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

YFA E-News: June 2016

Message from the Editor

This spring, the Young Fellows Association (YFA) Governing Council attended the American College of Surgeons (ACS) 2016 Leadership & Advocacy Summit.  Many topics were discussed including the College’s advocacy efforts, ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC, emotional intelligence, chapter participation, and becoming a surgeon leader.  The event concluded with a trip to Capitol Hill where College members, via a tour de force, met with members of Congress and promoted issues pertinent to surgeons and their patients.  As healthcare reform continues to march forward, the overwhelming message was that now more than ever is the time to leverage our advocacy efforts and develop leadership skills useful to current, and future, surgeons.  To learn more, or join, SurgeonsPAC, please visit or contact SurgeonsPAC staff at 202-672-1520. 

Contributions to ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. Contributions are voluntary, and all members of ACSPA have the right to refuse to contribute without reprisal. Federal law prohibits ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC from accepting contributions from foreign nations. By law, if your contributions are made using a personal check or credit card, ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC may use your contribution only to support candidates in federal elections. All corporate contributions to ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC will be used for educational and administrative fees of ACSPA and other activities permissible under federal law. Federal law requires ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC to use its best efforts to collect and report the name, mailing address, occupation, and the name of the employer of individuals whose contributions exceed $200 in a calendar year. ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC is a program of the ACSPA, which is exempt from federal income tax under section 501c(6) of the Internal Revenue Code.

James Suliburk, MD, FACS
YFA E-News Editor
Houston, TX

Advocacy: Sharing the Surgeon’s Voice

The ACS is the voice of all surgeons across all specialties. If we aren’t advocating to inform policies that affect our practice and patient care, someone else will. Hear why it’s imperative for surgeons to get involved and influence the future of surgery.

Log in today at SurgeonsVoice to get up-to-the-minute information on legislative issues affecting you.

Joshua A. Broghammer, MD, FACS
Kansas City, KS

Leadership & Advocacy Summit Essay Contest

A. Britton ChristmasWhile under the mentorship of Hiram C. Polk, MD, FACS, and J. David Richardson, MD, FACS, at the University of Louisville in Kentucky, I was trained that physicians are, above all else, leaders and advocates for our patients. Although surgeons are often looked upon as team leaders and patient advocates, few receive formal leadership training. Through my recent experience, I honestly believe that the ACS Leadership & Advocacy Summit represents a foundation for the recruitment, development, and growth of future leaders in surgery.   

The Leadership Summit provided valuable information and insight on team management and conflict resolution, sustained leadership, and emotional intelligence. As surgeons, we are expected to be leaders and problem solvers, although sometimes at the expense of our own teams. However, we must acknowledge that the success of any team hinges on communication and a flattening of the hierarchy pyramid in which all members provide input. The Leadership Summit sessions provided tools for self-assessment, strategic thinking, and team success. Another valuable aspect of the Summit was the opportunity to meet with other local leaders for a unified discussion about the pressing issues for our respective states thereby establishing contacts and unification for our efforts.

The Advocacy Summit offered participants the opportunity to learn legislative, health policy, and lobbying processes. This culminated in a tremendous opportunity for advocacy development through meetings with members of Congress and their staffs on Capitol Hill. I would not only recommend, but encourage, every young surgeon to participate in advocacy. Advocacy affords the young surgeon the opportunity to tell the story not only of the care we provide but also the stories of the patients for whom we care. As surgeons, we are educators and it is our duty to educate not only our patients, but also our legislators.

A. Britton Christmas, MD, FACS
Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, NC