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

December 2013

In This Issue

Message from the Chair
Volunteers Needed for ACS Committees
RAS-ACS Committee Reports
          Membership Committee
          Communications Committee
          Advocacy and Issues Committee
          Education Committee
ACS Committee Reports
          Women in Surgery Committee
          Committee on Medical Student Education
          Comprehensive Communications Committee
          Committee on Diversity Issues
          ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC
Advisory Council Reports
          Advisory Council for Pediatric Surgery
          Advisory Council for Plastic and Maxillofacial Surgery
          Advisory Council for Cardiothoracic Surgery
          Advisory Council for Vascular Surgery
          Advisory Council for Colon and Rectal Surgery
          Advisory Council for Rural Surgery
          Advisory Council for Neurological Surgery
Other News
          33rd Annual Point/Counterpoint Acute Care Surgery Conference
          Transition to Practice Program in General Surgery
          Save the Date: ACS Leadership and Advocacy Summit
          ACS NSQIP Call for Abstracts


Message from the Chair

It is my pleasure to serve as your Chair for the upcoming year. Two years ago in San Francisco, CA, I ran for the position of Secretary in the Resident and Associate Society of the American College of Surgeons (RAS-ACS) on a very simple platform: that smart, talented people will achieve greatness if they have the necessary support and resources, and that I would help to provide these things. This remains my stance as the clock begins to tick on this new year, and each of you has my word that if you tell me what you need, I will seek to provide resources for you. I am humbled to represent such a devoted and gifted group of volunteer leaders and look forward to working with you on the many exciting initiatives planned for the year ahead. I hope you will take a moment to read about the opportunities that have arisen from our discussions at the 2013 Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) in Washington, DC, find a committee or project that interests you, and use your skills to achieve the best-possible results. If we all take this step, we will fulfill the promise present in our collective hearts, heads, and hands, and this organization will be unstoppable.

Robert D. Winfield, MD
Chair, RAS-ACS
Assistant Professor of Surgery
Washington University in St. Louis, MO


Monthly Conference Call Schedule

Advocacy and Issues: first Wednesday
Communications: second Wednesday
Membership: third Wednesday
Education: fourth Wednesday
Call-in: 866-434-7675 | Access: 7287911
All calls will take place at 9:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Editor's Note: Unless otherwise noted, all meetings reported in this newsletter took place during the 2013 ACS Clinical Congress, October 6–10, in Washington, DC.


Volunteers Needed for ACS Committees

Following is a list of available positions to serve a three-year term. Terms will begin upon selection to the position and extend through October 16, 2016.

  • Board of Governors:
    • Coalition Workgroup
    • Survey Workgroup
  • Health Information Technology Committee

If you are interested, please submit the following documents to ras@facs.org by December 20:

  • Letter of interest for specific committee/position
  • Letter of support from current program director or supervisor that also indicates the applicant will have sufficient time off to partake in activities
  • Current curriculum vitae

RAS-ACS Committee Reports

Membership Committee

At our first meeting of the year, the Membership Committee welcomed new and long-time members from around the country who brought their enthusiasm, interest, and ideas to the committee. New committee chair Dino Spaniolas, MD, moderated the discussion, which was followed by a vote for vice-chair and secretary. Scott B. Grant, MD, MBE, was elected Vice-Chair, and Priya H. Iyer, MD, Secretary. At the second consecutive International Exchange Program, trainees from Australia, Ireland, Italy, and Lebanon attending the Clinical Congress, participated in RAS-ACS activities. The committee will focus on enhancing and streamlining the International Exchange Program, as well as better structuring the experience for the visiting scholars. We will also strive to increase active resident participation in RAS-ACS, the largest surgical resident body, in coordination with the ACS Division of Members Services staff. We all are very excited about this coming year and we encourage all RAS members to participate in our committee calls.

