Archive for August, 2013

Dr. Hoyt

Looking forward – August 2013

This month, Dr. Hoyt highlights the history and accomplishments of the Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS®) course and the affect the program has had in the U.S. and around the globe in providing standardized, high-quality trauma care.

Hold the onions: Training in an era of heightened diversity and expectations

In his introduction to the RAS-ACS–themed issue, which centers on the evolving demands in resident training, Brian J. Santin, MD, Chair of RAS-ACS, compares the recent dramatic changes in surgical practice and training to the increased diversity in culinary techniques, and provides an overview of the changes that occurred in graduate medical education over the last 20 years, including the implementation of work-hour restrictions and a focus on the delivery of patient-centered, coordinated care.

The role of politics in shaping surgical training

Political and socioeconomic factors have affected surgical education over the last several decades, and, in particular, government funding has had a significant impact on graduate medical education programs. This article addresses how surgical training has responded to external pressures, including surgical workforce shortages and resident work-hour restrictions, and considers the issue of patient consent as it relates to the role of surgical trainees.

Improved communication techniques enable residents to provide better care now and in the future

Underscoring the role of effective communication in delivering high-quality patient-centered care, this article describes how certain tools, including checklists and the development of multidisciplinary teams, can be used to improve the dissemination of key information.

International surgery provides opportunities for residents to serve and learn

Globalization has increased the need for surgeons and surgical trainees to provide care beyond the borders of North America, and surgical residents are responding and showing greater interest in international training opportunities. There are several reasons to pursue these opportunities, and this article provides an overview of the benefits of international training.

Early surgical subspecialization: A new paradigm? Part I

Several subspecialities have developed well-formed models for training programs independent of general surgery residency programs, and these programs in the areas of vascular, plastic and reconstructive, and cardiothoracic surgery are the focus of this article.

Early surgical subspecialization: A new paradigm? Part II

The authors of this article had the opportunity to discuss early specialization options and the ACS Transition to Practice in General Surgery program with residency directors and national leaders in surgical education. Excerpts from these interviews convey some prevailing thoughts on current experiences with early specialization, the challenges encountered, and the future of early specialization and general surgery training paradigms.

Centennial reprint: Course coordinator describes purposes of ATLS® program

To help commemorate the ACS’ 100th anniversary, the Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons is reprinting articles centered on the issues and developments that have defined the character and integrity of the organization throughout its history. This month’s Centennial reprint is from the October 1982 issue and describes the purposes of the Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) course.

Figure 3. Value-based Payment Modifier quality-tiering methodology9


This column summarizes the benefits and application of the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Surgical Care Survey (S-CAHPS) and explains how the survey is used to measure quality.

Coding for damage-control surgery

This column explains how to correctly code for damage-control surgery using the current CPT manual including recommended CPT codes, codes to avoid, and clinical scenarios.

Improving cancer care through quality measures: Putting evidence to work with the CoC

To overcome inconsistencies in cancer care, the development, measurement, and reporting of quality measures are essential. This article highlights the efforts of the ACS Commission on Cancer and its collaboration with other societies involved in defining and measuring breast cancer care.

Preventing surgical fires

Surgical fire risks have been an issue frequently noted in Joint Commission accreditation surveys. This column highlights the commission’s efforts to clarify standards expectations and offers strategies for meeting this compliance issue.

Emergency department disposition


Skydiving involves inherent risk with most injuries resulting from human error. Through the efforts of the United States Parachute Association and an adherence to strict safety standards, training policies, and programs, skydiving is, however, a relatively safe sport. This column examines the occurrence of skydiving injuries using the National Trauma Data Bank® (NTDB®) research dataset for 2012.

Susan E. Mackinnon, MD, FACS, FRCSC, receives 2013 Jacobson Innovation Award

Susan E. Mackinnon, MD, FACS, FRCSC, the Sydney M. Shoenberg, Jr., and Robert H. Shoenberg Professor and chief, division of plastic and reconstructive surgery at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, received the 2013 Jacobson Innovation Award of the American College of Surgeons. Dr. Mackinnon was selected to receive this year’s award because of her leadership in the innovative use of nerve transfer procedures for patients with devastating peripheral nerve injuries.

Dr. Roland

CoC general session focuses on updates, lessons learned in care for cancer patients

Approximately 200 individuals attended a general session focused on advances in care for surgical oncology patients during the Commission on Cancer’s (CoC) annual meeting May 16–17, at the ACS headquarters in Chicago, IL.

Plan to attend these RAS-ACS events during 2013 Clinical Congress

2013 Clinical Congress sessions developed for Residents and Associates Fellows are outlined in this news story.

College seeks Medical Director for Washington, DC, Office

The ACS has initiated a search process for a full-time staff position: Medical Director, Division of Advocacy and Health Policy.

MOC Review: Essentials for Surgical Specialties to be offered at Clinical Congress

A new course titled Maintenance of Certification Review: Essentials for Surgical Subspecialities will be offered at the 2013 Clinical Congress.

NAPBC announces milestone: Accreditation of 500 breast centers

The National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers has accredited more than 500 breast centers.

Procedure-Specific Consents available online

Details regarding the Web-based standardized informed content documents with pre- and postoperative instructions for more than 2,300 surgical procedures are featured in this news story.


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