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

Opportunities and Resources

ACS Releases Updated Statement on Parental Leave

The American College of Surgeons released a statement that addresses standard policies for women and men in surgical training who require time away from clinical duties to accommodate childbearing or adoption needs. Read the full Statement on the Importance of Pregnancy, Parental Leave, and Workplace Accommodations for Surgical Residents and Fellows.

In Case You Missed the RAS Hangout on Institutional Racism in August

Julia R. Coleman, MD, MPH

The recent protests after the killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, as well as the disparities faced by Black Americans and other underrepresented minorities during the COVID-19 pandemic, have exposed the pervasiveness of systemic racism in our country. This extends beyond issues with policing and legislation, and directly affects us as surgeons. Research has indicated that patient from minority backgrounds have less access to care and poorer health care outcomes across many metrics. And these disparities not only affect our patients, but our workforce. The numbers of minorities in the medical profession and further within positions of leadership is discordant with national epidemiology and a hidden curriculum of minority marginalization is indoctrinated, propagated, and recycled back into generations of trainees, leading to a culture of uniformity and exclusion.

What is needed, now more than ever, is leadership to make a statement and take action against perpetuating institutionalized racism. As members of the ACS and RAS, we feel compelled to be a part of the national discourse in how we do this. On Tuesday, August 11, RAS Advocacy and Issues Chair Dr. Julia Coleman and RAS Communications Vice Chair Dr. Meghana Kashyup hosted a hangout to discuss systemic racism. The moderators included Dr. Zara Cooper, an acute care surgeon, trauma surgeon, and surgical intensivist certified in palliative medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Associate Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, and Dr. Fabian Johnston, a surgical oncologist, Director of the Peritoneal Surface Malignancy Program, and Associate Professor of Surgery at Johns Hopkins. The hangout, attending by over 20 RAS members, provided a means for RAS members to open-up and discuss how they are feeling, what they have been going through, or what they have previously experienced in light of these current events. The discussion was productive and ranged from the effects of system racism on patients and providers to the great need (and tremendous opportunity) for ACS and other organizations to not just promote diversity, but make a stand against racism. In the words of Dr. Cooper, "We need to promote diversity, but also be antiracist, because racism is bad for health care and for our patients. All patients should have access to high quality, compassionate care." The discussion was engaging and compelling and participants left with a shared sense of call to action.

There are many steps one can take to better understand the climate of systemic racism in this country. In our hangout, it was recommended to start with the following podcast: How Race Was Made (Seeing White, Part 2) from Scene on Radio on Apple Podcasts.

RAS Seeks Applications for Open Liaison Position, Due September 23

The Resident and Association Society seeks a resident or associate fellow member to serve as a liaison to the Association of Women in Surgery. Applications are to be submitted electronically, and are due by 5:00 pm (CDT) on September 23. No exceptions.

This three-year position will start in October, members applying will need to be able to serve a full-three year term while maintaining their membership status as a resident or associate fellow member of the ACS and AWS. Other position requirements include:

  • Prior work with AWS
  • Current member of AWS or willing to become a member
  • Willingness to attend all AWS Council meetings (two in-person and two conference calls) and the AWS Annual Conference sessions
  • Willingness to participate in AWS initiatives that align with the organization’s mission and strategic objectives, including programmatic development that benefits women trainees
  • Report to the ACS through bi-annual reports, and attend RAS monthly conference calls as able

Apply by September 23, 2020.