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

About the ATLS Program and Courses


  • Injury is precipitous and indiscriminate
  • The doctor who first attends to the injured patient has the greatest opportunity to impact outcome
  • The price of injury is excessive in dollars as well as human suffering


  • CME program developed by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Committee on Trauma
  • One safe, reliable method for assessing and initially managing the trauma patient
  • Revised every four years to keep abreast of changes


  • Designed for doctors who care for injured patients
  • Standards for successful completion established for doctors
  • ACS verifies doctors' successful course completion


  • An organized approach for evaluation and management of seriously injured patients
  • A foundation of common knowledge for all members of the trauma team
  • Applicable in both large urban centers and small rural emergency departments


  • Assess the patient's condition rapidly and accurately
  • Resuscitate and stabilize the patient according to priority
  • Determine if the patient's needs exceed a facility's capabilities
  • Arrange appropriately for the patient's definitive care
  • Ensure that optimum care is provided


Student Course

  • Teaches medical core content in an interactive format
  • Hands-on skills sessions in simulated trauma settings
  • Successful completion status valid for 4 years from course date

Student Refresher Course

  • Provides doctors the opportunity to maintain a current status
  • ½-day or 1-day course format
  • Content overview, triage scenarios, written and practical tests included

Instructor Course

  • Student Course participants identified as having instructor potential may advance to the Instructor Course within a specified time frame
  • Teaches the doctor how to teach the Advanced Trauma Life Support® (ATLS®) Student Course
  • Eligibility to participate is limited to doctors in countries where the program has been introduced and promulgated by the ACS


The American College of Surgeons is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

CME Credit

The American College of Surgeons designates this live activity for a maximum of * AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. 

Of the AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ listed above, a maximum of * credits meet the requirements for Self-Assessment.

*The maximum number of credits varies depending on the type of ATLS course.

Instructor Reverification

Please follow the steps as outlined in the 8th edition of the ATLS Faculty Manual, to find out if you are eligible to renew your Instructor status.

If you need further assistance, please contact the ATLS Office at 312-202-5160 or e-mail at