Dino Spaniolas, MD
Chair, RAS-ACS Membership Committee
General Surgery
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH

Communications Committee

The Communications Committee discussed last year's accomplishments as well as project ideas for next year. At our annual officer elections, Raphael Sun, MD, was elected Vice-Chair; Blake Babcock, MD, Secretary; Amy Bazzarelli, MD, RAS-ACS News Editor; and Mohammed Shaikh, MD, as our dedicated Social Media Editor. Jessica Hogan was elected RAS-ACS News editor for a two-year term that will begin in October 2014.

The committee facilitates communication among the four RAS-ACS standing committees as well as ACS resident members. The committee will continue to publish this e-newsletter, offer the annual RAS-ACS essay contest, maintain the RAS Facebook page, oversee the RAS-ACS Bulletin issue as well as all RAS-ACS–produced article submissions to the Bulletin, update the RAS website content, and author several publications.

Would you like to participate in one of these projects? Do you have an idea for a new project? Please join us on our next call or e-mail us! We look forward to everyone's participation.

Konstantinos P. Economopoulos, MD, PhD
Chair, RAS-ACS Communications Committee
Research Fellow in Surgery
Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

Advocacy and Issues Committee

Welcoming many new members, the newly named Advocacy and Issues Committee (formerly known as the Issues Committee) examined the scope of its committee function. We also drafted a new mission statement:

"We, the Advocacy and Issues Committee will make efforts to be informed of current issues/events, and inform others (co-residents, faculty, and community) of hot-button issues now and in the future."

At this year's RAS-ACS Symposium, "Patient Rankings: Should Patient Feedback Affect Our Pay and Delivery of Care?" speakers and audience members expressed their thoughts about the role of patient satisfaction and how it relates to hospital stay and reimbursement from payors.

In the upcoming year, we look forward to exploring new topics and planning the resident essay competition and the RAS-ACS symposium.

The committee is also very involved with the ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC and the ACS Division of Advocacy and Health Policy (DAHP). DAHP is working on new resources and tools to make it easier for residents to get involved with the College and to advocate to local senators and representatives—because "all politics is local." The following are some helpful advocacy resources:

  • The ACS' main advocacy web page has updates on current political issues and advocacy efforts.
  • The SurgeonsVoice.com allows you to get involved with local PAC activities and makes it easy to contact your local legislators about important issues through prewritten and editable letters. Login with your ACS ID number.

The Advocacy and Issues Committee encourages RAS-ACS members interested in advocacy to join us on our monthly conference calls.

Corey Wright, MD
Chair, RAS-ACS Advocacy and Issues Committee
Critical Care Surgery
Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston

Education Committee

The Education Committee seeks assistance from RAS-ACS members on three projects this year.

Our priority is to make the Surgical Jeopardy Chapter Toolkit a complete and ready-to-use solution for chapters wishing to conduct a Surgical Jeopardy competition at their annual meeting. The deadline for receipt of suggested toolkit components is December 20. We need assistance with building our question database. Please send categories and questions/answers to Afif Kulaylat, MD.

Sample Components
Category: "They'll get you in the end"—colorectal surgery

Sample answer: Eponymous name for the watershed area between the superior rectal and middle rectal arteries
Sample question: What is Sudek's area?

Category:

"Don't mess with me"—pancreatic surgery

Sample answer:

The most frequent long-term complication following pylorus sparing pancreaticoduodenectomy

Sample question:

What is delayed gastric emptying?

We also need assistance in creating marketing materials and a how-to guide. If you would like to help, please contact Rebecca Hoffman, MD.

The Education Committee is working on two surveys this year. Thank you to those individuals who have participated in the RAS Education Learning Styles Survey. Preliminary data has been analyzed, and we have submitted an abstract for Surgical Education Week. Stay tuned for our Resident Education in Ethics Survey.

Lastly, we invite all RAS-ACS members with an interest in surgical education to join our monthly committee calls and to share any relevant articles with us.

