The American College of Surgeons (ACS) Clinical Congress 2016 in Washington, DC, provided surgeons, medical students, surgical residents, and other members of the surgical patient care team with the opportunity to participate in myriad educational experiences and to interact with their peers. Total registration for the meeting was 12,783, including 8,700 physicians and 4,083 exhibitors, guests, spouses, and convention personnel.
Courtney M. Townsend, Jr., MD, FACS, the Robertson-Poth Distinguished Chair in General Surgery, department of surgery, University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), Galveston; professor of surgery, department of surgery; professor of physician assistant studies, School of Allied Health Sciences; and graduate faculty in the cell biology program, UTMB, was installed as 97th President of the ACS at Convocation October 16. Dr. Townsend delivered the Presidential Address, Do What’s Right for the Patient: Franklin H. Martin and the American College of Surgeons, to the College’s 1,823 Initiates, more than 800 of whom were in the audience.
Two Vice-Presidents also assumed office at the Convocation. The First Vice-President is Hilary Sanfey, MB, BCh, MHPE, FACS, FRCSI, FRCS, professor of surgery and vice-president for educational affairs, department of surgery, and associate director, Academy for Scholarship and Education, Southern Illinois School of Medicine, Springfield. The Second Vice-President is Mary C. McCarthy, MD, FACS, the Elizabeth Berry Gray Chair and Professor, department of surgery, Boonshoft School of Medicine, and adjunct graduate faculty, School of Engineering, Wright State University; and acute care surgeon at Miami Valley Hospital, Dayton, OH.
Also at the Convocation, Honorary Fellowship was conferred on five international surgeons: Hernando Abaúnza Orjuela, MD, FACS, MACC(Hon), Bogota, Columbia; Jacques Belghiti, MD, PhD, Paris, France; S. Adibul Hasan Rizvi, MB, BS, FRCSEng, FRCSEd, Karachi, Pakistan; Sachiyo Suita, MD, PhD, Fukuoka, Japan; and John F. Thompson, AO, MD, FACS, FRACS, FAHMS, Sydney, Australia.
Clinical Congress featured 11 Named Lectures, starting with the Martin Memorial Lecture, presented immediately after the Opening Ceremony on October 17. Delos M. Cosgrove III, MD, FACS, chief executive officer, Cleveland Clinic, OH, presented the well-received lecture, Doctors in Distress: The Burnout Crisis.
Other Named Lectures presented at Clinical Congress 2016 were as follows:
- Edward D. Verrier, MD, FACS, the K. Alvin and Shirley E. Merendino Endowed Professor and chief of cardiothoracic surgery, University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle, presented the John H. Gibbon, Jr., Lecture: The Elite Athlete…the Master Surgeon.
- Andres M. Lozano, MD, PhD, FRCSC, FRSC, the Dan Family Chair in Neurosurgery, the R. R. Tasker Chair in Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery, and the Canada Research Chair in Neuroscience at the University of Toronto Health Network, ON, presented the I. S. Ravdin Lecture in the Basic and Surgical Sciences: Surgery to Adjust the Activity of Misfiring Brain Circuits to Improve Movement, Mood, and Memory.
- H. Hunt Batjer, MD, FACS, the Lois C. A. and Darwin E. Smith Professor and chair, department of neurological surgery, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, delivered the Charles G. Drake History of Surgery Lecture: Athletic Head Trauma: The Interface between Sport, Science, Pseudoscience, Politics, and Money.
- Robert D. Fry, MD, FACS, the Emilie and Roland DeHellebranth emeritus professor of surgery and former chairman, department of surgery, Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia, presented the Herand Abcarian Lecture: Surgical Mentorship, More Than Just Teaching.
- Lenworth M. Jacobs, Jr., MD, MPH, FACS, director, Trauma Institute at Hartford Hospital, CT, and a member of the ACS Board of Regents, presented the Excelsior Surgical Society/Edward D. Churchill Lecture: Strategies to Increase Survival in Active Shooter and Intentional Mass Casualty Events.
- Susan M. Briggs, MD, MPH, FACS, associate professor of surgery, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, presented the Scudder Oration on Trauma Lecture: Responding to Crisis: Surgeons As Leaders in Disaster Response.
