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

Associate Fellow News: April 2021

Special Learning Edition: RAS-ACS Sponsors Five Learning Opportunities in May

Raphael Sun, MDEvery year since I can remember, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) has offered members the opportunity to attend the ACS Leadership & Advocacy Summit, which is traditionally held in Washington, DC. It is a wonderful opportunity for Resident and Associate Society of the American College of Surgeons (RAS-ACS) members to network with colleagues and friends from across the country, enhance their leadership skills, and meet their state representatives. This May, for the first time, the Summit will be held virtually.

In response to this new format, the RAS-ACS Leadership Workshop we have sponsored for the past few years will also be held virtually. The three leadership talks we traditionally offer will be spaced out over three weeks as a series focused on Leadership Transformation during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

During this series, which will be held in three, 30-minute sessions on Friday afternoons starting on May 14, registrants will have the honor of hearing from Dr. Laurie Punch about leadership transformation in community advocacy, Dr. Joseph Forrester about leadership transformation in research mission, and Dr. Eileen Bulger about leadership transformation in translation to policy. Each 30-minute session will include an opportunity for a live question and answer session.

We are also pleased to offer two webinars in May and encourage you to attend these sessions to help position yourself to have an impact on your own community.

Best wishes,

Raphael Sun, MD
Chair, Resident and Associate Society

Don't Miss These Leadership Learning Opportunities in May

Join RAS-ACS leadership for some outstanding leadership learning opportunities in May. Registration is limited. These sessions will also be archived on the RAS-ACS Grand Rounds Webinar Series web page.

Leadership Transformation during the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Leadership Transformation during the COVID-19 Pandemic series will highlight leadership in the realm of community advocacy, translational research to impactful policy, and research transformation as we respond to a global pandemic. Members will use the lens of content experts' insights to explore becoming impactful leaders engaged in community advocacy, learn about strategies and tools required to expand translational research into policy, and discover how to respond acutely to large clinical changes that impact the local and global environment and how we can learn from those changes.

Series Topics

  • Leadership Transformation in Community Advocacy: Dr. LJ Punch
  • Leadership Transformation in Research Mission: Dr. Joseph Forrester
  • Leadership Transformation in Translation to Policy: Dr. Eileen Bulger             

Each session of the series will be 30 minutes long, 20 minutes of a prerecorded session by the presenter followed by 10 minutes of live, moderated Q & A with the audience and presenter. You must register for the series to attend. You need only register once to be invited to attend all sessions in the series.

Register online

Leadership Transformation in Community Advocacy

LJ Punch, MD, FACSMay 14 | 5:00–5:30 pm CT

Presenter: LJ Punch, MD, FACS

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Punch has collaborated with their team of StopTheBleedSTL with PrepareSTL to educate the community about the pandemic and prevention measures. They reported that there were three times as many COVID cases in historically black neighborhoods of St. Louis compared with historically white areas. Their tireless efforts to improve public health awareness and set up initiatives have really inspired change within the St. Louis community. Dr. Punch will share their experiences and insights and educate attendees about how we can be involved and make a difference.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand how to make an impact and be influential in your own community during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Elaborate on how to work more closely with local government officials to make changes 
  • Learn about opportunities to secure financial support for community projects and endeavors

More about LJ Punch

Dr. Punch is a surgeon, educator, and activist in the St. Louis community. They are a trauma and critical care surgeon who most recently was an associate professor at Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Punch graduated from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine in 2002 and went on to train at the University of Maryland in general surgery and pursued a critical care fellowship at the R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center. At Washington University, they immediately made a huge impact. They received the 2019 Humanism in Medicine award, 2019 Gerry and Bob Virgil Ethic of Service Award, and the 2018–2020 Jerome T. Loeb Teaching Fellowship award. Dr. Punch was chosen by medical students and residents to receive multiple teaching awards.

Dr. Punch started the not-for-profit organization StopTheBleedSTL to promote collaboration between professionals, students, and community members to raise awareness about and address trauma, injury, and violence in the community. Most recently they started "The T," which is an anti-violence center in St. Louis. Dr. Punch shares the knowledge and skills to save lives when victims of violence are severely injured. They have been featured in TEDx, podcasts, and multiple news broadcasts and have brought their message to Washington, DC, and testified before the House Ways and Means Oversight subcommittee on gun violence.

Leadership Transformation in Research Mission

Joseph Forrester, MD, MScMay 21 | 5:00–5:30 pm CT

Presenter: Joseph Forrester, MD, MSc

This session will focus on leadership in the evolution of research, particularly as it relates to responding to a global pandemic, in this case the COVID-19 pandemic. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, there were evolving changes in the understanding of a new pathogen, and Dr. Forrester was able to create local precaution protocols for operating room staff as well as evaluate how the pandemic was changing the local climate as it related to trauma and acute care surgery. Dr. Forrester will highlight how to create unique approaches during unique circumstances, skills needed as research interests pivot, and how this may impact local and institutional resources.