Feibi Zheng, MD
Chair, RAS-ACS Education Committee
General Surgery Resident
The Methodist Hospital, Houston, TX

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ACS Committee Reports

Women in Surgery Committee

The Women in Surgery Committee (WiSC) discussed ongoing projects, including the following:

  • WISC Mentorship Program matches female general surgeons in their first or second year of academic practice with established female surgeons to serve as mentors for one year. The committee discussed plans to expand this program and improve the evaluation process as well as continue to serve as a resource for women surgeons.
  • The Program and Education Subcommittee is collecting ideas for submission to the 2015 Clinical Congress. If there are topics or ideas that you would like to see highlighted at a future Clinical Congress that relate to women in surgery, please feel free to contact me.

The committee also discussed means for providing guidance to promote female leadership in the College.

Shannon N. Acker, MD
Women in Surgery Committee Liaison
General Surgery Resident
University of Colorado Denver

Committee on Medical Student Education

The Committee on Medical Student Education's (CMSE's) annual medical student program had excellent attendance with more than 400 medical students from across the country participating. Events included lectures from seasoned surgeons and recommendations not only on pursuing a career in surgery, but also lessons from their own experiences. The medical students interacted with the CMSE through panels on lifestyles in surgery and the application process, as well as nightly receptions with subspecialty surgeons, program directors, and residents. The students took part in workshops on interview skills, knot tying, suturing, and the residency application process. The medical students impressed the CMSE members with their poster presentations and ideas for surgical interest groups.

Priya Iyer, MD
Committee on Medical Student Education Liaison
General Surgery
Cleveland Clinic Foundation Program, OH

Comprehensive Communications Committee

The Comprehensive Communications Committee held a conference call on September 17. The College continues to redevelop its online properties and selected Siteworx as a third-party vendor to lead the website redevelopment project. Early prototype web pages were reviewed including new color concepts and wireframes. There are plans to perform quality assurance testing in January and February. The goal is to launch the new website in spring 2014.

Also discussed was the initiation of a new Social Media Subcommittee with members drawn from the Comprehensive Communications Committee and the Informatics Committee. This group will advance the College's social media program.

If you have comments or questions that you would like brought to the committee, please feel free to e-mail me.

Farrell Adkins, MD
Comprehensive Communications Committee Liaison
General Surgery Resident
Cleveland Clinic, Weston, FL

Committee on Diversity Issues

The Committee on Diversity Issues (CODI) hosted the well-attended "Diversity in Surgery: Does it Matter?" session. Presentations were given by Julie Frieschlag MD, FACS, ACS Board of Regents Chair; Anthony Meyer, MD, PhD, FACS, FRCS, Chair, department of surgery and Colin G. Thomas, Jr., MD, Distinguished Professor of Surgery at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and ACS Governor representing North Carolina; and Joan Reede, MD, MS, MPH, MBA, dean for diversity and community partnership at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. CODI Chair Anthony Charles, MBBS, FACS, and CODI member Mallory Williams MD, FACS, moderated the event, which highlighted the importance of a diverse surgical team and ways to build a diverse academic department and surgical training program.

The committee will fill several vacancies with ACS Fellows next year with announcements in ACS publications.

Yemi Ogunleye, MD
Committee on Diversity Issues Liaison
General Surgery Resident
Harlem Hospital Center, Bronx, NY

ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC

Thank you to those who joined the American College of Surgeons Professional Association (ACSPA)-SurgeonsPAC and those who renewed their memberships for 2013. The ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC Happy Hour during the 2013 Clinical Congress enjoyed its largest-ever turnout. Joining the ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC and being in regular contact with your elected officials are two ways to be a part of the solution. Check out a new ACS advocacy resource, SurgeonsVoice (use your ACS member login credentials). This website includes briefings on key health policy topics as well as a way to send your elected officials letters in your name on topics of your choice. Stay engaged! Now more than ever we need to make our voices heard. Sign up or renew your PAC membership for 2013, and get your colleagues involved as well.

