July 1, 2022
For the first time since 2019, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) will host its annual Clinical Congress as a live, in-person event, Sunday, October 16, to Thursday, October 20, in San Diego, CA. Select content also will be offered in a virtual format, making it the first hybrid Clinical Congress.
“We are looking forward to welcoming you back to the in-person Clinical Congress 2022 in San Diego,” said Ajit K. Sachdeva, MD, FACS, FRCSC, FSACME, MAMSE, Director, ACS Division of Education. “The multidimensional program of this Clinical Congress is very strong and is founded on contemporary educational constructs. The sessions offer unique opportunities to acquire new knowledge and skills that may be applied to surgical practice.”
Clinical Congress presents an outstanding opportunity for surgeons to hear from the experts, learn about groundbreaking procedures and research, network with peers from around the globe, and gain both clinical and nonclinical knowledge and skills, which they can put into practice immediately.
The Program Committee, under the leadership of ACS Regent Fabrizio Michelassi, MD, FACS, MAMSE, has developed a cutting-edge scientific program to address critical education and training needs and equip surgeons with the skills they need to achieve the best outcomes in the ever-changing healthcare environment.
“The program this year is very rich, and there will be sessions of interest for everybody, whether they are Panel Sessions, Named Lectures, Meet-the-Expert sessions, or Town Halls,” said Dr. Michelassi. “I encourage each of you to come and reestablish those personal and professional connections that we have enjoyed over the years.”
The theme of Clinical Congress 2022 is Surgeons Sowing Hope, selected by ACS President Julie A. Freischlag, MD, FACS, DFSVS, MAMSE, who has asked all members of the surgical community to enhance recovery, elevate healing, and spread hope for patients, communities, teams, and themselves. This year’s program promises to help surgeons and care teams engender optimism through unbeatable educational programming, with hundreds of sessions across the conference’s 5 days.
From the more than 120 Panel Sessions to the 12 Named Lectures to the dozens of Postgraduate Courses and beyond, Clinical Congress 2022 will offer the best surgical education for surgeons at all career levels, along with wellness activities and social events such as the popular Taste of the City.
“We will have an incredible opportunity for networking with colleagues whom we haven’t been able to see for almost 3 years,” said Patricia L. Turner, MD, MBA, FACS, ACS Executive Director. “Clinical Congress allows you to literally stand in one place and see friends and colleagues from around the world.”
A highlight of the annual Clinical Congress is the Convocation ceremony, which confers Fellowship upon surgeons who have successfully met the College’s requirements and standards and who are committed to adhering to the ACS motto, “To Heal All with Skill and Trust.” The ceremony, on Sunday evening, also will include recognition of Honorary Fellows, presentation of the Distinguished Service Award, installation of ACS Officers and Officers-Elect, and the Presidential Address.
This year, in addition to the 2022 Initiates, Initiates from 2020 and 2021—who were welcomed into Fellowship virtually because of COVID-19—have been invited to participate in this once-in-a-lifetime honor.
Anton Sidawy, MD, MPH, FACS, MAMSE, Chair of the ACS Board of Regents, strongly recommends that Initiates who are able make it to San Diego attend Convocation and Clinical Congress this year. “It’s a moment of pride and a moment of celebration. I think it would be great to celebrate it, all of us together, and have as many people as possible come to Clinical Congress,” he said.
One of the most popular features of Clinical Congress is the series of Named Lectures, which provide attendees with an opportunity to hear internationally renowned surgeons and figures in healthcare share their perspectives and insights on medicine and surgery. This year, 12 lectures will be offered, with a new Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Lecture added.
“Bariatric and metabolic surgery is so important and widespread today that the Program Committee is making an effort to increase offerings in this particular field—not only for those surgeons who perform the procedures, but also for general surgeons who might be called upon to care for complications,” Dr. Michelassi explained.
