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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.

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.

Membership Benefits
Executive Director's Update

Vascular Surgery at the ACS

Patricia L. Turner, MD, MBA, FACS


We are the House of Surgery, and our strength as an organization and our value to each member are enhanced when we unite all surgeons to advance our profession.

A crucial part of that unity comes from our collaborations with other surgical societies. Through these collaborations, we can achieve more than any one organization can alone.

A powerful example is in vascular surgery and our Vascular Verification Program (Vascular-VP). The Vascular-VP is a national program focused on vascular surgical and interventional care. It is an evidence-based, standardized pathway for improving clinical care infrastructure and quality programs within a healthcare organization’s vascular services.

The Vascular-VP is one of the newest ACS Quality Programs. We launched it in March 2023 for inpatient programs and September 2023 for outpatient programs. Already, there have been successes: in June 2023, we verified our first four hospitals; in January 2024, our first three outpatient centers.

This would be less feasible if not for our connection to many vascular surgeons who have relationships with the Society of Vascular Surgery (SVS). Anton N. Sidawy, MD, MPH, FACS, the Lewis B. Saltz Chair of the Department of Surgery at the George Washington University in Washington, DC, is a current ACS Regent and SVS past-president. He engaged with both sides of the collaboration to create the Vascular-VP. “A marriage made in heaven,” he likes to call it.

Indeed, both organizations were essential. The SVS brought subject matter expertise in vascular surgery necessary to create the practice guidelines on which the verification process is based. The ACS has been investing in quality improvement for more than a century, has experience creating multiple verification programs in recent years, and has a resulting well-developed infrastructure supported by robust programmatic knowledge.

The work of our Quality Programs is particularly important as healthcare shifts from fee-for-service to quality-driven payment models. Quality verification processes can help improve patient outcomes, reduce complications, and enhance revenue, which can aid organizational stability. The Vascular-VP is part of our ongoing Power of Quality campaign, which seeks to bring evidence-based ACS Quality Programs to every US hospital, surgeon, and patient.

The importance of vascular surgeons to the ACS does not begin or end with a single program. Indeed, of the 4,318 vascular surgeons in the US (per Association of American Medical Colleges data from late 2022), 1,721 (40%) are current ACS members. Worldwide, 2,658 vascular surgeons are members.

All specialties are represented within the ACS by one of the 14 Advisory Councils focused on the unique needs of that discipline. Dr. Sidawy, Chair Dawn Marie Coleman, MD, FACS, and others contribute to the Advisory Council on Vascular Surgery. The group has helped shape our Basic Endovascular Skills in Trauma course, among other educational offerings. This course provides instruction on life-saving endovascular techniques (e.g., resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta) to trauma surgeons.

Vascular surgeons contribute to Clinical Congress each year as well. In 2023, panels addressed topics ranging from pediatric vascular injury to dialysis access to inferior vena cava tumors. In 2024, we anticipate a robust range of presentations.

Many other vascular surgeons are leaders of the ACS. In addition to Dr. Sidawy, who served as the 2021–2022 Chair of the Board of Regents, Julie A. Freischlag, MD, FACS, is an ACS Past-President (2021–2022). Dr. Freischlag is a vascular surgeon and CEO of Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist, executive vice president for health affairs at Wake Forest University, and dean of Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Vascular surgeon Girma Tefera, MD, FACS, is vice chair of global surgery at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Medical Director of ACS Health Outreach Program for Equity in Global Surgery (H.O.P.E.), our global surgery initiative. As part of his work in that role, he has established consortia of US-based academic surgeons to collaborate with surgeons in Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Zambia. These efforts include education on minimally invasive surgical techniques.

The ranks of ACS Fellows also include many innovators in vascular surgery such as Thomas J. Fogarty, MD, FACS, well-known as the inventor of the Fogarty catheter, and Edward Diethrich, MD, FACS (1935–2017), a pioneer of the minimally invasive techniques that underpin endovascular surgery.

Finally, Julius Jacobson, MD, FACS (1927–2022), sometimes called the “father of microvascular surgery,” is the namesake philanthropist of the ACS Jacobson Innovation Award, which rewards lifetime achievement by a surgeon-researcher, and the Jacobson Promising Investigator Award, which supports an early career surgeon-scientist. Although established by a vascular surgeon and sometimes awarded to vascular surgeons (including, in the case of the Jacobson Innovation Award, Dr. Fogarty, Juan C. Parodi, MD, FACS, Lazar Greenfield, MD, FACS, and Timothy A. M. Chuter, BM BS, DM, FACS), both awards are available to innovative surgeon-scientists of all kinds. They are a highlight of the generosity, enthusiasm for innovation, and spirit of service we find in ACS members in all surgical specialties.

Residents Can Join for Free

Residents in a vascular training program or any other surgical specialty can take advantage of our free resident dues pilot program. Learn more about ACS membership benefits.

Learn about the Vascular-VP

If you are a vascular surgeon interested in knowing more, please visit the Vascular Verification Program or email vascular@facs.org.

Join Us at QSC

From July 18 to 21, we will meet in Denver, Colorado, for our annual Quality and Safety Conference (QSC). Sessions on enhancing quality and ensuring patient safety in healthcare settings will include ones on the Vascular-VP. Register for the 2024 Quality and Safety Conference

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