Beginning with the 2014 Clinical Congress, RAS-ACS members will have a new way to become involved with the PAC. The PAC Board recently commissioned the creation of the ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC Leadership Council, consisting of RAS-ACS members who are interested in interacting with key College leaders, educating fellow RAS-ACS members about relevant health policy topics, and enhancing the College's grassroots network of politically engaged members. Any RAS-ACS member who has an up-to-date PAC membership ($25 minimum annual dues) will be eligible to serve on the Leadership Council. Details will be available next year. Contact me with any questions or suggestions.

Brian J. Gavitt, MD, MPH
ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC Liaison
General Surgery Resident Physician
UC Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, CA

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Advisory Council Reports

Advisory Council for Pediatric Surgery

The Advisory Council for Pediatric Surgery heard updates provided on behalf of the Board of Regents, the ACS Division of Advocacy and Health Policy, and the ACS Patient Education Committee. Highlights of discussions include attempts at gaining loan repayment programs for pediatric surgeons practicing in understaffed regions of the U.S., working with the consumer products association to recall toys containing rare earth metal magnets that have been causing gastrointestinal track injuries, and updates on firearms safety initiatives specific to the pediatric population. Council members also addressed a consensus document that has been created for optimal resources needed for children's surgical care in the U.S.

Several new patient education brochures and toolkits address common pediatric surgical topics such as inguinal hernias, umbilical hernias, and stoma maintenance/care. Many of these products are available free of charge through the ACS website. Procedure-specific consent forms have been developed for many procedures and serve as a valuable resource to clinicians. Programs at the 2013 Clinical Congress were discussed and included a successful initiation of an ultrasound for pediatric surgeons skills course as well as standing room-only attendance at the Surgical Forum for the pediatric sessions.

Advisory Council members discussed topics for the 2014 Clinical Congress, including transition of care from childhood surgical conditions into adulthood, surgical management of adrenal masses in children and adults, and controversies in obesity surgery for adolescents. Several other informative sessions will be jointly sponsored with other specialty groups, including sessions on health care efficiency, trauma, and innovation. The Ultrasound for Pediatric Surgeons course is also slated to repeat at the 2014 Clinical Congress with additional courses being developed for the American Pediatric Surgical Association (APSA) national meeting. The Advisory Council will reconvene in the spring at the ACS Leadership and Advocacy Summit.

Residents interested in pediatric surgery should contact the APSA, which offers a resident membership to general surgery residents. APSA dues are waived for residents and membership provides access to educational opportunities, white papers and information on the APSA website, and opportunities to network and collaborate with APSA members. Resident members also receive an annual meeting discount and discount to the Journal of Pediatric Surgery. E-mail mpetrulla@eapsa.org or download an application from the APSA website at www.eapsa.org.

The well-attended surgical section of the American Academy of Pediatrics meeting held in October in Orlando, FL, offered a full scientific program.

If you are interested in RAS-ACS or have questions or concerns that you wish to communicate to the Advisory Council, please feel free to contact me.

Mehul Raval, MD
Advisory Council for Pediatric Surgery Liaison
Pediatric Surgery Fellow at Nationwide Children's Hospital
The Ohio State University School of Medicine, Westerville

Advisory Council for Plastic and Maxillofacial Surgery

The Advisory Council for Plastic and Maxillofacial Surgery met on October 14 in San Diego, CA, during the 2013 annual meeting of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). Members discussed restructuring the Advisory Council to align with the five pillars of the ACS:

  • Member Services
  • Education
  • Advocacy and Health Policy
  • Quality, Research, and Optimal Patient Care
  • Communication

At the 2013 Clinical Congress, 95 plastic surgeons were initiated as Fellows of the College, representing approximately six percent of all Fellows inducted. This percentage has remained relatively stable over the past seven years. Advisory Council members discussed creating a brochure that would highlight what ACS membership can mean for the plastic surgeon and distribute the brochure to the ASPS membership.

Our members were reminded to log onto the ACS Member Portal and update their public profiles to keep the "Find a Surgeon" tool useful and accurate.

The next meeting of the Advisory Council will take place April 6, 2014, in Miami, FL, during the American Association of Plastic Surgeons meeting.

