The American College of Surgeons Fundamentals of Surgery Curriculum® (ACS FSC) addresses all six core competencies defined by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). Medical knowledge and patient care are the competencies of primary emphasis.
In addition, interpersonal and communication skills and systems-based practice are addressed specifically. For example, scenarios simulate interactions with other members of the surgical team and the hospital systems to manage patients effectively and coordinate care.
Practice-based learning and improvement is fostered as the residents assess their knowledge, expertise, and learning needs relative to each scenario. Professionalism is addressed, for example, through fostering accountability to patients and sensitivity to diverse patient populations. The Instructors’ Manual includes a page for every scenario that lists which competencies are addressed within that specific scenario.
The content for the ACS FSC is based on Successfully Navigating the First Year of Surgical Residency: Essentials for Medical Students and PGY-1 Residents, developed by the ACS Division of Education. This document lists the critical cognitive, clinical, and technical skills needed as a foundation for education and training in all the surgical specialties. The ACS FSC Steering Committee identified the 11 modules* of essential content areas, core scenarios for the modules, and authors to develop the content. Under the guidance of Curriculum Director Patricia Numann, MD, FACS, and Associate Curriculum Director Richard Welling, MD, FACS, scenarios were written by small groups of surgeon authors using the best available evidence and expert consensus. Once complete, the scenarios were reviewed by a separate group of surgeon program directors who provided comments and feedback. The feedback was then collated and used to refine the scenarios as necessary. In addition, the electronic and interactive format of the scenarios was tested and critiqued with groups of residents from across the country.
*Three new modules have been added, two in 2014 and one in 2016, bringing the total to 14.