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

Letter from the Editor

Russell J. Nauta

Russell J. Nauta, MD, FACS
Governor, American Surgical Association (ASA)
Editor, The Cutting Edge: News and Notes from the Board of Governors

As the content editors of The Cutting Edge, we very much wanted to produce an issue immediately preceding Clinical Congress 2017 to review newsletter topics covered over the past year and highlight upcoming Clinical Congress topics and events.

First and foremost, we want to present this newsletter as one of many vehicles that enable the American College of Surgeons (ACS) to communicate with the Governors and, through us, the Fellows we represent. Vehicles such as the ACS Communities, the Bulletin, ACS NewsScope, and others sometimes cover similar topics, but with a slightly different emphasis.

Among these vehicles, by far the most nimble is the ACS Communities, a project overseen by Tyler Hughes, MD, FACS. Topics covered there have found their way into the other publications, including this newsletter, and—perhaps more than ever—fuel the program content of the Clinical Congress.

Through its recent publication of the “Red Book,” Optimal Resources in Surgical Quality and Safety, the College has asserted its multidisciplinary leadership role; this publication summarizes and expands upon other ACS initiatives, including the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP®), the Trauma Quality Improvement Program (TQIP®), and oversight of cancer and trauma programs.

Over the past year, the ACS has been engaged in several controversial issues—third rail issues to be more specific. We have had the Board of Regents and ACS Committee on Trauma jointly engaging the topic of firearm safety and The Hartford Consensus group taking on the “Stop the Bleed” campaign. In this issue, Jo Buyske, MD, FACS, just months after taking over the directorship of the American Board of Surgery (ABS) from Frank Lewis, MD, FACS, describes planned flexibility in the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) process under consideration by the ABS directors. Hot topic conversations continue on models of surgical training, the role and content of acute care surgery programs, and whether we can turn out a general surgical diplomate equally capable of specialty fellowship or performance as a rural surgeon.

National meetings and peer-reviewed publications are increasingly populated by studies mining the rich potential of large databases. Discussions concerning the relationship of quality to volume are juxtaposed with discussions examining the relationship of quality to access. And our surgical advocacy efforts, most visible during the annual gathering of ACS Fellows’ representatives in Washington, DC, are increasingly inclusive and focused.

We as a newsletter group have attempted to summarize the College’s energy. It’s a great time to be a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and a Fellow could point to any one of a dozen initiatives to respond to the perennial question of “What has the College done for me lately?” We hope that our content has been useful to you and that we have done our part to describe established and new initiatives.

Continue the conversation. Come to Clinical Congress 2017 in San Diego, CA. 


Russell J. Nauta, MD, FACS

Contact Us

Russell J. Nauta, MD, FACS
B/G Newsletter Editor
Chair, Newsletter Workgroup

Emily Kalata
Manager, Board of Governors