The Program Committee and the staff of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) have done a superb job of creating a Clinical Congress program that Fellows and other members will find beneficial in their efforts to Do What’s Right for the Patient—the theme Courtney M. Townsend, Jr., MD, FACS, ACS President, selected for the conference. Clinical Congress 2017, October 22−26, will feature several new elements and activities in addition to the outstanding hands-on and didactic learning opportunities and timely discourse on relevant surgical issues that you’ve come to expect from the annual meeting. Perhaps one of the most exciting new developments this year is that it will be our first time in San Diego, CA.
The Clinical Congress 2017 program covers a range of critical topics across the scope of surgery. A total of 11 Named Lectures, 118 Panel Sessions on leading-edge advances in surgical patient care, 19 Meet-the-Expert Sessions, and 21 Town Hall Meetings were scheduled for presentation at press time. The Martin Memorial Lecture delivered by David R. Williams, MD, a physician astronaut, on leadership and teamwork is sure to be a crowd pleaser. The Martin Memorial Lecture is sponsored by the American Urological Association and will take place immediately after the Opening Ceremony Monday, October 23.
A highlight of this year’s educational program will be the presentation of three Special Sessions. On Monday, ACS Past-President L.D. Britt, MD, MPH, DSc(Hon), FACS, FCCM, FRCSEng(Hon), FRCSEd(Hon), FWACS(Hon), FRCSI(Hon), FCS(SA)(Hon), FRCSGlasg(Hon), and Ajit K. Sachdeva, MD, FACS, FRCSC, Director, ACS Division of Education, will provide an overview of the new ACS Academy of Master Surgeon Educators. On Tuesday, we will recognize the 50th anniversary of publication of the first edition of Schwartz’s Principles of Surgery. The author of that landmark text, ACS Past-President Seymour I. Schwartz, MD, FACS, will moderate, and David C. Linehan, MD, FACS, a cancer surgeon at the University of Rochester Medical Center, NY, will co-moderate. And on Wednesday, we will get an update on the Comparison of Outcomes of Antibiotic Drugs and Appendectomy (CODA) Trial from moderator David R. Flum, MD, MPH, FACS, chief medical officer, UW Medicine, Seattle, WA, and co-moderator Giana Davidson, MD, MPH, assistant professor, division of general surgery, and associate member, University of Washington Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center, Seattle.
We continue to make the Scientific Forum more accessible to all attendees. This year, the Scientific Forum will feature the usual oral presentations of outstanding scholarly work by surgical investigators. A new feature of this year’s program, however, is that all scientific posters will be submitted and available for viewing electronically on any mobile device or computer throughout the entire Clinical Congress, and Continuing Medical Education credit will be provided for e-Poster Rounds.
Valerie W. Rusch, MD, FACS, Chair of the Program Committee, Dr. Sachdeva, and I anticipate that you will find Clinical Congress invaluable in your effort to meet the Maintenance of Certification requirements described in last month’s “Looking forward” column, as well as various regulatory and institutional mandates. The ACS designates this live activity for a maximum of 47.5 AMA PRA Category 1™ Credits. Self-Assessment Credits will be available for most Panel Sessions, Postgraduate Courses, and Video-Based Education Sessions, and certificates will be issued to attendees who achieve specific levels of verification through participation in Didactic and Skills Courses.
Member engagement activities
The planners of the Clinical Congress have always sought to engage your mind through educational programming, but over the last few years, they also have sought to engage your body and spirit. This year’s Clinical Congress will feature several wellness events, including 5K running and walking tours of San Diego, a spinning class, and yoga sessions. The cost per program is $10.
ACS Taste of the City is back this year. Participants in this event, which takes place Wednesday night, will experience San Diego’s beautiful waterfront and sunset while networking with colleagues and sampling local cuisine. Bring your family for an evening of live mariachi music, tacos and beverages, fun activities, and camaraderie. The ACS presents this event free of charge to you and your guests, but we ask that you indicate on your registration form whether you plan to attend and how many guests you plan to bring, so we can accommodate everyone.
In addition, Clinical Congress attendees and guests will have an opportunity to engage their sense of altruism through participation in the Feeding San Diego BackPack program. ACS volunteers will decorate 2,500 backpacks and fill them with essential food items for families and children in need. The $25 registration fee for this program will be used to offset the costs of supplies, transportation/distribution, and other overhead costs.
More than a fresh coat of paint
For several decades, the Clinical Congress has featured a Resource Center, where attendees could talk with staff about the products and services that the ACS offers its members. This year, we have re-envisioned and redesigned this area as ACS Central. It still will be where you can meet staff, learn about ACS programs, and purchase ACS products, but it also will be where you will want to go to meet with friends and colleagues, charge your mobile devices, update your Member Profile, and receive a flash drive with your own professional photo.
ACS Central will house the ACS Theatre, where Monday through Wednesday short sessions describing new College programs and products will be presented. ACS leaders also will be on hand in the theater to engage in informal “meet and greet” discussions with attendees.
Sunny San Diego
While in San Diego, I encourage you to learn about the storied history of the “Gibraltar of the Pacific” and its ties to the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. With its temperate climate, you and your family will want to get out and explore the cageless San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park, and Orange County’s Knott’s Berry Farm and Disneyland. You might also consider taking a ferry to Coronado Island and visit the Hotel Del Coronado—the second-largest wooden structure in the U.S.—or head south of the border to Tijuana, Mexico.
Of course, San Diego County and the surrounding area are home to some of the finest beaches for surfing, sunbathing, and watching the sunset. And San Diego offers countless casual and fine dining options.
See you next month for Clinical Congress 2017, where you will have many opportunities to learn about advances in surgical care and the issues that affect your practice, as well as connect with friends, and take in the Southern California vibe. I am really excited to see all of you in the part of the world I have called home for nearly four decades.