder 20-01.

MISSISSIPPI

  • The June 30, 2020 Continuing Medical Education (CME) requirement has been extended to December 31, 2020. Licensee will still be required to renew their licenses during the May 1 to June 30, 2020 renewal period.

NEBRASKA

  • Nebraska has deferred continuing competency requirements and license renewal fees until 30 days after the lifting of the COVID-19 state of emergency.

NEW MEXICO

  • Should providers find they are unable to complete required 75 CME's for renewal, an extension of 3 months can be provided upon request for an "emergency deferral." Licensees must petition the board prior to the renewal date for an "emergency deferral" if they find they cannot obtain the required number of CMEs.

NEW YORK

  • For licensees whose registrations are due to renew between March 1 and June 1, 2020, the Department will grant an adjustment to all licensees to complete up to 100% of the continuing education as self-study, so long as it is taken from a Department-approved provided and is in an acceptable subject area for the specific profession.

OHIO

  • Beginning immediately, the Medical Board will suspend enforcement of the continuing education requirements and the renewal of licenses issued by the State Medical Board of Ohio. This includes, but is not limited to, the requirement for Ohio physicians to obtain 50 hours of Category 1 CME at the time of license renewal. The exercise of the enforcement discretion is effective the March 9, 2020 and will apply to renewals due by March 1, 2021.

OKLAHOMA

  • The deadline for licenses due to expire between March 25 and April 30 has been extended to May 14, 2020. The month and day of the original expiration date will resume in 2021.

RHODE ISLAND

  • Medical licenses due to expire July 1, 2020, are granted a 90-day extension for renewal with no penalties or late fees.
  • Requirements for Continuing Education Units (CEU) for these licenses are also waived

TENNESSEE - Renewal Deadline Extension

TENNESSEE – CME Extension

  • The relevant provisions of Tennessee Code and related rules are hereby suspended to the extent necessary to extend the current expiration dates for health care professionals to renew their license, certificate, or registration set to expire between March 12, 2020, and the date on which this Order terminates for three (3) months, during which time the holder of each license may continue to legally operate or practice their profession. When each license is renewed, its new expiration date shall be twenty-four (24) months after the expiration date it had prior to this Order.
  • The provisions of Tennessee Code Annotated and related rules and policies are hereby suspended to the extent necessary to suspend the requirement that individuals complete or submit proof of completing continuing education requirements or otherwise demonstrate continuing competence as a condition of reinstating a license, certification, or registration. The Commissioner of Health shall reasonably extend the deadline for these requirements as necessary to respond to the effects of COVID-19.

TEXAS

  • The Texas Medical Board has automatically extended license and permit expiration dates through August 31, 2020 for physicians whose current permit expired/expires on February 28, 2020 or May 31, 2020.

UTAH

  • The requirement to participate in “live” CE hours is suspended for those with license expiration dates between now and September 30, 2020.

VERMONT

  • Vermont will allow a continuing medical education extension of up to 180 days and provide alternatives to face-to-face CME opportunities impacted by COVID-19. Online courses and training will be allowed. An extension will be granted if you are unable to complete your continuing medical education due to any of the following circumstances: The in-person CME activity was cancelled due to COVID-19; You feel your health may be at risk by attending an in-person CME activity due to the spread of COVID-19; and/or, You feel your health may be at risk by the required travel to attend an in-person CME activity due to the spread of COVID-19

VIRGINIA

If the licensee is unable to complete all of the required 60 hours of CME due to the COVID-19 crisis, he/she will indicate this at the time of license renewal. The licensee will then be asked to explain the reasons he/she was unable to complete the 60 hours (i.e. canceled courses). (Per 18VAC85-20-235, G)

WASHINGTON

  • The Continuing Medical Education requirement has been suspended until midnight on April 25, 2020.
  • License renewal requirements have been suspended until midnight on April 25, 2020.

WEST VIRGINIA

  • West Virginia has suspended the requirement that medical licenses are only valid for two years for the duration of the State of Emergency.
  • The state has also suspended the requirement that physicians biennially furnish proof of completion of 32 hours of CME prior to renewal.

WYOMING

  • The Wyoming Board of Medicine has adopted an emergency rule extending the current license expiration date of its licensees from June 30, 2020, to September 30, 2020.

If you have any questions, please contact Yekaterina Baker, MA, Senior Manager, Educational Verification and Credit Systems, Division of Education, at ybaker@facs.org.

COVID-19 Impact on Licensing and Certification

Posted March 31, 2020

As health professionals are increasingly called upon to address the impact of COVID-19 in their communities and patient populations, state medical and specialty boards have taken measures to ease licensing and certification pressures.

Many states have responded to the COVID-19 crisis by altering licensure requirements, granting Emergency Temporary Licenses, and extending license expiration dates. The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) has summarized these measures: The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) has summarized these measures in a comprehensive chart. As always, the ACS encourages members to continue to check directly with their licensing board for additional COVID-19 updates.  In addition, the FSMB has posted a list of states that are expediting licensure for retired and inactive physicians.

Similarly, several specialty boards have responded by canceling meetings and certification exams. The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) has issued a Statement to Designated Institutional Officials Regarding Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) . The ACS suggests diplomates visit the websites of their individual certifying boards for specific information.

American Osteopathic Association (AOA) member boards have also adjusted and have cancelled their meetings and examinations, in some cases. The AOA has created a website listing the status of events, meetings and certifying exams: American Osteopathic Association—Status of Events, Meetings, and Certifying Exams.

The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) has postponed the Royal College examinations, provided provisional licensing for residents, extended its deadline for annual dues, and waived MOC Program Requirements for 2020.

For more information, please contact Yekaterina Baker at ybaker@facs.org.

The American Board of Surgery Modifies Training Requirements

Posted March 27, 2020

The American Board of Surgery (ABS) announced that it has modified training requirements in light of COVID-19. Specific information on global recommendations and changes across specialties can be accessed here. Every effort should be made to meet them, to the extent possible. The ABS notes that these modifications are hardship modifications, and are not a permanent change going forward.