- Alexa I. Canady, MD, FACS, former chief of neurosurgery at Children’s Hospital in Michigan, Ann Arbor, presented the Olga M. Jonasson Lecture: The Journey: Becoming a Neurosurgeon and Back Again.
- Koffi Herve Yangni-Angate, MD, professor of surgery, and consultant and head, cardiovascular and thoracic surgery department, Bouake University Teaching Hospital, and professor and chairman, cardiovascular and thoracic diseases department, Bouake University, Côte d’Ivoire, presented the Distinguished Lecture of the International Society of Surgery: Challenges in Open Heart Surgery in Africa: Côte d’Ivoire Experience.
- Carlos A. Pellegrini, MD, FACS, FRCSI(Hon), FRCS(Hon), FRCSEd(Hon), ACS Past-President and professor of surgery and chair, department of surgery, University of Washington, Seattle, delivered the John J. Conley Ethics and Philosophy Lecture: TRUST: The Keystone of the Patient-Physician Relationship.
- Richard L. Schilsky, MD, FACP, FASCO, senior vice-president and chief medical officer, American Society of Clinical Oncology, Alexandria, VA, presented the Commission on Cancer Oncology Lecture: Finding the Evidence in Real-World Evidence: Moving from Data to Information to Knowledge.
This year’s Clinical Congress featured three Special Sessions on hot topics in surgery, including Firearm Injury Prevention, ACS Strong for Surgery, and Global Engagement. The session on Firearm Injury Prevention was presented by the ACS Committee on Trauma (COT) and focused, in part, on results from a survey of COT members to determine their views on a range of related topics. The ACS Strong for Surgery Session introduced this new College initiative, which is aimed at optimizing patients for surgery through smoking cessation, nutrition, medication management, and glucose homeostasis. The Global Engagement session introduced the College’s new strategic direction in international and domestic volunteerism.
The Commission on Cancer was honored to have Greg Simon, Executive Director of the White House Cancer Moonshot initiative, serve as the keynote speaker at its annual meeting. The Moonshot project, introduced by President Barack Obama during his 2016 State of the Union Address and led by Vice-President Joe Biden, focuses on cancer prevention, early detection, and accessible therapies.
The revitalized Excelsior Surgical Society, which is composed of military surgeons and dedicated to their unique needs and issues, held its second annual meeting October 16. A highlight of the meeting was the presentation of the Second Annual U.S. Army Major John P. Pryor Lecture by retired U.S. Army Colonel Norman M. Rich, MD, FACS, professor of military medicine, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS), Bethesda, MD, and director, Vietnam Vascular Registry. Dr. Rich’s comments focused on the history of the Excelsior Surgical Society and the Vietnam Vascular Registry, which he and his colleagues started in 1966 to register the injuries of American casualties and to provide long-term follow-up care for the injured troops.
The ACS COT piloted the Bleeding Control Basic course at Clinical Congress. The new version of the Bleeding Control course, endorsed by the Hartford Consensus™, enables surgeons to teach these lifesaving techniques to nonclinical members of their communities. The course, which was offered to ACS leaders and members of several committees, was developed in conjunction with the President’s “Stop the Bleed” national campaign to bring awareness to bleeding control and techniques for saving lives after hemorrhagic injury. The course ultimately will be offered throughout the U.S. to the general public. More information on this program can be found at bleedingcontrol.org.
Member engagement activities initiated at Clinical Congress 2015 continued at this year’s meeting. The ACS Taste of the City offered Fellows, families, staff, and guests the opportunity to experience the diverse dining and cultural scene of Washington, DC, and to network with other ACS members and leaders. Clinical Congress attendees were again challenged to snap photos of themselves with ACS leaders and members at various conference events and to post the selfies on Twitter. The second annual Chapter Speed Networking event was presented to facilitate interaction by chapter leaders and ACS Governors. A Speed Mentoring event also took place this year, allowing residents to seek guidance from young Fellows of the ACS.
New this year for the youngest Clinical Congress guest attendees was a Little Medical School day offered as part of the Clinical Congress Child Care Program. Children of Clinical Congress participants were able to explore the world of medicine, science, and health in an engaging and fun environment. Each child who participated in this optional program received a disposable white physician’s coat, organ sticker set, surgical kit, and a diploma.