The Martin Memorial Lecture, delivered immediately after the Opening Ceremony on Monday, will be given by David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS, MAMSE. As the Immediate Past ACS Executive Director, Dr. Hoyt will reflect on the challenges and successes of his 12 years as a leader of the College. Following the lecture, Dr. Hoyt will participate in a meet-and-greet with in-person attendees.
“We will all want to hear Dr. Hoyt’s reflections on a career well-served, supporting all of us in the House of Surgery,” Dr. Turner said.
The Named Lectures will be presented in-person and livestreamed. Each lecture also will be recorded and made available for on-demand viewing within an hour after the live presentation.
Other Named Lecture highlights include:
Recent Clinical Congresses have included Special Sessions on timely topics of interest to ACS members, and this year the College will be offering three sessions you won’t want to miss.
The ACS Academy of Master Surgeon Educators® session, Advancement and Promotion of Surgery Faculty Based on Educational Accomplishments, will address career progression using the framework of scholarship—discovery, integration, scholarship of application, and scholarship of teaching, as well as educational leadership and other contributions.
The Ukrainian Crisis: Surgical Lessons Learned will feature surgeons who have been directly involved in caring for individuals injured in the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. Panelists will offer firsthand accounts of the unique surgical issues in this conflict, with respect to the types of weapons used, the high casualty rate among civilians, and targeting of hospitals by Russian forces.
Surgeons on the Frontline of Violence will examine the ongoing firearm violence epidemic in the US. This session will feature multiple national leaders who will discuss efforts to address this crisis and reduce morbidity and mortality related to firearm injuries.
Because the most effective learning requires consistent engagement, this year’s conference will use a longitudinal approach to education and offer dozens of multipart Postgraduate Courses—16 Didactic Courses and 16 Skills Courses—that will include preconference work, live and in-person courses at Congress, and a live Zoom panel discussion a few weeks after Clinical Congress.
This multifaceted approach will enable learning activities to be spaced out over an extended period to promote reflection, application, and retention of course content. It also will provide participants with increased opportunities for interaction with the course faculty. Special certificates will be offered for successful completion of these courses to support the professional activities of the attendees.
Didactic Courses will cover topics including emergency general surgery, global health competencies, and general surgery coding. Skills Courses will cover topics such as building a comprehensive anti-reflux center with diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities in a rural setting, fundamentals of oncoplastic breast surgery, and endoscopic management of bariatric surgery complications, among others.
(Note that each Postgraduate Course has an additional charge payable at registration.)
The expansive Scientific Forum at Clinical Congress offers the opportunity to learn about the latest high-quality, in-progress scientific and academic surgery reports, including updates on late-breaking clinical trials. From research presentations to ePosters, the Scientific Forum offers scientists of all experience levels—from medical students to experienced ACS Fellows—the opportunity to share their promising results at one of the largest surgical meetings in the world.
Scientific Forum sessions take place throughout the conference and are arranged in a specialty-specific format (cardiac surgery, pediatric surgery, and so on).
More than 120 Panel Sessions will feature groups of experts delivering information and updates on a range of topics, from exploring disparities in breast cancer care to sharing surgeons’ experiences in navigating professional challenges, including strategies for making a pregnancy work during surgical training.
Of note is the return of Ten Hot Topics in Surgery Panel Sessions on Thursday morning. These popular sessions will include discussion of the most pressing topics in general surgery, advocacy, surgical oncology, and patient safety. Each session will include time for questions and answers.
In addition, Video-Based Education Sessions will showcase detailed surgical procedures, while Meet-the-Expert Sessions and Town Hall Meetings will provide a more informal learning experience that will allow you to engage in conversations with surgeon thought leaders and other colleagues.
Monday through Wednesday, you will be able to visit ACS Central and the Technical Exhibition, where more than 100 companies will display their products, innovations, and services. The exhibition provides an opportunity to explore the surgical marketplace by comparing products firsthand and planning purchases.
Registration opens this month. Continue to check ACS communications channels for the latest information and visit facs.org/clincon2022.
Matthew Fox is Digital Managing Editor, Division of Integrated Communications, Chicago IL.