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

RAS E-News: February 2017

Message from the Editor

Welcome to the latest edition of RAS E-News! We here at the Resident and Associate Society of the American College of Surgeons (RAS-ACS) are looking forward to an exciting new year, and we have a stack of scholarship and conference opportunities for you to make your year a little more exciting as well. Happy February!

Vidya A. Fleetwood, MD
Editor, RAS E-News
General surgery resident, PGY 5
Rush University Medical Center

Message from the Chair

Nicolas MouawadWelcome to 2017, and I am so excited for the available opportunities your peers, colleagues, and the staff of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) are making available to you. 

Please consider joining one of our four standing committees that meet once a month via conference call. Listed below are their aims, descriptions, and current projects. All are welcome.

Remember that we are here for you!  We are your voice and we want to hear from you! Looking forward to a great year!

Nicolas J. Mouawad, MD, MPH
Chair, RAS-ACS
Vice chair, department of surgery, McLaren Bay Heart & Vascular, Bay City, MI
Assistant clinical professor, Michigan State University, East Lansing

Update from the Advocacy and Issues Committee

Naveen SangjiWhat Do We Do?

The Advocacy and Issues Committee helps promote resident engagement in policy issues locally and nationally. We host an annual symposium at Clinical Congress on a topic important to surgical trainees, maintain workgroups on current policy issues, and stay engaged with the work of several ACS standing committees.

What Do We Have Planned?

The 2016 RAS-ACS Symposium—a product of almost a year of planning by committee members under the leadership of William (Billy) Ward, Jr., MD—engendered good debate and was a resounding success. Committee members are now hard at work to organize the 2017 symposium. We have had robust discussions on a range of topics and have chosen to discuss the future of physician leadership. We welcome your participation in shaping the symposium over the coming months.

What Are We Working on Now?

Our workgroups remain productive on topics including the challenges faced by junior surgeons in the military, national drug shortages, and, most recently, the impact of physician extenders on the resident training experience. Finally, the committee stays current on the work of ACS standing committees like the Health Policy and Advocacy Group, and the ACS Professional Association Political Action Committee (ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC) through regular updates shared by resident liaisons.

We are looking forward to another year of strong engagement from our members in the work of the committee.

We especially welcome new members! If you have an idea you would like to see in action, an issue you care about, or are simply curious about the work of our committee, please join us on our monthly calls, which are held at 9:00 pm (EST) on the first Wednesday of each month. E-mail for information on how to call in.

Naveen F. Sangji, MD, MPH
Chair, RAS-ACS Advocacy and Issues Committee
General surgery resident PGY 7
Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston

Alisha Reiss, MD
Vice-Chair, RAS-ACS Advocacy and Issues Committee
Staff surgeon
Wayne Hospital, Greenville, OH

Christopher McNicoll, MD, MPH
Secretary, RAS-ACS Advocacy and Issues Committee
General surgery resident, PGY 4
University of Nevada School of Medicine, Las Vegas

Update from the Communications Committee

John HardawayWhat Do We Do?

The Communications Committee houses a diverse set of projects that seek to enhance communication and knowledge sharing amongst residents, Fellows, and leaders of the ACS. We represent RAS-ACS across multiple social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook, and ACS Communities. We are responsible for monthly publication of RAS E-News, which includes updates from our companion RAS committees, news of interest to surgical residents, and official RAS bulletins on major issues. We also conduct the annual resident essay contest and coordinate the resident submissions for the August issue of the Bulletin. This year’s essay contest theme is Be True to the Profession, Be True to Yourself, and we anticipate some great discussions about personal ethics clashing with the profession. The theme for the August Bulletin is Opioids: Crisis, Impact, and Solutions for the Surgeon, where each RAS-ACS committee will contribute an article on the topic from their perspective. Last, but not least, we also run the highly successful RAS-JACS online journal club, which has seen tremendous growth since its inception two years ago.

What Do We Have Planned?

This year is an exciting year for our committee. In the pipeline is a proposal to create a series of podcasts to accompany the This Week In SCORE® curriculum, where we will use the weekly quiz questions as a framework to review the week’s assigned SCORE topics. If you are interested in contributing to this effort, contact us at

Beginning next month, we will resume our RAS-ACS Spotlight feature, where we highlight a RAS member. To be eligible, you must (a) be a RAS member, (b) tell us something interesting about yourself and (c) tell us what you are doing in surgery these days. If selected, we will contact you for an informal interview over the phone. Personal questions may be asked, including, but not limited to, your favorite sports team and where you go for post-call brunch.

Finally, we are now recruiting video submissions from all members to be compiled in a montage to capture all of the amazing things that RAS members are involved in. Send us your RAS -related videos—conference snippets, RAS members getting together in new places, flashmobs— for a chance to get published on the RAS Twitter and Facebook pages!

E-mail us at for more information.

John Hardaway MD, PhD
Chair, Communications Committee
General surgery resident PGY 5
Michigan State University, East Lansing

Edward Shipper, MD
Vice-Chair, Communications Committee
General surgery resident PGY 4 (RY 2)
University of Texas Health Science Center – San Antonio

Christina Colosimo, DO
Secretary, Communications Committee
General surgery resident, PGY 1
Rocky Vista University, Denver

Update from the Membership Committee

Heidi HonWhat Do We Do?

The Membership Committee strives both to recruit new members to enjoy the benefits of RAS membership, and to increase the access to those benefits for current members.

What Do We Have Planned?

We have an annual international essay contest and we are finalizing the winners from this year; look for an announcement in the next newsletter! We are also developing a project to make RAS promotional videos and we would like RAS members to submit videos about RAS events that they are excited about and want to promote. We want members to let us know in a video what they love about being a RAS member. Smartphone videos are welcome!

To take part in these developments or to find out more about the committee, e-mail We look forward to hearing from you!

Heidi Hon, MD
Chair, Membership Committee
General surgery resident PGY 5
St. Luke’s University, Bethlehem, PA

Raphael Sun, MD
Vice-Chair, Membership Committee
General surgery resident PGY 7
Washington University—St. Louis

Yewande Alimi
Secretary, Membership Committee
General surgery resident
Georgetown University, Washington, DC