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

YFA Council and Workgroup News

Leveraging Social Media for the YFA

During this upcoming year, the Communications Workgroup will focus on letting the membership know of all the value that the ACS provides to young surgeons. Whether it is resources to help with billing and coding, practice management, patient education, continuing medical education, or compliance with the latest iteration of health care reform, the ACS has its membership covered. Many times, the busy surgeon in practice simply doesn’t have time to sit down to the computer and search through endless web pages. With social media apps on your mobile devices, it can be easy to scroll through a large amount of content and find applicable information for practical use.

As a first step, the YFA has launched a Facebook page in addition to the ACS Communities. Go to and “like” us on Facebook. Here you will find news about the College as well as information on upcoming webinars and resources found on the ACS website.

Our goal is to use as many channels as possible to keep the membership updated as to the value that being a Fellow of the College provides. In this effort, we have also developed the hashtag #YFAACS for use on both Twitter and Facebook. So use the social media platform of your choice—either Facebook or Twitter—and log on today to learn about all the ways the ACS can help you as a young Fellow.

James W. Suliburk, MD, FACS
Chair, YFA Communications Workgroup
Houston, TX

What I Learned Joining the YFA: A College of Many Tribes

John ElfarA life in orthopaedic surgery teaches you that different types of surgeons do not usually mix. We learn our lessons from our own kind—in the back rooms and hallways when the senior residents tell us what to do. Our tribe is for our kind. We self-segregate through medical school and residency training and, then, in life. I am an orthopaedic surgeon.

The College changed my perspective. Before I became a Fellow, I thought that other types of surgeons were so different from orthopaedists. General surgeons work in different places and on different problems. My first Clinical Congress was actually the first time I spoke with some of the general surgeons in my own institution. Through shared experiences with the ACS, I learned how much we had in common. Now, we are friends.

I joined the YFA on the advice of a general surgeon and friend at my hospital. With the YFA, I met a great group of people interested in advancing advocacy and establishing a voice for young surgeons within the College and beyond. Perhaps they wanted to include an orthopaedic surgeon and I was the only one there. I was lucky to join because the YFA really broadened my horizons.

At the annual Leadership & Advocacy Summit, I lobbied on Capitol Hill for causes important to society, the College, and all surgeons. These were causes I never would have considered if I remained cloistered within my tribe. There is a place for all surgeons in the College. That inclusion is critical.

I decided to apply for the YFA Governing Council and was honored to be chosen. The YFA Governing Council put me in touch with many of the leaders who stand to help shape policy across all of health care. This year, I was named liaison to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Fellowship in the American College of Surgeons has been entirely positive for me. Even my research horizons have been broadened by active membership.

There is a great deal to gain from blurring the lines between tribes. I am first a surgeon and then an orthopaedist. We all want to think our one little group is most likely to enrich us, but it is inclusion, unity, and the crossing of tribal lines that make us better people. My friends in the College allow me to trade more than simple banter and go beyond the hospital-hallway grins and nods. I have a community outside of orthopaedic surgery. The ACS is the key melting pot for surgical advocacy and leadership training in the new health care landscape. I learned that from my friends in the Young Fellows Association.

John Elfar, MD, FACS
YFA Governing Board Member
Rochester, NY