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

Around the College

ACS/Pfizer Award Nominations Due March 1

The ACS/Pfizer Surgical Volunteerism and Humanitarian Awards recognize and celebrate ACS Fellows and members whose altruism, vision, leadership, and dedication provide models to emulate and whose contributions have made a lasting difference.

Typically, there are five award categories for which an individual can be nominated—humanitarian, domestic volunteerism, international volunteerism, military, and resident. For 2021, a sixth category, the Academic Global Surgeon, has been added: The ACS/Pfizer Academic Global Surgeon Award will be given in recognition of those surgeons who are committed to giving back to society by making significant contributions to surgical care through organized educational activities. The award is intended for ACS Fellows in active academic global surgical practice who are committed to applying research, training, and evidence-based advocacy to make significant contributions to surgical education and care in regions of inequities, or retired Fellows who have been involved in academic global surgery during their active practice and into retirement. Surgeons of all specialties are eligible for this award.

The awards nomination page, accessible through the Operation Giving Back (OGB) website, is now open. The nomination period will close on March 1, 2021. We strongly encourage you to submit nominations on behalf of your surgical peers deserving of an award in the various categories.

Feel free to contact OGB with any questions at or

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Surgical Workforce

In an interview with Young Fellows Association Chair Joshua M.V. Mammen, MD, PhD, FACS, Oscar K. Serrano, MD, MBA, FACS, offers suggestions for applying diversity, equity, and inclusion in your health care system as a young surgeon. In addition, Dr. Serrano co-authored "Diversity, equity, and inclusion: Leveling the playing field for surgical patients" in the January 2021 issue of the Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons. The January 2021 issue featured a series of articles written by RAS members on the topic.

Update Your ACS Profile

New security standards are in place for your ACS member profile. To ensure password security and avoid unauthorized access, ACS is implementing industry-recommended, PCI-compliant password strength policies. This change is essential for us to offer enhanced functionality for our e-commerce offerings.

This new requirement is in effect now. All users will be required to change their password to meet identified industry security standards upon their next login.

  1. Log in to the ACS website,
  2. Select My Profile from the top navigation
  3. Review and update your ACS profile.

All user passwords must meet the following requirements:

  • At least 8 characters in length
  • At least 1 uppercase letter
  • At least 1 lowercase letter
  • At least 1 number
  • At least 1 special character (i.e., !, @, #, $, -)

If you have any questions regarding this change, please contact Member Services at 1-800-621-4111 or

We thank you in advance for your participation in enhancing web security for our users.

Advisory Council for Cardiothoracic Surgery Update

The Advisory Council for Cardiothoracic Surgery will be involved in several panel presentations during Clinical Congress 2021, including Diversity and Inclusion in Surgery: Practicing What We Preach, Specialty Considerations in Endoscopic Foregut Surgery, Management of Thromboembolic Disease in the Surgery Patient, Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation in Adults, Pediatric Cardiothoracic Patients: How to Transition Them to Adult Care, and Beyond the DeMeester Score: When to Recommend Anti-Reflux Surgery. Be sure to add them to your session list!

Evgeny Arshava, MD
YFA Liaison, Advisory Council for Cardiothoracic Surgery

Cancer Surgery Standards Program

What Registrars, Pathologists, and Surgeons Need to Know about CoC Operative Standards

Standards 5.3 through 5.8 of the 2020 Commission on Cancer (CoC) accreditation standards, Optimal Resources for Cancer Care, were developed from the evidence-based critical elements of procedures described in the Operative Standards for Cancer Surgery Volumes I & II (OSCS). The CoC recently released implementation details for the operative standards, including dates and compliance criteria.

Standards 5.7 and 5.8 require pathology reports to include specific elements in synoptic format and will be implemented in CoC-accredited cancer programs beginning January 2021 (Figure 1). The Cancer Surgery Standards Program (CSSP), a new program of the American College of Surgeons, will host two webinars in December to help pathologists, registrars, and surgeons understand the requirements of these standards so that the appropriate specimens are retrieved for pathology review and documentation. In each webinar, a multidisciplinary panel will discuss the purpose of the standard, best practices for achieving compliance, and the role of these evidence-based standards in improving outcomes for patients with cancer. Details for both webinars can be found on the Cancer Programs Education and Events web page.

Figure 1. Requirements for Standards 5.7 and 5.8: Compliance and Site Reviews

Standards 5.3–5.6 require operative reports to document specific elements and responses in a synoptic format. These will be implemented in CoC-accredited cancer programs in a phased approach beginning in 2022 (Figure 2). The CSSP has developed comprehensive synoptic operative reports for breast cancer, colon cancer, and melanoma. The CSSP has been in discussions with the major Electronic Medical Record (EMR) companies and third-party vendors since early 2020 to ensure that these synoptic operative reports have been designed to efficiently fit within the clinical workflow.

The CSSP has encouraged EMR vendors to integrate capabilities for synoptic reporting as soon as possible to ensure surgeons at CoC-accredited cancer programs can begin routine use early in order to achieve 70 percent compliance by January 2023. Recent survey results show it will take anywhere from three to 15 months for sites to achieve this level of compliance for these standards. Sites are encouraged to reach out to their EMR vendors to confirm that plans are underway to include these synoptic operative reports for surgeons and to learn about the release timelines. Additional information on the availability of the CSSP synoptic operative reports will be released in early 2021. CoC-accredited cancer programs are not required to use the synoptic operative reports developed by the CSSP and may elect to develop their own synoptic operative reports to meet CoC requirements.

Figure 2. Requirements for Standards 5.3-5.6: Compliance and Site Reviews

In the coming months the CSSP will hold educational webinars and tweet chats on Standards 5.3–5.8, and welcomes pathologists, registrars, and surgeons to participate. The CSSP is working directly with registrars and surgeons to develop a host of resources including short videos on each standard for presentation at multidisciplinary tumor boards, tip sheets and checklists on the critical elements, and a comprehensive toolkit. These resources will be posted on the CSSP website and shared with staff at CoC accredited cancer programs when available. Stay tuned to Cancer Programs News for upcoming webinars and resources!