We are now only a month away from the American College of Surgeons’ (ACS) biggest event of the year—the annual Clinical Congress. The 2016 meeting will focus on the theme chosen by ACS President J. David Richardson, MD, FACS—Challenges for the Second Century.
Clinical Congress 2016, October 16–20 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC, will feature several new elements and activities along with the array of educational programs that you’ve come to expect from the premier surgical meeting in the world.
A highlight of each Clinical Congress is the Convocation Ceremony, at which we welcome new ACS Fellows. This year’s class of more than 1,820 Initiates is expected to be the largest ever. Moreover, the expected number of Initiates and guests attending this year’s Convocation Ceremony is expected to exceed the capacity of the originally planned space, so we are making arrangements to build out the site.
During the Convocation, we also recognize Honorary Fellows, present the Distinguished Service Award, and install ACS Officers, including the new President, who will address the Initiates. In addition, the inaugural Mary Edwards Walker Inspiring Women in Surgery Award will be presented at this year’s Convocation. This award was conceived by the ACS Women in Surgery Committee and will be presented annually to an individual who has made significant contributions to the advancement of women in the field of surgery. Mary Edwards Walker, MD, graduated with honors from Syracuse Medical School in 1855 and went on to serve with the Union Army in the U.S. Civil War. To this day, she is the only woman to have ever received the Congressional Medal of Honor for bravery.
Convocation will take place at 6:00 pm Sunday, October 16, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. After the ceremony, Initiates and their guests are invited to attend the President’s Reception for New Fellows in the Grand Lobby of the Convention Center.
The Opening Ceremony, 8:00–9:00 am Monday, October 17, will signal the official start of the Clinical Congress. The Colors and Canadian and American national anthems will be presented, along with a short video highlighting the new President’s theme for the year. The President will lead the ceremony, introducing the Honorary Fellows, the recipient of the Distinguished Philanthropist Award, Past-Presidents, ACS Officers and Regents, invited guests, Resident Research Scholars, and International Guest Scholars.
The Scientific Program kicks off immediately after the Opening Ceremony with the presentation of the Martin Memorial Lecture sponsored by the American Urological Association. This year’s Martin Memorial Lecturer will be Delos M. Cosgrove III, MD, FACS, chief executive officer and president, Cleveland Clinic, OH, who will speak on Doctors in Distress: The Burnout Crisis. A total of 10 other Named Lectures will be presented throughout the course of the meeting, featuring a range of highly regarded experts on a variety of topics, including trauma, surgical history, ethics, the basic and surgical sciences, global health care, cancer, and other issues of relevance to surgeons today.
Other Sessions of Special Interest will include programs targeted to residents, medical students, young Fellows, and attendees who want to learn more about surgical history, Operation Giving Back, and financial issues. In addition, this year’s program will include the following three new Special Sessions on timely and important topics:
- Firearm Injury Prevention, 1:00–2:30 pm, Monday, October 17
- ACS Strong for Surgery, 11:15 am–12:45 pm, Tuesday, October 18
- Global Engagement, 11:15 am–12:45 pm, Wednesday, October 19
Because these sessions will take place during the lunch hour, attendees will have an opportunity to purchase a meal before entering the session.
The scientific program is arranged around both thematic and specialty tracks and should afford you ample opportunities to address board requirements for Maintenance of Certification, regulatory mandates, and specific credentialing and privileging requisites. The Clinical Congress will feature 18 Didactic/Experiential and 14 Surgical Skills Postgraduate Courses employing leading-edge education and training methods. A total of 127 Panel Sessions will be presented on a diverse mix of subjects. The Scientific Forum will include surgical research presentations delivered from the podium or as posters, while Video-Based Education Sessions, 32 in all, will showcase surgical procedures. This year’s program also will comprise 45 Meet-the-Expert Luncheons and 18 Town Hall Meetings.
During the Clinical Congress, we also will be rolling out a course on bleeding control that is aligned with the Hartford Consensus™ recommendation that members of the public be trained to serve as immediate responders in mass casualty incidents. Through this inaugural effort, we will be presenting the Bleeding Control–Basic course to members of the Board of Regents, Board of Governors, Resident and Associate Society, Young Fellows Association, and Committee on Trauma. Specifically, we will be training these surgeons to train members of the public in essential bleeding control techniques. Some of these participants will then test their ability to pass on these skills to laypeople by having them train a group of high school students. We will use our findings to modify the course as necessary.
Have some fun
Last year the Clinical Congress also included a networking event—ACS Taste of the City, which was well received, with approximately 1,000 participants. This year’s event will focus on the diverse dining and cultural scene in our host city of Washington, DC. Bring your appetite and enjoy live music, activities, and camaraderie with ACS leaders, staff, friends, colleagues, and family members. ACS Taste of the City is open to all attendees at no charge and will take place 5:00–7:00 pm, Wednesday, October 19, at the convention center.
This year’s Congress also will feature a variety of wellness activities, including a Fun Run around the city, early morning yoga, Zumba, and Pilates.
Lastly, I encourage you to bring your family and take the opportunity to explore our nation’s capital (see Figure 1). Many key attractions are within walking distance of the convention center and hotels, including the Smithsonian Museums; the U.S. Capitol building; the Supreme Court Building; the Holocaust Memorial Museum; the White House; the Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln monuments; and the Vietnam War, World War II, and Korean War memorials. All Americans should experience these national treasures.
Figure 1. Washington, DC, sites of interest
Be sure to visit the College’s Washington, DC, office, the headquarters of our Division of Advocacy and Health Policy, at 20 F Street, NW. And, if you’re looking to immerse yourself in some further scholarly pursuits, head up to nearby Bethesda, MD, to check out the National Library of Medicine on the campus of the National Institutes of Health.
I want to congratulate the members of the Clinical Congress Program Committee, the Advisory Councils, Standing Committees, and Task Forces for developing an outstanding program and to commend the staff for all of their hard work to make this event run smoothly and to meet the needs of our Fellows. We look forward to seeing you in Washington, DC.