American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Highlights from the 2021 ACS Annual Surgical Simulation Summit

The virtual 2021 American College of Surgeons (ACS) Annual Surgical Simulation Summit, the annual meeting of the Consortium of ACS-Accredited Education Institutes (ACS-AEI), took place on March 11–12. More than 170 individuals participated in a variety of cross-specialty collaboration sessions about the latest advances in simulation-based surgical education during the two-day event.

One meeting highlight was the keynote address, "Leading When Everyone Is Watching," delivered by Julie A. Freischlag, MD, FACS, FRCSEd(Hon), DFSVS, chief executive officer, Wake Forest Baptist Health, Dean of the Wake Forest Baptist School of Medicine, and ACS President-Elect. In the address, Dr. Freischlag described how her institution dealt with the pandemic by sharing examples about taking risks; being brave enough to know you are doing the right thing for patients, staff, and students; and how to be creative to meet new challenges.

Another meeting highlight was a joint session—the first of its kind—with the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) that addressed the unique value of simulation centers that are accredited by the ACS or endorsed by the ASA Simulation Education Network (SEN) within the context of providing optimal care to patients and optimal education to learners. Breakout groups were convened for surgeons and anesthesiologists together to discuss how to restore and advance the value of simulation-based training for the future. Groups were encouraged to consider challenges, determine how anesthesiologists and surgeons can work together to address those challenges, and discuss what the ACS and ASA specifically can do. The groups reported back with many ideas about how to address the noted challenges, which in many cases were similar for both organizations. The groups also believed that, collectively, both organizations can work together to improve the education and training provided in their simulation and education centers. The goal is to keep this conversation going and to offer another collaborative session at next year's ACS Annual Surgical Simulation Summit. This joint session would not have been possible without the leadership of Ajit K. Sachdeva, MD, FACS, FRCSC, FSACME, and Randolph Steadman, MD, MS, FASA, and the members of both organizations' program committees who worked together to create this valuable content.

The Summit is committed to presenting the latest advances in simulation-based surgical education, and 10 scientific papers and four innovative papers were presented that described emerging research.

Finally, to bring this successful virtual ACS Annual Surgical Simulation Summit to a close, the ACS-AEI Administration and Management Committee offered the M.O.R.Ee Track. This session provided three unique perspectives on effective staffing at a simulation center. Presentations covered how to hire, onboard, retain, and engage employees, as well as what type of growth opportunities may exist to the staff. This session also offered participants the ability to "Zoom In" to four specific breakout rooms that covered important components necessary to run a simulation center, including its Management, the Operational aspects, the Research done at a center, and the type and kind of Education offered to its learners. Everyone who participated wanted to learn how others were handling the noted four areas and to share their experiences during this challenging last year.

We look forward to gathering together in person next year in Chicago, IL, March 3–5, for the 2022 ACS Annual Surgical Simulation Summit.