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

RAS E-News: November 16, 2016

Apply for an ACS Leadership Scholarship by December 1

Scholarships are available for three ACS educational events in 2017 thanks to the Kriendler Charitable Trust. The offerings are the Residents as Teachers and Leaders Course, Surgeons as Leaders Course, and Leadership & Advocacy Summit 2017. The scholarships cover tuition, travel, and subsistence, and will be awarded competitively to three young surgeons who best exemplify an important mission of RAS-ACS—developing future leaders for the field of surgery. You must be a U.S.-based RAS-ACS member to apply.

Continue reading for more information on applying.

Advisory Council Updates from Clinical Congress 2016

Members of the Resident and Associate Society of the American College of Surgeons (RAS-ACS) were especially active at Clinical Congress last month in Washington, DC. We are pleased to share updates from your RAS-ACS Liaisons to several ACS Advisory Groups.

Advisory Council for Rural Surgery

The Advisory Council for Rural Surgery (ACRS) addressed a number of topics that impact the rural surgeon’s ability to provide the best surgical care to the rural populations they serve. Our discussion included each of the four pillars of the ACS—advocacy and health policy, quality, membership, and education.

Advocacy updates since the April 2016 meeting include favorable outcomes on the 96-hour rule. Currently, it has been taken off the table. Passage of the 96-hour rule legislation would limit the care that Medicare patients can receive from a critical access hospital. This would be done by restricting procedures available to patients at rural centers to those procedures in which the length of stay is less than 96 hours. This policy would not allow for patients to be cared for within their home communities or it would force patients to be either discharged or transferred to a higher acuity center for hospitalizations that extend beyond this time period.

Strides have been made to ensure rural surgeons have resources that allow them to provide optimal surgical care for rural populations. ACRS continues to revise drafts of the Rural Standards Document—a set of standards to establish hospital infrastructure and the practices required to optimize rural surgical care across the nation. Additionally, the Rural Breast Cancer Initiative is a collaborative effort between ACRS, the Commission on Cancer, and the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers that aims to assist low-volume, rural hospitals to provide quality care, measure the quality of care, and, ultimately, attain accreditation or recognition.

ACRS is connecting with rural surgeon members and addressing our membership’s issues via the robust Rural Surgery listserv, monthly The Rural Surgeon columns in ACS Surgery News, and our quarterly Dispatched from Rural Surgeons column in the Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons as well as hosting one of busiest groups on the ACS communities. ACRS continues to pursue the creation of a locum tenens service to be administered by ACS which will provide rural hospitals across the country with consistent-quality surgical coverage.

ACRS is exploring strategies to bolster the rural surgeon workforce by appealing to medical students, residents, and practicing surgeons with an interest in rural surgery. This is addressed through efforts to create rural surgery rotations within undergraduate and graduate medical education, support the ACS Transition to Practice Program, and through the creation of multimedia. I encourage all to view “The Calling of a Rural Surgeon,” a 6.5-minute video created by the Rural Surgeons Film Project to highlight the need for rural surgeons across the United States, and to depict the satisfaction that rural surgeons find in their work. The video can be accessed online by following the link above.

Our next meeting will be at the ACS Leadership & Advocacy Summit in May 2017.

Cory Buschmann, MD
RAS-ACS Liaison, Advisory Council for Rural Surgery
General surgery resident, PGY-4
University of Arizona-Phoenix

Advisory Council for Gynecology and Obstetrics

The Advisory Council for Gynecology and Obstetrics (ACGO) discussion focused on patient education and the development of widespread surgical standards along with a plan to disseminate information, including anticoagulation guidelines and management of surgical wounds. Significant focus was given to increasing membership amongst obstetrics and gynecology members, in particular resident physicians. Concepts for increased involvement include outreach within obstetrics and gynecology associations, including the Council on Resident Education for Obstetrics and Gynecology and American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, as well as fellowship-specific associations such as Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO).

Next steps include plans for the RAS-ACS liaison to promote awareness of RAS-ACS at the next SGO fellowship director meeting and social media, with the continued goal for all advisory council members to perform outreach at the local and national levels. 

Katie Crean-Tate, MD
RAS-ACS Liaison, Advisory Council for Gynecology and Obstetrics 
OBGYN chief resident
University of California, Davis

Advisory Council for Urology

The Advisory Council for Urology discussed increasing young surgeon membership in the ACS. To accomplish this, we will be advertising the RAS-ACS to all program directors. Ongoing efforts are being made to coordinate international collaborations, such as between the American Urological Association and international resident societies. Advertising the RAS-ACS to these groups may help improve visibility, participation, and interest in the RAS-ACS from urologists.

Michael Johnson, MD
RAS-ACS Liaison, Advisory Council for Urology
Assistant professor of urology
Johns Hopkins Medicine, Baltimore, MD

International Exchange Scholar Program Applications Due November 30

ACS Resident Members and Associate Fellow based in the U.S. are encouraged to apply to one of three countries to attend that country’s surgical society meeting in 2017/2018. Learn more about the International Exchange Scholar Program.

RAS-ACS Executive Committee Member Honored with Resident Teaching Award

Afif Kulaylat, MD, MSc, PGY-4 in general surgery at Penn State University, and who is serving as vice-chair of RAS-ACS this year, received the Resident Award for Exemplary Teaching at Clinical Congress 2016. The award is sponsored by the ACS Division of Education to recognize excellence in teaching by a resident and to highlight the importance of teaching in residents’ daily lives. Dr. Kulaylat was selected by an independent review panel of the Committee on Resident Education.

Afif Kulaylat, MD, MSc, pictured in the center, with Ajit Sachdeva, MD, FACS, FRCS, and Celia Divino, MD, FACS

RAS-ACS Members Participate in ACS Spectacular Cases

RAS-ACS members J. Christian Brown, MD; Michelle Junker, MD; Nizar Hariri, MD; Shennen Mao, MD; Michael Smith, MD; Anna Weiss, MD; and Markus Ziesmann, MD, shared the multidisciplinary management details of their spectacular cases during the ACS Spectacular Cases at ACS Clinical Congress.

Spectacular Cases RAS-ACS team members and moderators