Awards and honors
Several surgeons were honored for their contributions to the ACS and to surgery. Frank G. Opelka, MD, FACS, a colon and rectal surgeon and Medical Director, Quality and Health Policy, ACS Division of Advocacy and Health Policy, Washington, DC, received the ACS Distinguished Service Award, the College’s highest honor, at Convocation. The Board of Regents presented the award to Dr. Opelka “in appreciation for his continuous and devoted service as a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the physician leader of the College’s quality and health policy efforts in the Washington, DC, office over the last 15 years.”
The ACS presented the inaugural Mary Edwards Walker Inspiring Women in Surgery Award “with admiration and appreciation” to Mary E. Maniscalco-Theberge, MD, FACS, at Convocation. Dr. Maniscalo-Theberge, Interim Medical Inspector, Veterans Health Administration, Washington, DC, and clinical professor of surgery, USUHS, has been a champion for the advancement of women in surgery and an inspiration to women surgeons in the metropolitan Washington, DC, area.
The Fellows Leadership Society (FLS) of the ACS Foundation presented the 2016 Distinguished Philanthropist Award to past-Distinguished Service Award Recipient Mary H. McGrath, MD, MPH, FACS, professor of surgery, department of surgery, division of plastic and reconstructive surgery, University of California, San Francisco. The award was announced at the 27th annual FLS Donor Recognition Luncheon and acknowledges Dr. McGrath’s commitment as a generous donor to the College, her service to the larger philanthropic community, her longstanding record of ACS volunteerism, and her dedication to the quality of surgical patient care.
Debrah A. Kuhls, MD, FACS, received the National Safety Council Surgeons’ Award for Service to Safety at the annual ACS COT Dinner. The award citation points to Dr. Kuhls’ “persistent, patient, passionate, and effective leadership of the Injury Prevention and Control programs of the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma.”
Rebekah Ann Naylor, MD, FACS, a general surgeon from Fort Worth, TX, received the Surgical Humanitarian Award for her work in improving and expanding the Bangalore Baptist Hospital, Karnataka, India. Additionally, four surgeons received the ACS/Pfizer Surgical Volunteerism Awards. Sandra Lynn Freiwald, MD, FACS, a general surgeon, Kaiser Permanente Hospital, San Diego, CA, received the Domestic Surgical Volunteerism Award for her work with the San Diego County Medical Society Foundation’s Project Access San Diego, which enables low-income, uninsured individuals to receive specialty care services at no charge. J. Nilas Young, MD, FACS, a cardiothoracic surgeon from Sacramento, CA, received the International Surgical Volunteerism Award for developing, implementing, and sustaining children’s heart surgery programs throughout Russia. James A. O’Neill, Jr., MD, FACS, a pediatric surgeon from Nashville, TN, received the International Surgical Volunteerism Award for his work as clinician and innovator, as well as his decades-long involvement in medical outreach. Barclay T. Stewart, MD, MPH, PhD, a general surgery resident from Beaufort, SC, received the Surgical Resident Volunteerism Award for his efforts to provide care to underserved domestic and international populations.
The 2016 Owen H. Wangensteen Scientific Forum abstract supplement was dedicated to Ori D. Rotstein, MD, FACS, director, Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science; professor and associate chair, department of surgery at the University of Toronto; and surgeon-in-chief, St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, ON.
Practicing surgeons, residents, and medical students were recognized for their contributions to advancing the art and science of surgery. Recipients honored with the Scientific Forum Excellence in Research Awards included the following: Elizabeth J. Lilley, MD, MPH; Mitchell R. Dyer, MD; Alicia E. Snider, MD; Vanagh C. Nikolian, MD; Marina Ibrahim, MD, CM, MSc; David L. Colen, MD; Rebecca Scully, MD; and Matthew A. Hornick, MD.
Ankit Bharat, MD, FACS, assistant professor of thoracic surgery and pulmonary and critical care medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, received the 12th Joan L. and Julius H. Jacobson II Promising Investigator Award. The award honors outstanding surgeons who engage in research, advance the art and science of surgery, and demonstrate early promise of making significant contributions to the practice of surgery.
The 14th annual ACS Resident Award for Exemplary Teaching was presented to Afif N. Kulaylat, MD, MSc, a fourth-year resident in general surgery at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, PA. The ACS Division of Education sponsors the award to recognize excellence in teaching by a resident and to highlight the importance of teaching in residents’ daily lives. Dr. Kulaylat was selected by an independent review panel of the Committee on Resident Education.
