The American College of Surgeons (ACS) Committee on Trauma (COT) has completed the first year of its Future Trauma Leaders (FTL) mentorship program. This program is focused on trauma and acute care surgeons in their first five years of practice.
Those trauma surgeons selected for this highly competitive program are provided an immersive experience in the COT with a senior surgery mentor. During the two-year program, participants are assigned to work on active projects with two COT committees and with the Trauma Quality Improvement Program (TQIP®). In addition, program members are invited to attend a regional trauma center verification visit and to participate in the spring ACS Leadership & Advocacy Summit in Washington, DC. The ACS supports travel expenses to attend the COT meetings twice a year, as well as the Leadership & Advocacy Summit and annual TQIP meeting.
The first two participants in this program are Megan L. Brenner, MD, MS, FACS, a trauma surgeon and associate professor of surgery, University of Maryland-Shock Trauma, Baltimore, MD; and Peter W. Fischer, MD, MS, FACS, a trauma surgeon at Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, and clinical assistant professor of surgery, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Dr. Brenner coauthored the “Management of Hemorrhage Associated with Pelvic Fractures” chapter in the 2016 ACS TQIP Best Practice Guidelines and was a speaker on this topic at the 2015 TQIP conference in Nashville, TN.
In concert with her colleagues at the University of Maryland, Dr. Brenner also helped to develop a program focused on endovascular control of bleeding called the BEST (Basic Endovascular Skills for Surgeons) course. She has been working with the COT to migrate this course to the ACS.
“I really can’t say enough about this program. It has allowed me to participate in national meetings and panel discussions, contribute to the preparation of practice guidelines, and connect with senior trauma leadership,” Dr. Brenner said. “The FTL mentors are outstanding and fully committed to helping us achieve our goals. Learning about the wide variety of ways to get involved in trauma advocacy, leadership, education, and site verification has also been fantastic.”
Dr. Fischer also has had a productive year. He served as the lead author of a guidance document for prehospital use of tranexamic acid, which is in press for publication in Prehospital Emergency Care. He also is conducting an evaluation of the trauma system needs assessment tool that the COT Trauma Systems Committee developed.
“I cannot tell you enough just how much I have enjoyed the FTL program. I have met new people and made connections that will last for the rest of my career. I feel I am working on projects that will truly impact trauma care,” Dr. Fischer said. “Without the FTL program, I would not have had these experiences until much later in my career.”
Moving into the next year
At present, this program supports two candidates per year. This year, the program welcomed Joseph V. Sakran, MD, MPH, MPA, FACS, associate professor of surgery, department of surgery, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, and Samuel P. Mandell, MD, MPH, FACS, assistant professor, division of trauma, critical care, and burn surgery, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle.
With the early success of this program, the COT is looking for opportunities to raise funds to expand participation to additional candidates. To support this program, go to the ACS Foundation Web page and earmark your donation for the Future Trauma Leaders program. Applications for 2017 will be accepted beginning July 5, 2016, on the Future Trauma Leaders Web page.