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

ACS/APDS/ASE Resident Prep Curriculum

Prepare Your Graduating Students for Their New Responsibilities in Surgical Care

Through a collaborative effort by the American College of Surgeons (ACS), the Association of Program Directors in Surgery (APDS), and the Association for Surgical Education (ASE), a modular preparatory curriculum is being developed to ensure that graduating students have solid skills to step into their new roles as surgery residents. Currently being pilot tested at several medical schools across the country, the ACS/APDS/ASE Resident Prep Curriculum, administered by the ACS Division of Education, will be available to all programs beginning in spring 2015. 

The ACS/APDS/ASE Resident Prep Curriculum can be used to

  • Strengthen the fourth year of medical student education
  • Graduate students better prepared for surgical training
  • Reduce variability in skills of entering residents
  • Support safer patient care

For each Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) competency, the most critical goals and supporting learning objectives have been identified in order to assist faculty in prioritizing learning activities. Faculty can tailor the experience based on the unique needs of students and resources available at each school. The flexible, modular structure allows faculty to organize activities as a four-week experience, or in other ways that will suit the school’s schedule.

Critical Content for Better Prepared Students

Critical content focuses on skills that will be needed during the first weeks of residency, such as

  • Being the first responder for critically ill or unstable patients
  • Emergency procedures (ventilation)
  • Common electrolyte abnormalities
  • Management of common and urgent perioperative conditions
  • Interpreting radiographs
  • Operative anatomy
  • Responding to pages from nurses
  • Handoffs
  • Difficult patients
  • Communication
  • Informed consent

Better Outcomes for Program Directors and Safer Patients

Certificates of completion and assessment of skills will be available for graduating students to share with program directors. Program directors will recognize students who have completed this curriculum as being especially well prepared for the transition to residency. Students will be better prepared to move from direct supervision to indirect supervision, and patients will be safer.

Goals and Objectives

Pilot Institutions

Program Brochure

Relevant Publications

Materials Currently Available for Pilot Institutions

Webcast Describing the Prep Curriculum 

If your program is interested in using all or part of the Prep Curriculum in Spring 2015, please contact Krashina Hudson.

Krashina Hudson 
Administrator, Resident and Medical Student Curricula
Division of Education, American College of Surgeons
E-mail: khudson@facs.org
Phone:  312-202-5335

Kim Echert
Senior Manager, Programs to Enhance Resident and Medical Student Education
E-mail: kechert@facs.org
Phone:312-202-5488

Tim Hotze
Education Technology Specialist
E-mail: thotze@facs.org
Phone:312-202-5032