Looking forward – August 2019

David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS

Earlier this year, I described the many advantages of having San Francisco, CA, serve as the host city for Clinical Congress 2019. In this column, I showcase the outstanding educational programming and networking opportunities we have planned for this year’s conference.

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) Clinical Congress remains the premier annual meeting for surgeons, surgical residents, and other health care professionals who provide care to surgical patients. The hallmarks of the Clinical Congress are a range of hands-on and didactic educational programs and timely discussion of relevant surgical practices and research, along with unparalleled access to peers, mentors, and lifelong friends.

The theme of this year’s meeting, selected by ACS President Ronald V. Maier, MD, FACS, FRCSEd(Hon), FCSHK(Hon), FCCS(Hon), is For Our Patients. The Program Committee, chaired by Henri R. Ford, MD, MHA, FACS, FAAP, FRCSEng(Hon), and the ACS Division of Education, led by Ajit K. Sachdeva, MD, FACS, FRCSC, FSACME, have developed a cutting-edge Scientific Program that addresses critical education and training needs in the ever-changing health care environment.

Can’t miss ceremonies

Two highlights of the annual Clinical Congress are Convocation and the Opening Ceremony. The Convocation, 6:00−8:00 pm Sunday, October 27, at the Moscone Center, includes conferral of Fellowship upon surgeons who have successfully met the College’s full membership standards. The ceremony also includes recognition of the Honorary Fellows, presentation of the Distinguished Service Award, installation of the ACS Officers, and the Presidential Address.

The Opening Ceremony, 8:00−9:00 am Monday, October 28, will feature a short video highlighting the new President’s theme for the year, introduction of the Honorary Fellows, the recipient of the Distinguished Philanthropist Award, Past-Presidents, College Officers and Regents, Special Invited Guests from national and international health care organizations, the Resident Research Scholars, and the International Guest Scholars.

Named Lectures

Immediately after the Opening Ceremony, Nina Totenberg, a correspondent for National Public Radio, will deliver the Martin Memorial Lecture: The Health of the Supreme Court. Ms. Totenberg has agreed to stay after the lecture for a meet and greet, 9:30−10:30 am at the Moscone Center.

Among the 10 other Named Lectures that should be of interest to all ACS Members are the following:

  • ACS President Ronald V. Maier, MD, FACS, FRCSEd(Hon), FCSHK(Hon), FCCS(Hon), will deliver the I.S. Ravdin Lecture in the Basic and Surgical Sciences: Response to Injury: The Genomic Storm and Precision Medicine, 4:15−5:00 pm Monday, October 28.
  • M. Margaret Knudson, MD, FACS, Medical Director, Military Health Systems Strategic Partnership, ACS Division of Member Services, will give the Scudder Oration on Trauma: A Perfect Storm, 12:45−1:30 pm Tuesday, October 29.
  • ACS Past-President Andrew L. Warshaw, MD, FACS, FRCSEd(Hon), will deliver the Commission on Cancer Oncology Lecture: Progress and Prospects, 12:45−1:45 pm Wednesday, October 30.

All Named Lectures will take place at the Moscone Center.

Scientific Program

The Clinical Congress is the perfect venue to learn about leading-edge technology and best practices in surgery. This year’s conference comprises 14 Surgical Skills Courses, including the following:

  • Advanced Skills Training for Rural Surgeons: Laparoscopic Common Bile Duct Exploration and Image-Guided Interventions of the Chest and Abdomen
  • Advanced Robotic Surgery for Complex Abdominal Cancer Cancers
  • Minimally Invasive Approach to Rectal Cancer: Transanal Total Mesorectal Excision
  • Transoral Thyroidectomy
  • Ultrasound-Guided Resuscitation for Trauma and Critically Ill Patients
  • Two courses on oncoplastic breast surgery—one on the fundamentals and one that shows participants how to use this approach in their practices

Didactic Courses, 19 of which are offered this year, that may be of interest to many Clinical Congress attendees include the following:

  • Global Health Competencies for Surgeons: Cognitive and System Skills
  • Ethical Issues in Geriatric Surgical Care
  • Beyond Cutting for Cure: Tools for Enhanced Pain and Symptom Management, Communication, and Delivery of High-Quality, Patient-Centered Care
  • Successful Management of Your Private Practice
  • Put PEP in Your Step: Empowerment Practices in Leadership Development

More than 110 Panel Sessions on timely topics will be offered, and the Scientific Forum will include many exciting research presentations and e-Posters. All e-Posters will be available for viewing for the duration of the Clinical Congress. Video-Based Education Sessions will showcase surgical procedures. Meet-the-Expert and Town Hall Meetings will provide more casual and spontaneous learning environments.

Meet your requirements

Attendees may earn up to 50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits, 38 of which are available for nonticketed sessions. On-site claiming of Continuing Medical Education (CME) will be available at the MyCME booth and kiosks located throughout Moscone Center. Claims for CME Credit will be accepted through December 1.

In addition, attendees will have opportunities to earn Self-Assessment Credit as necessary and credits to meet state licensing board mandates, as well as credit to address ACS Accreditation/Verification requirements. The ACS requires that staff at College-accredited institutions earn these credits to meet compliance and site survey standards in metabolic and bariatric, breast, cancer, geriatric, pediatric, and trauma surgery.

Get to know your colleagues

As in years past, the Clinical Congress will provide a number of Special Interest Sessions where you can interact with other attendees who share your clinical and nonclinical interests. Want to learn more about ACS chapters and building lasting connections? Come to the Chapter Speed Networking session to meet with members of the Board of Governors Chapter Activities Workgroups. Are you a medical student interested in a program specially designed for those of you considering a career in surgery? Register for the three-day Medical Student Program and explore lifestyle issues, community outreach, and navigating the residency application process. These sessions also address issues that are specific to rural surgeons, Resident Members, Associate Fellows, and Young Fellows, and feature posters, research awards, and more.

The ACS will be offering a variety of wellness activities during the week, including running and walking tours that will offer the opportunity to explore San Francisco and early morning yoga to start your day.

ACS Taste of the City, the last night of the Clinical Congress, is an opportunity to experience a sampling of San Francisco’s unique and diverse dining and cultural scene while networking with your colleagues. Bring your appetite and guests to enjoy live music, fun activities, and camaraderie with ACS leaders, staff, and friends.

The annual ACS Career Fair is a unique recruiting event that brings together hospitals, private practices, and health care organizations from around the country looking to meet top-level candidates from a variety of surgical specialties. We encourage all levels of interested ACS members, from residents through late-career surgeons, to visit the ACS Career Fair.

As always, I urge you stop by ACS Central and meet some of the ACS leaders and staff. In ACS Central, you can update your member profile, order the latest educational products, and learn about our programs and services. This year, you will even have the chance to visit a video booth and talk about your experiences with the organization. ACS Central also houses the ACS Theatre, which will feature daily discussions of College innovations and other efforts to improve the experience of our members.

See you there

I anticipate that this year’s Clinical Congress will provide you with professional and personal experiences that you will remember for years to come. And for those of you who still have doubts about traveling to San Francisco, I suggest you check out the website that Albert I. Alexander, MD, FACS, developed after a scouting trip to the city. He has also posted in the ACS Member Communities about his experience. I look forward to seeing you in San Francisco.

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