The fourth annual Jameson L. Chassin, MD, FACS, Award for Professionalism in General Surgery was presented to Sarah L. M. Greenberg, MD, MPH, a chief resident in general surgery at Medical College of Wisconsin Affiliated Hospitals, Milwaukee. The award recognizes a chief resident in general surgery who exemplifies the values of compassion, technical skill, and devotion to science and learning. The ACS established the award with gifts from the Chassin family, colleagues, and friends of the late Dr. Chassin, who was a skilled surgeon, teacher, and scholar in New York, NY.
Members of the ACS Scientific Forum Committee, including Paula M. Termuhlen, MD, FACS, member; Dennis P. Orgill, MD, PhD, FACS, Vice-Chair; and Mary T. Hawn, MD, FACS, Chair, awarded the Best Scientific Poster of Exceptional Merit to Dani Odette Gonzalez, MD, for Variability in Surgical Management of Benign Ovarian Neoplasms in Children. The coauthors of this poster included the following: Jennifer N. Cooper, PhD; Jennifer H. Aldrink, MD, FACS; Geri D. Hewitt, MD; Peter C. Minneci, MD, MHSc; and Katherine J. Deans, MD, MHSc, FACS.
In addition, the following medical students were honored for their Basic Science Research posters:
- First place: Michaela C. Bamdad, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT: Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors Protect the Intestinal Mucosa from the Effects of Chemotherapy
- Second place: Daniel Walden, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee: Xanthohumol, a Hop Plant Extract, Decreases NOTCH1 and Mediates Cellular Anti-Carcinogenic Pathways in Cholangiocarcinoma Cell Lines
- Third place: Jacob C. Young, University of Chicago, IL: Generation and Characterization of an IL13RA2-Tropic Modified Adenovirus for the Personalized Treatment of Glioblastoma
The following medical students were recognized for their Clinical and Educational Research posters:
- First place: Michael C. Bambad, Yale University School of Medicine: Antibiotic Standardization Decreases Antibiotic-Associated Costs in Pediatric Patients with Appendicitis
- Second place: Adam C. Fields, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY: Risk Factors for Unplanned Readmission following Cholecystectomy: A NSQIP® Analysis of 27,125 Patients
- Third place: Tania Hassanzadeh, University of Arizona, Tucson: Defining Non-Surgical Head Bleeds; When Do You Need a Neurosurgeon?
The International Relations Committee (IRC) welcomed the International Guest Scholars (IGS) for 2016 and other guests, including the following: Adewale Oluseye Adisa, MB, BCh, FACS, International Surgical Education Scholar I; Tanveer Ahmed, MB, BS; Wan Mohammed Aldohuky, MB, BCh, FACS, Community Surgeons Travel Awardee; Waddah Badir Al-Refaie, MB, BCh, FACS, Chair, Designated Scholarship Subcommittee; Vivek Bindal, MB, BS, FACS, International Surgical Education Scholar II; Joseph S. Butler, MB, BCh, BOA, Dr. Abdol Islami & Mrs. Joan Islami Scholar I; Yi Chen, MB, BS, PhD, FRACS, ANZ Exchange Fellow; Nai-Chen Cheng, MD, PhD, Elias Hanna Scholar; Marcello Donati, MD, PhD; Hiba Ezzeddine, MD, Resident Exchange Fellow; Christopher C. K. Ho, MD, MS; Mohammed Kamal, MD, Baxiram S. and Kankuben B. Gelot Community Surgeons Travel Awardee; Manabu Kawai, MD, PhD; Omar Khalaf, MD; Gustavo Kohan, MD, Dr. Abdol Islami & Mrs. Joan Islami Scholar II; Guiseppe R. Nigri, MD, FACS, Chair, Scholarships Subcommittee; Joseph Martin Plummer, MB, BS; Mauricio A. Pontillo, MD, FACS, Murray F. Brennan Scholar; Goran Santak, MD; Anthony Yuen Bun Teoh, MB, BCh, FRCSEd, PHKAM, PCSHK, Carlos Pellegrini Traveling Fellow; Takeo Toshima, MD, PhD, Japan Exchange Fellow; Dimitrios Tsamis, MD, MSc, PhD, Stavros Niarchos Foundation Scholar; George Velmahos, Chair, IRC; Anubhav Vindal, MB, BS, FACS; and Thilo Welsch, MD, MBA, Germany Exchange Fellow.
