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Our top priority is providing value to members. Your Member Services team is here to ensure you maximize your ACS member benefits, participate in College activities, and engage with your ACS colleagues. It's all here.

Become a Member
Become a member and receive career-enhancing benefits

Our top priority is providing value to members. Your Member Services team is here to ensure you maximize your ACS member benefits, participate in College activities, and engage with your ACS colleagues. It's all here.

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ACS
Executive Director's Update

Celebrating a Year of Achievement at the ACS

Patricia L. Turner, MD, MBA, FACS

December 6, 2023

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It is hard to believe 2024 is almost upon us. 2023 seems to have flown by—perhaps because we have been so incredibly busy with myriad activities to help improve healthcare and serve surgeons.

Among our most successful events in 2023 was Clinical Congress. This year, we gathered in Boston and online. More than 12,000 people attended, including 7,500 surgeons and hundreds of students, surgical residents, and other healthcare professionals. To this broad spectrum of learners, nearly 2,500 faculty offered more than 3,400 presentations, including panel discussions, debates, and Named Lectures.

The conference included specialized content for surgeons in many surgical disciplines and career stages, including several standing-room-only scientific sessions focused on surgical oncology, medical informatics/artificial intelligence, and trauma surgery. Offerings for students and residents included the always-popular “Spectacular Cases” session, as well as the “So You Think You Can Operate” and “Surgical Jeopardy” competitions.

In addition, the Surgical Ergonomics Clinic and the Surgical Metrics Project returned to our Exhibit Hall, providing unique simulations to help onsite attendees perfect surgical techniques. Both enjoyed robust interest. Read more about these in the October Bulletin.

Much of the meeting, including videos, and nearly 200 continuing medical education (CME) credits are still accessible on demand until May 1, 2024, and can be accessed via the online platform and conference app. Forthcoming programming is also planned to help ACS members access Clinical Congress-related content all year.

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In addition to Clinical Congress, we have had many other successes in 2023. To better share what the ACS does for healthcare systems, the public, and our members, we have prepared an annual report, now available at facs.org. Here are a few highlights:

  1. In April, we launched Power of Quality campaign, which strives to bring ACS Quality Programs to the attention of every US surgeon, hospital, payer, and policymaker, for the benefit of all surgical patients. Thus far, we have developed campaign momentum, initiated partnerships, and distributed more than 1,200 Surgical Quality Partner diamonds to participating hospitals.
  2. In May, STOP THE BLEED®, our flagship public-facing program, was highlighted at a Chicago Cubs game, where volunteers trained baseball fans to respond to bleeding emergencies. We also prepared 1 million more people worldwide, expanded our Safe Communities program to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and advocated successfully for 10 state laws advancing access to STOP THE BLEED training and kits. We will continue to work on making this knowledge as common as CPR.
  3. In June, US Army Colonel (Retired) Brian Eastridge, MD, FACS, became the new Military Health Systems Strategic Partnership-ACS Medical Director. Dr. Eastridge is a professor of surgery, chief of the Division of Trauma and Emergency General Surgery, and Jocelyn and Joe Straus Endowed Chair in Trauma Research at The University of Texas in San Antonio. He will be pivotal to ACS’s efforts to advance military-trauma partnerships and be a voice for military surgeons.
  4. In October, a new Medical Director took the helm of our ACS Cancer Programs. Ronald Weigel, MD, PhD, MBA, FACS, is a prolific breast cancer researcher and the E. A. Crowell Jr. Professor and chair of the Department of Surgery at the University of Iowa Health Care in Iowa City. He joins a department focused on restructuring the Cancer Research Program, expanding National Cancer Data Base quality measures, holding the 2024 Cancer Conference, and more.
  5. Also in October, we enhanced the highly personalized Surgeon’s Dashboard, where all members can access their most frequently visited webpages, conference registrations, dues payments, and more. Here, you can update your profile to capture your career stage, practice type, surgical discipline, and professional interests, so that we can provide the curated content you want, when you want it. Learn more and update your profile at profile.facs.org/dashboard.
  6. Throughout the year, ACS Health Outreach Program for Equity in Global Surgery (ACS H.O.P.E.), formerly known as Operation Giving Back, advanced sustainable changes in sub-Saharan African surgical systems by promulgating Advanced Trauma Life Support® training in Ethiopia, working to create a national trauma system in Rwanda, initiating laparoscopic training and research mentorships with surgeons in Zambia, and more. The program is made possible by your donations to the ACS Foundation.
  7. Finally, we have been excited to continue organizing Clinical Congress 2024, which has long been planned for San Francisco, California. While collaborating with the city government and other entities to ensure all attendees’ safety and well-being, we have decided to shift the conference dates to Saturday, October 19, to Tuesday, October 22. This is 1 day earlier than the long-used Sunday-Wednesday format, and it will better match many surgeons’ availability, limiting time spent away from the hospital.

Lawrence Cohen, PhD, a University of California-Berkeley anthropologist, has written that conferences permit “the care and feeding of professional kinship.” It is true that Clinical Congress provides a special opportunity to connect to peers, mentors, and leaders, refreshing many of us. That said, the ACS seeks to provide professional kinship every day, through programs that improve our work, events that connect surgeons worldwide, and personalized attention to each member. I hope you have benefited this year and will continue to benefit in the year to come.

2024 Cancer Conference

If you are a part of a surgical oncology team, please join us this February 22–24, in Austin, Texas, for the 2024 ACS Cancer Conference. For 2 days, we will share sessions on standards, quality improvement, survivorship, and more. Register here: facs.org/cancerconference.

2023 TQIP On Demand

If you are a trauma surgeon who missed the annual Trauma Quality Improvement Program (TQIP) conference in Louisville, Kentucky, this month, please know the content remains available to you. On-demand access to conference videos will start in early January. Register here: facs.org/tqip.


Dr. Patricia L. Turner is the Executive Director & CEO of the American College of Surgeons. Contact her at executivedirector@facs.org.