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


In 2013, the ACS Division of Education established the Transition to Practice (TTP) Program in General Surgery primarily in response to concerns about the readiness of graduating surgery residents for independent general surgery practice. In the five years of the TTP Program, it became evident to the Steering Committee that the additional months of autonomous practice accomplished the goal of increasing the confidence and competence of new surgeons. TTP Associates overwhelmingly described their experience as having a positive impact on their careers.

TTP Associates experienced increasing autonomy throughout the year in a broad-based clinical setting, built their competence and confidence in general surgery, developed practice management skills, and gained practical experience for the next phase of their careers. Working closely with experienced surgeons, TTP Associates had the ability to concentrate on specific areas within general surgery to refine operative skills based on their career goals.

In the spirit of continuous improvement, the Steering Committee solicited, reviewed, and evaluated the feedback, resulting in a strategic decision to enhance the program and rename it the Mastery in General Surgery Program to better reflect its mission and goals. The basic tenets of the program remain unchanged, and additional educational and networking opportunities will be introduced. In addition, we have shifted the timeframe for Associate recruitment to better align with timing for residents’ career decisions. The program maintains the hallmarks of individualized assessment and tailored experiences which made the TTP Program so impactful.

The new ACS Mastery in General Surgery Program launched in spring 2018. Recruitment for the first class of the Mastery Program will begin in May 2018 to start the program in fall 2019.

Learn more about the history of the TTP Program in the video below.

See the full video playlist on YouTube.

Learn more about the origins of the Mastery Program through some of the articles below:

  • Review of Transition to Practice programs co-authored by TTP program participants, Thomas H. Cogbill, MD, FACS, and Stephen B. Shapiro, MD, FACS, in the February 2016 issue of Surgical Clinics of North America
  • Update on the progress of the TTP Program discussed by ACS Executive Director David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS in the April 2014 issue of the Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons
  • Description of the needs assessment, design, and future direction of the TTP Program by Steering Committee Chair J. David Richardson, MD, FACS, in the September 2013 issue of the Bulletin
  • Overview of the ACS TTP Program detailed by Dr. Hoyt in the February 2013 issue of the Bulletin