The Commission on Cancer (CoC) presented the State Chair Outstanding Performance Award to Ted James, MD, FACS, Vermont; Sharon Lum, MD, FACS, California; and Richard Zera, MD, FACS, Minnesota.
In addition, the CoC held its annual Paper Competition. The three surgical residents who submitted winning papers are as follows: Kendell Keck, MD, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City (first place); Ahsan Raza, MB, BS, University of Florida, Gainesville (second place); and Justin Wilkes, MD, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine (third place).
Chayanin Musikasinthorn, MD, FACS, general, trauma, and critical care surgeon, Gallup Indian Medical Center, NM, attended Clinical Congress as the recipient of the 2015 Nizar N. Oweida, MD, FACS, Scholarship.
Lastly, the winners of the 2016 Resident and Associate Society (RAS) of the ACS essay contest spoke at the RAS Symposium, the theme of which was Exploring the Limits of Surgeon Disclosure: Where Are the Boundaries? Christopher F. McNicoll, MD, MPH, MS, a second-year general surgery resident, University of Nevada School of Medicine, Las Vegas, was the first place winner for his “pro” essay, and Reema Mallick, MD, an Associate in the ACS Transition to Practice Program, Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, PA, wrote the winning “con” essay.
Annual Business Meeting
The ACS Annual Business Meeting of Members convened October 18 with Dr. Townsend presiding. The following officials presented reports: Valerie W. Rusch, MD, FACS, Chair of the Board of Regents; Fabrizio Michelassi, MD, FACS, Chair of the Board of Governors (B/G); David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS, ACS Executive Director; and Michael J. Sutherland, MD, FACS, Chair of the ACS Professional Association political action committee (ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC) Board of Directors.
The election of the ACS President-Elect, Vice-Presidents-Elect, Regents, and Governors also took place at the Annual Business Meeting. Barbara Lee Bass, MD, FACS, the John F. and Carolyn Bookout Distinguished Endowed Chair and chair, department of surgery, Houston Methodist Hospital, TX, and executive director, Houston Methodist Institute for Technology, was elected President-Elect of the ACS. Charles D. Mabry, MD, FACS, a general surgeon, Pine Bluff, AR; associate professor of surgery and practice management advisor to chair, department of surgery, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock; and medical director of quality, Jefferson Regional Medical Center, Pine Bluff, was elected First Vice-President-Elect. The Second Vice-President-Elect is Basil A. Pruitt, Jr., MD, FACS, FCCM, MCCM, the Dr. Ferdinand P. Herff Chair in Surgery, clinical professor of surgery, department of surgery, trauma division, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, and professor of surgery, USUHS.
The B/G elected Michael J. Zinner, MD, FACS, a general surgeon, Coral Gables, FL, to serve as Chair of the Board of Regents. Leigh A. Neumayer, MD, FACS, a general surgeon, Tucson, AZ, was elected Vice-Chair of the Board of Regents.
The B/G also elected two new Regents: Anthony Atala, MD, FACS, a urologist, Winston-Salem, NC, and Fabrizio Michelassi, MD, FACS, a general surgeon, New York, NY.
The following Regents were reelected: Margaret M. Dunn, MD, FACS, a general surgeon, Dayton, OH (third term); James W. Gigantelli, MD, FACS, an ophthalmologist, Omaha, NE (second term); and Dr. Zinner.
The B/G elected Diana Farmer, MD, FACS, a pediatric surgeon, Sacramento, CA, to serve as Chair, B/G Executive Committee; Steven C. Stain, MD, FACS, a general surgeon, Albany, NY, as Vice-Chair; and Susan K. Mosier, MD, FACS, an ophthalmologist, Topeka, KS, as Secretary. Newly elected to the B/G Executive Committee are S. Rob Todd, MD, FACS, an acute care surgeon, Houston, TX (initial one-year term); and Nicole S. Gibran, MD, FACS, a burn surgeon, Seattle, WA (initial two-year term).
Clinical Congress 2017
Be sure to attend the Clinical Congress 2017, October 22–26, in San Diego, CA. Details regarding the educational program, registration, housing, and transportation will be posted at facs.org.
Clinical Congress photography by Oscar & Associates.