barriers to their participation in advocacy activities.
40 Surgeon-led efforts to streamline burdensome administrative
requirements by amending reimbursement models, such
as MACRA’s Merit-based Incentive Payment System, overlap in the areas of patient care, research, and advocacy.
One of the direct results of such advocacy efforts would be
to free up some of the time that is currently dedicated to
administrative requirements and redirect that to patient
care and our academic pursuits.
Unquestionably, surgeons and surgical trainees are
overburdened. We are expected by virtue of our chosen
profession to be adept in the OR and in clinics, remain current with medical literature, manage teams, participate
in quality improvement efforts, and, in academic environments, conduct research. Adding an expectation that
surgeons serve as advocates seems almost all-consuming.
However, with health care reform legislation under debate
in Congress at press time, the future of the nation’s health
care system is at stake. It is increasingly important that
surgeons join the conversation and embrace the role of
surgeon-advocate to support optimal care of the surgical patient and the well-being and stability of the surgical
Many opportunities for engagement in advocacy activities are available to surgeons and residents, ranging from
serving on a local hospital board to participating in lobbying events such as the College’s Advocacy Summit. For
residents and young surgeons specifically, joining one of
the RAS workgroups is a viable way to get involved in
The models of leadership have evolved over time; however, the promise of a surgeon as a leader in the community
has remained unchanged through the generations. Some
of us may find ourselves more inspired to pursue research,
while others will seek roles in advocacy, education, or service. Many surgeon-leaders will combine some of these
efforts as a multifaceted approach to providing leadership
for the profession and the patient community. The charge
remains to strive for excellence in the care of the surgical
patient and to honor our profession as we do so. ♦
RAS-ACS SYMPOSIUM: REFRAMING SURGICAL LEADERSHIP
37. American Cancer Society. Poll finds 8 in 10 likely
voters support increasing cancer research funding.
Cancer Action Network. Press release. May 10, 2016.
Available at: www.acscan.org/releases/poll-finds-8-
funding. Accessed May 31, 2017.
38. Hoyt D. Letter to the Honorable Fred Upton and
the Honorable Diana DeGette, 21st Century Cure
Initiatives. February 20, 2015. Available at: facs.org/~/
cures%20final%20draft%202015.ashx. Accessed May
39. Keswani SG, Moles CM, Morowitz M, et al. The future
of basic science in academic surgery: Identifying
barriers to success for surgeon-scientists. Ann Surg.
40. Rao SK, Kimball AB, Lehrhoff SR, et al. The impact
of administrative burden on academic physicians:
Results of a hospital-wide physician survey. Acad Med.
2017; 92( 2):237-243.
41. American College of Surgeons. Quality Payment
Program Resource Center. Available at: facs.org/
advocacy/qpp. Accessed June 1, 2017.