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

Committee Reports

Update from the OGB and Global Engagement Subcommittee

Marissa Boeck, MD

Operation Giving Back (OGB) and the RAS-ACS Global Surgery Workgroup (GSWG) have had an exciting year! The RAS-ACS GSWG worked in conjunction with OGB to propose and organize Clinical Congress sessions. The two sessions selected for ACS Clinical Congress 2019—What Works? Success in Global Surgical System Strengthening: From Problems to Solutions and #GlobalSurgery: Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives on Harnessing the Power of Social Media—were drafted and co-moderated by ACS-RAS GSWG Chair Dr. Marissa Boeck. We submitted eight proposals for ACS Clinical Congress 2020, and two were selected—An Approach to Developing Global Surgery Partnerships and Academic Global Surgery: Barriers and Solutions. We submitted five proposals for ACS Clinical Congress 2021, which are awaiting decisions. We selected four RAS-ACS GSWG–OGB liaisons, with terms from 2019 to 2022, including Erica Ludi, Education; Nabeel Zafar, Global Engagement; Josh Bleicher, Domestic; and Cliff Ewbank, Advocacy. Finally, the ACS-COSECSA Surgical Training Collaborative at Hawassa University in southern Ethiopia continued to evolve, with the focus shifting to working on logistical issues and ensuring continuity. At the time of Clinical Congress 2019, 29 faculty members had gone. Additional areas of focus will include increasing resident involvement, expanding educational course offerings, and looking into how to scale up at other potential locations.

Update from SurgeonsPAC

Hari Keshava, MD

As residents, we are the future of surgery in the U.S. Being involved in the policy and how it will shape the practice of surgery in the future is crucial, especially at a time like this. Specifically, policy regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, proposed Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) payment cuts, and the upcoming elections will have a huge impact in our training and our future practices. Financial constraints caused by reduced payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic along with the future CMS global payment cuts will be devastating to surgeon reimbursement, potentially impacting resident training, resident autonomy, and future jobs. For further information, visit the ACS website.

I urge all RAS-ACS members to be involved with and contribute to SurgeonsPAC to help surgical resident education and our future careers. Contact Katie Oehmen at to learn more.

Update from the Committee on Diversity Issues

Bethany L. Strong, MD

The ACS Committee on Diversity Issues is developing a podcast highlighting leaders in surgery from diverse backgrounds. In-depth interviews will be conducted. Tell us what you would like to know from these pioneers in surgery! E-mail with comments.

Update from the General Surgery Coding and Reimbursement Committee

Brett Tracy, MD

The first 2020 meeting for the General Surgery Coding and Reimbursement Committee (GSCRC), held on March 27, was made virtual this year but remained very productive. We began with a discussion on physician compensation projects, which was led by Frank Opelka, MD, FACS; Lauren Foe, MPH; and Vinita Mujumdar, JD. Updates from the Division of Advocacy and Health Policy (DAHP) and the RVS Update Committee (RUC) were provided, followed by evaluation of Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) issues. The meeting concluded with brainstorming workshop ideas surrounding tips for the employed surgeon, as well as developing a primer for residents to understand documentation, coding, and billing.

Update from the Committee on Resident Education

Victoria Miles, MD

The ACS Committee on Resident Education has been very busy. The Resident Mentored Autonomy Project is ongoing. First, patient education flyers are being created and updated. We welcome any feedback. In addition, the tools for assessing resident intraoperative technical and non-technical autonomy are being continually developed with leaders Dr. Delman and Dr. Smink paving the way. In addition, Dr. Murayama is directing the faculty development portion of the project. Finally, the empowered learner surgical resident portion of the team has created an Empowered Learner Cheat Sheet. The Resident Mentored Autonomy Project will be published in its entirety later this year. Potential recipients for the resident awards presented at Clinical Congress each year, including the Resident Award for Exemplary Teaching and the Chassin Award for Professionalism in General Surgery, are being considered. Final decisions will be made soon and announced at Clinical Congress 2020. Multiple panel proposals for Clinical Congress 2020 were submitted, and two were accepted. Be sure to check out “Making the Time to Teach” and “Medical Student Handoff: Best Practices for ‘Feed Forward’ Information from Medical School to Residency Training” this year! 2021 panel proposals were discussed and have been submitted. The committee encourages future participation in the Residents as Teachers and Leaders Course in 2021. This year’s course was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and has been tentatively rescheduled for November 20–22, 2020. Last but not least, the committee hopes all surgical educators are utilizing the ACS/APDS/ASE Resident Prep Curriculum, which is being continually updated. Any feedback regarding the curriculum is welcome.

Update from the NAPRC Accreditation Subcommittee

Adam Studniarek, MD

The National Accreditation Program for Rectal Cancer (NAPRC) continues to work on improving the care for patients with rectal cancer through defining clear and specific requirements for the sites seeking accreditation. The committee continues to review individual questions from all subspecialties involved in the accreditation process as well as questions from sites seeking accreditation, especially during these difficult, unprecedented times. The COVID-19 Impact Tracker for NAPRC Standards has been created to assess the delays and difficulties associated with the pandemic. The next subcommittee meeting will be held at the end of July 2020 during the virtual ACS Quality and Safety Conference.

Update from the NAPRC Education Subcommittee

Salini Hota, MD

The NAPRC Education Subcommittee is actively developing a virtual composition of current literature on rectal cancer. This committee is also planning a webinar to help educate the medical community about the NAPRC and about rectal cancer care. We are looking forward to the Clinical Congress this year!

Update from the Committee on Trauma

Julia Coleman, MD

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the March 2020 Committee on Trauma (COT) meeting transitioned to a  virtual format, with some events being rescheduled for Clinical Congress 2020 (including the Resident Paper Competition). However, despite this change in plans, the ACS and COT Advocacy Pillar have been active during the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring that lessons learned from trauma systems and preservation of trauma resources are translated into preparedness and response to the COVID-19 pandemic, among other issues. Future COT plans evolve and adapt to our ever-changing times, and we’re keeping our eyes on the future and our 100-year celebration in 2022! Interested in getting more involved in the COT? Consider becoming a STOP THE BLEED® Instructor, joining the SurgeonsPAC, contacting your Senators and Representatives about ongoing ACS “asks,” or becoming a local surgeon-patient advocate.

RAS-ACS Is Seeking Nominations for Two Open Liaison Positions

  • Board of Governors Workgroup on Continuing Education
  • Advisory Council for Ophthalmological Surgery

Apply online by July 20.