by David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT
For more than 100 years, membership in the American College of Surgeons (ACS) has sig- nified a surgeon’s commitment to delivering
the highest quality patient care, and every day the
staff and leadership strive to ensure that each generation of surgeons can meet the evolving challenges
that face the profession. These are the key messages
that a new campaign—Realize the Potential of Your
Profession—is trying to convey to young surgeons
who are debating the value of becoming a Fellow and
being actively involved in the ACS.
A core element of this campaign calls upon ACS
Fellows to share the benefits of membership with
nonmember colleagues and directly engage young
surgeons through various communications channels.
We plan to offer a series of networking events to drive
awareness and interest in ACS membership. For example, we will pair a senior leader with a young surgeon
to host an event for potential members in key markets.
The value of Fellowship
Talking points that we plan to include in these interactions include the following:
• ACS Fellows have been among the most eminent surgeons in the world. Early ACS Fellows, such as Ernest
Amory Codman, MD, FACS; Franklin H. Martin, MD,
FACS; William J. and Charles H. Mayo, MD, FACS; and
Harvey Cushing, MD, FACS, helped to define quality
surgical patient care and set the standards for surgical education and training. Alfred Blalock, MD, FACS;
Robert M. Zollinger, MD, FACS; David C. Sabiston,
Jr., MD, FACS; Joseph Murray, MD, FACS; C. Roll-ins Hanlon, MD, FACS; and their peers led the College through a period of unprecedented advances in
surgical treatment. More contemporary figures have
helped to guide the College through decades of Medicare payment changes and increasing public demands
for value-based care.
• The ACS provides young surgeons with unparalleled access to opportunities for continuous professional development and exposure to clinical expertise,
enabling them to be the best surgeons possible.
The annual Clinical Congress of the ACS offers a range
of hands-on and didactic courses, panel discussions,
and social events where young surgeons can interact
with leaders in the organization and the profession.
In addition, ACS publications, such as the
Bulletin, the Journal of the American College of Surgeons,
and various electronic newsletters, including ACS
NewsScope and The ACS Advocate, ensure that members are informed about the issues that affect surgical practice, as well as advances in clinical care and
scientific research. Furthermore, the Committee
on Trauma (COT) and the Commission on Cancer
(CoC) sponsor programs to help surgeons and other health care professionals provide optimal care
to patients with some of the most acute surgical
• The ACS helps young surgeons to develop leadership
skills and ascend in their career. Each year, the ACS
presents the ACS Leadership & Advocacy Summit
in Washington, DC, where young surgeons learn
about the key characteristics of effective leaders,
such as emotional intelligence, and put these skills
to use to advocate on behalf of their patients. Furthermore, the ACS and several surgical specialty
societies offer scholarships for surgeons to participate in the Heller Executive Leadership Program
in Health Policy and Management at Brandeis University, Waltham, MA. The College also provides
opportunities for young members to develop relationships with more established Fellows who can
serve as professional mentors and coaches.
• The ACS has developed a reputation as a leader in quality improvement. Through the standard-setting and
verification activities of the COT, the CoC, The
Joint Commission (which evolved from the ACS
Hospital Standards Program), the ACS National
Surgical Quality Improvement Program, and so on,
the College has become a trusted advisor to policymakers on quality issues. The College also is at the
forefront of advising surgeons on public reporting
and offers services, such as the Surgeon Specific
Registry, to help surgeons meet Maintenance of
Certification and other regulatory requirements.