Christian Vercler, MD
Advisory Council for Plastic and Maxillofacial Surgery Liaison
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Advisory Council for Cardiothoracic Surgery

The Advisory Council for Cardiothoracic Surgery discussed issues of concern to practicing cardiothoracic surgeons. Major issues included ACS membership and strategies to boost enrollment, patient education materials created by the ACS for patients undergoing lung surgical procedures, and ways to encourage cardiothoracic research among residents. Research opportunities may provide an opportunity for the Advisory Council to interact with the RAS-ACS to relay information about ongoing research. The Advisory Council for Cardiothoracic Surgery will meet at the American Association of Thoracic Surgeons conference in spring 2014.

Elliot Wakeam, MD
Advisory Council for Cardiothoracic Surgery Liaison
Center for Surgery and Public Health
Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA

Advisory Council for Vascular Surgery

The Advisory Council for Vascular Surgery discussed a series of patient education postoperative/discharge home skills sets being developed by the College. The Advisory Council will review specific home skills sets for vascular surgery to ensure that they are congruent with other vascular societies' published home instructions. The next meeting will be in spring 2014.

Aaron C. Baker, MD, MS
Advisory Council for Vascular Surgery Liaison
PGY 4 Surgery Resident
UC Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, CA

Advisory Council for Colon and Rectal Surgery

The Advisory Council for Colon and Rectal Surgery continues to develop ACS programs that support colorectal surgeons. At its semiannual meeting, the ACS Division of Advocacy and Health Policy updated council members regarding representation and promoting ACS positions in policymaking in Washington, DC. ACS Regent Steven D. Wexner, MD, FACS, provided an update on behalf of the Board of Regents. Patricia L. Turner, MD, FACS, Director, ACS Division of Member Services, updated the committee about a number of new initiatives to increase resident membership, activate young surgeons, and better integrate local ACS chapters with national efforts. Michael McGee, MD, FACS, a past member of the RAS-ACS Executive Council, updated the committee on efforts within the ACS Division of Education to support Fellows with patient education adjuncts and help improve patient access to "Find a Surgeon" on the ACS website. The group reviewed attendance figures, participant evaluations, and survey data to guide future colorectal session offerings. The remainder of the time involved award and position nominations, project delegation, and planning for colorectal sessions at future ACS Clinical Congress meetings.

Michael F. McGee, MD, FACS
Advisory Council for Colon and Rectal Surgery Liaison
Surgical Oncology
Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, IL

Advisory Council for Rural Surgery

At its third meeting, the Advisory Council for Rural Surgery (ACRS) met to report progress on issues considered since the ACRS' inception in July 2012. The RAS-ACS Communications Committee has worked with a listserv involving approximately 1,000 rural surgeons. The listserv has addressed patient care issues as well as administrative concerns in rural communities, including emergency calls and surgeon recruitment. The hands-on continuing medical education courses offered at the ACS for advanced surgical procedures—dedicated to advancing the skills of rural surgeons—have sold out for two years. With the contributions of many committee members, Springer Publishing Company is collaborating on a textbook concerning advanced surgical techniques for rural surgeons. ACS is in the process of developing a Society for Young Rural Surgeons, which will communicate to all levels of trainees interested in rural medicine—either surgical, medical, or community health. Secondary goals are to provide contacts for mentorship, employment, and clerkships.

This year's meeting focused on trauma in rural communities. Rural surgeons must overcome many logistical issues to accommodate their trauma responses. ACRS members discussed intensive care unit issues, appropriately trained ancillary staff, and the surgeon's safety. The ACRS will revisit these issues in future meetings. Council members also addressed financing issues and the work of political action committees, as well as advocacy breakthroughs for rural medicine. On-call coverage hinders recruitment for rural practices in surgery. Council members discussed plans to alleviate call issues through a College-endorsed project for call coverage and statewide programs. Awareness of rural surgical issues is growing, and the past 18 months have yielded significant changes. An independent film currently in production describes the nature of rural surgery and the rural surgeon. The ACS Rural Surgery Dinner followed the ACRS meeting. The ACRS will meet again in early 2014.

