invited to speak at the Medical Student Program and share their
ideas with the audience. Program activities include a Great Surgical Games competition in which students participate in suturing
and knot-tying, a student trauma call, and medical student surgery
research mentoring programs.
Medical SIGs can play a key role in recruitment of students to
surgical residency and the profession. Both the Association for Surgical Education and the ACS encourage the development of these
groups, which can provide medical students with exposure to both
general surgery and surgical subspecialties. Additionally, from the
student’s perspective, SIGs can help develop mentors, investigate
research opportunities, and may even help students select surgery as
a specialty. Nearly half of all U.S. medical schools have established a
SIG. 15 There have been concerns in recent years from program directors and other educators about levels of recruitment to the field of
general surgery and that the interest in general surgery as a specialty
is dwindling. Surveys in the past have identified minimal interaction between surgeons and medical students, resulting in a negative
impression of general surgery in a significant number of students. 16
SIGs, with faculty and resident participation, may improve the perception of surgery as a specialty and help convey the positive, exciting,
and fulfilling aspects of a surgical career.
The students also participate in knot-tying and suturing sessions
with world-renowned surgeons, including (all MD, FACS) Christopher Brandt, Andre Campbell, Rebecca Evangelista, Celeste Hollands,
Mary Hooks, Joseph Iocono, Deborah Loeff, Paul Schenarts, Susan
Steinemann, and Stephen Yang. This stellar group of surgeons works
all year to create the best schedule of events to encourage students
to pursue a career in surgery. They travel to Ohio, California, and
even Hawaii with this mission in mind. Each year, the CMSE’s
Medical Student Program attracts more students from across the
country, and with that, seeks to encourage students to join us in this
The culture of surgery thrives on hard work, energy, compassion, and
education. During the progression of training, the adage of “see one,
do one, teach one” becomes more and more important. The RAS-ACS
works to not only help its members thrive in their careers as surgeons,
but also to attract the best and brightest minds to surgery—and teach
them to strive for success, one knot at a time. ♦
9. American College of Surgeons.
Communications Committee. Member
Services. About RAS. Available at: www.
communications. Accessed April 12, 2015.
10. American College of Surgeons.
Help/FAQs. Available at: http://
faq#whatarecommunities. Accessed April
11. American College of Surgeons. Education
Committee. Member Services. Available
leadership/education. Accessed April 12,
12. American College of Surgeons. Value
of membership. Available at: www.facs.
ashx. Accessed April 12, 2015.
13. American College of Surgeons. Top 10
reasons to participate. Member Services.
Available at: www.facs.org/member-
services/ras/top10. Accessed April 12,
14. American College of Surgeons.
Membership Committee. Member
Services. Available at: www.facs.org/
membership. Accessed April 12, 2015.
15. American College of Surgeons. Surgical
interest groups. Available at: www.
facs.org/education/resources/medical-students/sigs. Accessed April 12, 2015.
16. Ko CY, Escarce JJ, Baker L, Klein
D, Guarino C. Predictors for medical
students entering a general surgery
residency: National survey results.
Surgery. 2004:136( 3):567-572.