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

Recent ACS News

Top 10 Takeaways from the June 2019 Board of Regents Meeting 

1. ACS Finances remain strong. The proposed 2020 budget was reviewed and found to be fiscally responsible and supportive of the ACS mission. It was approved.

2. An ACS Statement on Harassment, Bullying, and Discrimination was approved. The statement was developed by the Women in Surgery Committee, with input from the ACS Committee on Diversity, and provides a framework for surgical departments and practices to create a work environment free of bullying, harassment, and discrimination. The Statement is available online and will be published in the Bulletin later this summer.

3. A revised ACS Statement on Patient Safety Principles for Office-Based Surgery Utilizing Moderate Sedation/Analgesia was approved. The revision by the BoG Surgical Care Delivery Workgroup reflects the ACS’ mission to improve the care of the surgical patient and to safeguard standards of care in an optimal and ethical practice environment. The Statement will be available online and in the Bulletin later this summer.

4. A revised ACS Statement on Older Adult Falls and Falls Prevention was approved. The Committee on Trauma, through its Subcommittee on Injury Prevention and Control, developed the statement to educate surgeons and other medical professionals on the significance of falls for the elderly and evidenced-based prevention activities. The Statement will be available online and in the Bulletin later this summer. 

5. Advocacy: ACS has identified 43 healthy policy and advocacy issues that are important to surgeons. Sixteen of the 43 issues are the focus of the advocacy team as identified by the current legislative proposals.

6. Board of Governors Report: As Chair of the Board of Governors, Steven Stain, MD, FACS, reported on the progress of the Governors’ workgroups. The Executive Committee recently approved a new Governor for the Society of Asian Academic Surgeons (effective after Clinical Congress 2019). He also outlined the three goals of the Board of Governors for 2019-2020:

  • Help Chapters grow membership 
  • Increase collaboration between the ACS Board of Governors, Board of Regents, and Advisory Councils 
  • Strengthen communication efforts across the ACS 

7. Dr. Stain also gave an update on the Joint Session with the Board of Regents at Clinical Congress 2019 in San Francisco, which will be held October 27 during the Annual Business Meeting of the Board of Governors. The session will focus on the future of the ACS and speakers from Regents to YFA members will represent a variety of perspectives. The Regents are all very supportive of the activities of the Governors and plan to attend the meeting. The Regents also reassured the Officers of the Board of Governors that they are 1) supportive of the efforts of the Governors, and 2) listening to the Governors and Fellows as they work to lead the ACS. (As a personal aside, I want to reassure my fellow Governors that each and every Regent with whom I have conversed has conveyed that they not only want input from Fellows and Governors – they NEED it to guide them in their leadership roles. This underscores the importance of the Governors in our role as the mechanism for bidirectional communication with the Regents.) 

8. The Board of Governors approved an additional seat for an ACS Chapter in Iraq.

9. The Division of Education continues to make major contributions on multiple levels:

10. Clinical Congress 2019: Don’t miss Nina Totenberg, legal affairs correspondent for National 
Public Radio, who will give the Martin Memorial Lecture on the health of the Supreme Court

Congratulations to Essay Contest Winner Laura Goodman

Laura Goodman, MDThe RAS-ACS would like to congratulate RAS member Laura F. Goodman, MD, a pediatric surgery fellow at Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA, for her winning essay: Cut it out: Changing the status quo. Sponsored by the Resident and Associate Society’s Communications Committee, the essay contest attracted eight essay writers this year. Four committee members judged the essays by rating them on a five-point scale using the following criteria: technical use of vocabulary and grammar, language and writing style, and reflection of ACS principles. Dr. Goodman will be awarded a $500 cash prize at the RAS-ACS Business Meeting during the 2019 ACS Clinical Congress in San Francisco. 

SECOND Trial Announced to Address Resident Wellness

A randomized trial aimed at analyzing and improving general surgery resident wellness recently began enrolling training programs. The Surgical Education Culture Optimization through targeted interventions based on National comparative Data (SECOND) Trial seeks to improve the learning environment and resident well-being in 320 participating residency programs. For the first time, programs will receive data on their residents’ well-being.

At present, no data are available to surgical residency programs about how resident well-being and burnout at their program compares with other training programs across the U.S. The SECOND Trial will address this lack of data by providing programs with comparative, confidential, program-specific data for the first time about burnout and the myriad factors that contribute to poor well-being among residents. The Wellness Toolkit includes ready-to-use interventions from the literature, best practice guidelines, and examples from other successful surgical residency programs.

The SECOND Trial comes after the 2016 landmark Flexibility In duty-hour Requirements for Surgical Trainees (FIRST) Trial found that flexible surgical resident work-hour policies were safe for patients and preferred by surgical residents. However, the FIRST Trial also found that 39 percent of U.S. general surgery residents experience burnout symptoms weekly.

“The data from the FIRST Trial demonstrated that resident well-being was getting worse each year, irrespective of the study arm,” said Karl Bilimoria, MD, MS, FACS, SECOND Trial Co-Principal Investigator and the John B. Murphy Professor of Surgery and director, Surgical Outcomes and Quality Improvement Center (SOQIC), Northwestern Medicine, Chicago, IL. “We developed the SECOND Trial with the American College of Surgeons (ACS), Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), and our other partners to both provide programs with data about how they are doing and also with real initiatives that they can implement to improve resident well-being.” 

“The SECOND Trial represents an important step in understanding resident well-being,” said ACS Executive Director David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS. “The data from this trial will help inform our understanding about trainees’ wellness at surgical residency programs around the country and move a path forward for ensuring that it becomes a priority in the future.”

The SECOND Trial is in partnership with the ACS, ACGME, American Board of Surgery, Association of Program Directors in Surgery, Society of Surgical Chairs, Association of American Medical Colleges, and Northwestern Medicine’s SOQIC.