Learning Objectives

  • Examine how the COVID-19 pandemic has created unique opportunities for clinical and biomedical research
  • Explore what it takes to pivot research endeavors (How can one use an established framework to pursue new research endeavors?)
  • Explore strategies for trainees to pursue novel research
  • Explore tackling institution and national funding for novel research enterprises
  • Examine the role of collaboration when challenged with a new research question

More about Joe Forrester

Dr. Joe Forrester is an assistant professor of surgery at Stanford University and associate trauma Medical director at Stanford Healthcare. He is a former epidemic intelligence officer with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and was a field officer in Liberia during the 2014 Ebola outbreak. His research is focused on prediction of emergence and spread of health care-associated pathogens and better ways to treat patients with chest wall injury. In 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, he helped develop Stanford's Precautions for Operating Room Team Members, performed an early assessment of how shelter-in-place impacted trauma volumes, and led the COVID-19 tracheostomy team. 

Leadership Transformation in Translation to Policy

Eileen M. Bulger, MD, FACSMay 28 | 5:00–5:30 pm CT

Presenter: Eileen Bulger, MD, FACS

This session will focus on leadership in translation of research and foundational trauma concepts to policy in the setting of the COVID-19 pandemic. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, access to trauma care remains a critical public health responsibility and a model for disaster response. Dr. Bulger will outline how foundational trauma systems concepts like coordination with EMS, disease outbreak monitoring, and allocation of resources and patient distribution can inform coalition-guided, multifaceted approaches to engaging health systems, government, and organizations to rapidly respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. Dr. Bulger will also outline how to engage with government officials in conveying the importance of supporting trauma systems for pandemic preparedness.

Learning Objectives

  • Define and elaborate on the process for translation of research into policy for surgeon advocates
  • Examine how the COVID-19 pandemic has created unique opportunities for policy advocacy in the world of surgery
  • Apply concepts of policy advocacy to future opportunities around surgery in the era of COVID-19
  • Understand ways of making an impact and be influential in your own community during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Learn how to secure financial support for community projects and endeavors

More about Eileen Bulger

Dr. Eileen Bulger is the chief of trauma and trauma medical director for adults and pediatrics at Harborview Medical Center, Seattle, WA. A diplomate of the American Board of Surgery, Dr. Bulger also is board certified in surgical critical care. She earned her medical doctorate at Cornell University Medical College and then completed a residency in general surgery at the University of Washington (UW), Seattle, where she concurrently completed a two-year National Institutes of Health Trauma Research Fellowship during her years of residency training. She then went on to complete a surgical critical care fellowship at UW in 2000. For nearly two decades, she has served as the co-principal or principal investigator of a variety of innovative, grant-funded research projects related to trauma care, some of which focus on improving outcomes for crash injury victims, pediatric patients, and older adults. Since her initial involvement with the Committee on Trauma (COT) in 2002, Dr. Bulger has contributed to many COT activities, in particular in injury prevention, public health, and firearm injury. She is a Course Instructor for the internationally recognized Advanced Trauma Life Support® (ATLS®) program, and she served as the COT Washington State and then Regional Chair, Chair of the Emergency Medical Services Committee, Chair of the Membership Committee, and as an Executive Committee member. She now serves as Chair of the COT. Dr. Bulger has been a critical leader during the COVID-19 pandemic both within her institution and within COT, in particular by championing the importance of the trauma systems model and disaster preparedness in translation to response to the pandemic.

Register today for this three-part series.

Webinar on Telemedicine and Telecommunications: The Next Frontier in Surgical Care

Digital health technology has rapidly expanded over the course of the past year. On Monday, May 3 at 8:00 pm CT, join a webinar with Vahagn C. Nikolian, MD, who will review telemedicine in the past, the impact of the COVID pandemic has had on telemedicine utilization, and the potential prospects of telecommunications as it applies to surgeons. 

Learning Objectives

  • Define digital health and the rapid expansion of telemedicine as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Recognize previously established and emerging barriers to digital health
  • Identify future application of technology to enhance surgical outcomes

Register today

More About Vahagn Nikolian

Dr. Vahagn Nikolian is a board-certified general surgeon with advanced training and expertise in abdominal wall reconstruction. His research at Oregon Health and Science University involves utilizing technology to improve patient care. Specifically, he directs his efforts towards improving access to digital health and improving outcomes in hernia surgery using minimally invasive and robotic surgical technology. To date, he has more than 60 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters focused on general surgery, resident education, and digital health. He has received national awards as well as funding from the National Institutes of Health and other surgical societies.

Webinar on Mentoring: A Must for Every General Surgery Training Program

Ned Z. Carp, MDJoin us on Wednesday, May 19 at 6:00 pm CT for a discussion with Ned Z. Carp, MD, FACS, to learn how a mentor can strengthen a resident's education in their pursuit of becoming a surgeon. Study habits, research, case preparation, clinical trial involvement, and professionalism will be discussed.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the definition of mentoring
  • Learn techniques to build a better mentor-mentee relationship
  • Understand the responsibility of a mentor as it pertains to a general surgery training program

Register today

More about Ned Carp

Ned Z. Carp, MD, FACS, received his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1979. He graduated Temple University of Medicine in 1984. He completed his residency in general surgery at Abington Memorial Hospital in 1989. He went on to complete a fellowship in surgical oncology at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in 1991. He was recruited to develop a multidisciplinary program in surgical oncology at the Lankenau Medical Center and has remained there since. He holds the Barbara Brodsky Chief of Surgery Chair at the Lankenau Medical Center and is the Vice Chair of Clinical operations for the Main Line Health System. Two of his main area of interests are surgical quality metrics and resident education. Dr. Carp was the 2020 recipient of the RAS ACS Outstanding Mentor of the Year Award.