As I write this column, the American College of Surgeons’ (ACS) staff and volunteers are putting the finishing touches on the program for this year’s Clinical Congress, October 4–8, at McCormick Place, Chicago, IL. This year’s program, as usual, is replete with many excellent hands-on skills and didactic Postgraduate Courses, informative Panel Sessions, and opportunities to share and discuss scientific advances in surgery. In addition, we have added some member engagement activities that promise to make this Clinical Congress particularly memorable and enjoyable, and we will take some time to recap the year’s successes.
As always, Clinical Congress 2015 will provide the best surgical education and training opportunities for surgeons, surgery residents, medical students, and other members of the operating room team—all in one place. The theme of this year’s Clinical Congress—Achieving Your Personal Best: Improvement Based on Evidence—was selected by ACS President Andrew L. Warshaw, MD, FACS, FRCSEd(Hon).
The Program Committee, chaired by Valerie W. Rusch, MD, FACS, along with the ACS Division of Education, under the leadership of Ajit K. Sachdeva, MD, FACS, FRCSC, have developed an outstanding program. The 2015 Scientific Program has again been arranged in key thematic tracks covering both clinical and nonclinical topics and should be of interest to surgeons in every specialty. More than 120 Panel Sessions will be presented, along with 11 Named Lectures by distinguished experts in their respective fields. Didactic/Experiential and Surgical Skills Postgraduate Courses will enable attendees to develop advanced knowledge and techniques that they can apply in their practices as they strive to deliver optimal care to their patients.
This year’s Clinical Congress places increased emphasis on the science of surgery. As such, we have developed a Scientific Forum that will include surgical research presentations by residents and surgical investigators, while the Video-Based Education Sessions will showcase emerging surgical procedures. Clinical Congress attendees who are interested in learning about leading-edge issues in a less formal setting are encouraged to attend Meet-the-Expert Luncheons and Town Hall Meetings. Continuing Medical Education credits are available for most of these sessions, and Self-Assessment credit is available for participation in many Postgraduate Courses, Panel Sessions, and Video-Based Education Sessions.
In addition to these wonderful educational programs, this year the ACS is offering three new opportunities for attendees to meet and network in fun and innovative ways.
First, Clinical Congress attendees will have the opportunity to start their day off right with complimentary early-morning yoga and Zumba classes. Yoga will be offered 6:00–7:00 am Monday, October 5, and Zumba will be offered 5:30–6:30 am Tuesday, October 6. Both classes will take place at the headquarters hotel—the Hilton Chicago. Classes are appropriate for all ability levels, and water, yoga mats, and towels will be provided. Advance registration is required due to space limitations. (Register online.)
You’re sure to work up an appetite after a couple of days of attending yoga, Zumba, and going from meeting to meeting in the convention center. Plan to join ACS leaders and staff for ACS Taste of the City 5:00–7:00 pm Wednesday, October 7, at McCormick Place. This special event will showcase the diversity of Chicago’s dining scene and will feature music and other entertainment activities. To encourage a more relaxed environment after a full day of educational programming, we encourage you to dress casually and bring your friends and family.
Lastly, those of you who are part of the selfie craze on social media will want to participate in the ACS Selfie Scavenger Hunt and show the surgical community all that the Clinical Congress has to offer. There will be a raffle of up to three iPad Minis for those attendees who take and post the most selfies on Twitter. Selfies from the list below should be tweeted during the meeting using the Clinical Congress Twitter account at #CC15selfie:
- With a new Initiate/Fellow (include images of name badges)
- With an International Member (include images of name badges)
- With a Regent (include images of name badges)
- With an Officer (include images of name badges)
- With a Governor (include images of name badges)
- In front of McCormick Place
- In the ACS Resource Center
- In front of a poster at the Poster Session
- With a member of the ACS staff (include images of name badges)
- With a medical student (include images of name badges)
- With a resident/fellow (include images of name badges)
- With someone who went to your medical school
- With someone who trained at your program
- At the Opening Ceremony
- At the Convocation
- At the ACS Taste of the City event
- With an exhibitor in their booth (include images of name badges)
Celebrating our success
Also be sure to attend this year’s Opening Ceremony 8:00–9:00 am Monday, October 5, at McCormick Place West. During this important event, we will introduce the six new Honorary Fellows, the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award, ACS Officers, Regents, Past-Presidents, and special invited guests. In addition, we will recognize some of the College’s most significant achievements from the last year and reveal plans for the future. Examples include the following:
- The ACS National Surgical Quality Improvement Program receiving the John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award from The Joint Commission and the National Quality Forum
- The ongoing success of the ACS Accredited Education Institutes (AEI) and our plans to launch an AEI tour in January to educate policymakers about the value of ACS accreditation of simulation and surgical research programs
- The development of new learning management software
- The utility of the ACS Surgeon Specific Registry in complying with Centers for Medicare & Medicaid regulatory mandates
- Our role in the repeal of the sustainable growth rate formula used to calculate Medicare payment and the development of a new value-based reimbursement system, and the tools surgeons can use to ensure the sustainability of their practices under this new paradigm
See you in October
Remember, this is your meeting. The College’s staff and volunteers continue to look for ways to make the Clinical Congress more engaging and educational for surgeons of all specialties and at every stage of their career. Let us know how we can help you to make the most of your time in Chicago. We look forward to seeing you at Clinical Congress 2015.
If you have comments or suggestions about this or other issues, please send them to Dr. Hoyt at firstname.lastname@example.org.