Lauren Smithson, MD
Advisory Council for Rural Surgery Liaison
General Surgery
Providence Hospital and Medical Centers, Rhode Island

Advisory Council for Neurological Surgery

The Advisory Council for Neurological Surgery featured ACS Director of Advocacy and Health Policy Christian Shalgian for an advocacy update. Council members discussed quality reporting measures in neurosurgery and planned for speakers for the 2014 Clinical Congress. Participants also discussed graduate medical education funding and workforce issues in the surgical subspecialties.

Maya Babu, MD
Advisory Council for Neurological Surgery Liaison
Neurological Surgery
Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

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Other News

33rd Annual Point/Counterpoint Acute Care Surgery Conference

Register today!

The 33rd Annual Point/Counterpoint Acute Care Surgery Conference will be held June 1–4 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, National Harbor, MD. L.D. Britt, MD, MPH, FACS, FCCM, ACS Past-President, is the course director. The conference is designed to have a broad appeal to general surgeons and other specialty surgeons along with emergency physicians and intensivists, as well as Fellows, residents, nurses, paramedics, and others who actively participate with a high-performance team. Registration information and meeting details are available at www.pointcounterpoint-acs.com.

Transition to Practice Program in General Surgery

From Resident to General Surgeon

The ACS Division of Education invites you to apply for the ACS Transition to Practice (TTP) Program in General Surgery for the 2014–2015 academic year. TTP associates across the country are mentored by notable surgeons throughout this one-year program. The individualized curriculum will focus on building clinical decision-making expertise, increasing autonomy, and honing practice management skills. Each experience is based on your skills and tailored to your needs.

More information about TTP is available in the September 2013 ACS Bulletin, at www.facs.org/ttp, or by contacting the Division of Education at ttp@facs.org.

Save the Date: ACS Leadership and Advocacy Summit

The ACS Leadership and Advocacy Summit will be held March 29–April 1 at the JW Marriott, Washington, DC. Registration opens in January 2014.

At the Summit, you will

  • Enhance your leadership skills by attending professional development sessions
  • Advocate for health care improvements
  • Connect with ACS leaders and learn how to get involved

ACS NSQIP Call for Abstracts

ACS NSQIP® Fourth Annual Medical Student and Surgical Resident Abstract Competition

The ACS National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP®) has issued a Call for Abstracts to be presented at its 2014 National Conference, July 26–29, at the New York Hilton Midtown. The deadline for submitting abstracts is January 15.

Medical students and surgical residents are encouraged to submit their research for the Fourth Annual Abstract Competition. The primary author will be awarded a valuable prize and invited to present at the conference.

Abstracts that have been submitted or recently presented at meetings are eligible for presentation at the ACS NSQIP National Conference. In the view of ACS NSQIP, presentation of a paper at the conference does not prohibit the presentation or publication of the material elsewhere.

The conference will provide a forum for conveying the most recent knowledge pertaining to national and local surgical quality initiatives, current methods for analyzing and employing ACS NSQIP data, and the management, analysis, and interpretation of ACS NSQIP data. A number of breakout sessions will promote an interactive format. For more information and to submit abstracts, contact nsqipconference@facs.org or call 312-202-5261.

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RAS Executive Board

Rob Winfield, MD, Chair
Joseph Sakran, MD, Vice-Chair
Maya Babu, MD, Secretary

RAS Governing Board

Aaron Baker, MD
Megan Durr, MD
Konstantinos Economopoulos, MD
Gerald Gantt, MD
Michael Johnson, MD
Mehul Raval, MD
Lauren Smithson, MD
Renée Solomon, MD
Dino Spaniolas, MD
Stephen Torres, MD
Christian Vercler, MD
Elliot Wakeam, MD
Corey Wright, MD
Feibi Zheng, MD

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