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2020 Annual ACS Surgical Simulation Summit Research Presentations Provide AEIs Three Evenings of Compelling Content

This fall, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Accredited Education Institutes® (AEI) Program offered weekly virtual sessions featuring cutting-edge surgical simulation research that couldn't be presented in person due to the cancellation of the March 2020 Annual ACS Surgical Simulation Summit. With both live and prerecorded sessions, the series featured compelling content over three consecutive Wednesdays in October and November. Approximately 90 individuals registered for each day, and on average, 50 people attended each session.

The series kicked off on October 21 with opening remarks from Ajit K. Sachdeva, MD, FACS, FRCSC, FSACME, Director, ACS Division of Education, and Chair, ACS Program for Accreditation of Education Institutes. The Chair of the Program Committee of the AEI Consortium, Gordon A. Wisbach, MD, FACS, CAPT, MC, USN, surgical director, Bioskills and Simulation Training Center, Naval Medical Center San Diego, welcomed the audience and discussed the evening’s agenda. James R. Korndorffer, Jr., MD, MHPE, FACS, vice-chair of education, department of surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine and Recorder for the ACS Surgical Simulation Summit, also provided a brief overview of the abstract selection process and an update regarding Summit papers being published in Surgery.

The first session, Innovations in Simulation-Based Surgical Education, featured four presentations about innovative projects under development in simulation centers around the world. Moderated by Deborah Rooney, PhD, director of education and research in simulation at the University of Michigan Medical School, the session offered innovators a forum to present preliminary research and developments on simulators, curricula, and technology even though outcomes data doesn’t yet exist to support widespread adoption. A lively discussion followed.

On October 28, the Scientific Papers oral abstract session featured nine cutting-edge scientific presentations. Participants learned about research related to communication skills, team training, virtual reality, and more. All work was from original research, not previously published or presented. The session was highly interactive, keeping moderator Robert B. Lim, MD, FACS, FASMBS, vice-chair of education and surgery at the Oklahoma University School of Medicine Tulsa, busy fielding questions and comments for the authors.

The final session, AEI Fellows: Future Leaders in Simulation-Based Surgical Education occurred on November 4 and was moderated by Roy Phitayakorn, MD, MHPE (MEd), FACS, director of medical student education and surgery education research at The Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), and associate professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Phitayakorn is also the co-director of the AEI-accredited fellowship program at MGH. Twelve prerecorded presentations from Fellows at ACS-accredited surgical simulation fellowship programs were aired, with a live question and answer period following each talk. This talented group of young surgeons and simulation education researchers, most of whom graduated from their programs this past summer, described the research they worked on and the lessons they learned during their fellowships. The AEI Program is proud to support these future leaders and recognize their accomplishments and contributions to the field of simulation-based surgical education.

The virtual fall Summit series proved to be a huge success. Watch the recordings of the three days on the meeting website.