Archive for January, 2014

Looking forward – January 2014

Last November marked the 50th anniversary of the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy, and Dr. Hoyt urges members to draw on the values, inspiration, and leadership of President Kennedy to meet the evolving demands of the profession.

Annual RAS-ACS essay contest: Dealing with surgical complications

Each year, the Communications Committee of the RAS-ACS selects a topic of broad interest to young surgeons and solicits brief essays from interested members on the subject. This year’s topic—How Surgeons Deal with Complications—generated a robust response from RAS-ACS membership.

Accepting accountability and moving forward

This year’s winning essay by Elisha G. Brownson, MD, details lessons learned from a case involving a lucid patient and a snapped catheter.

Responding to, reflecting on, and moving forward from a surgical complication

Complications related to a stapled right gastroepiploic pedicle are the focus of this resident’s essay that urges surgeons to be transparent with patients and colleagues, reflect on errors, and forgive themselves.

Talk it out, and slow it down

Discussing reactions to cases involving surgical complications should not leave surgeons feeling embarrassed or denigrated, according to the author of this essay, who urges surgeons to express their feelings to achieve understanding and self-awareness.

Mea maxima culpa—Dealing with surgical complications

How surgeons conduct themselves when confronted with the reality of an undesirable surgery-related event is the focus of this essay. With each of these events, notes the author “rests an opportunity for the surgeon to be inquisitive, to be transparent, to be introspective, and to learn from the moment at hand.”


This essay brings to life the emotional responses involved with surgical complications, both on the part of the surgeon and the family.

Complications are shared experiences

Surgeons have a complex relationship with their patients, one marked by the common goal of a positive outcome, observes the author of this essay, and when failures occur, surgeons and patients are urged to grieve and rebound together.

Preoperative telemedicine evaluation of surgical mission patients: Should we use it routinely?

On-site preoperative evaluation of global surgery patients is a complex, time-consuming, and often chaotic process, however, telemedicine may expedite the delivery of lifesaving care. This article describes how the authors reviewed patient information and radiologic studies using store-and-forward telemedicine (SAFT) before embarking on a surgical mission in the Philippines.

Reading the tea leaves for state legislatures in 2014

A brief overview of health care activities at the state level in 2013 followed by a summary of legislative and policy trends for 2014 are highlighted in this article.

Highlights of the 2013 Clinical Congress

The ACS 2013 Clinical Congress provided surgeons, medical students, surgical residents, and other members of the operating room team with a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in a variety of educational experiences. This wrap-up summarizes key events at the meeting including the ACS Centennial celebration, Convocation, Named Lectures, and awards winners and honorees.

ACS Officers, Regents, and Board of Governors’ Executive Committee

The ACS Officers, Regents, and Board of Governors’ Executive Committee were elected at the Annual Business Meeting of the 2012 Clinical Congress.

Statement on advance directives by patients: “Do Not Resuscitate” in the operating room

This revised statement was developed by the American College of Surgeons Committee on Ethics and approved by the College’s Board of Regents in October 2013.

The benefits of attending a 2014 ACS Surgical Coding Workshop

An overview of ACS coding workshops, including benefits of attendances, topics covered, and registration information is provided in this month’s column.

Students need exposure to the joys of rural surgery

Overcoming barriers to recruiting rural surgeons are addressed in this article, including mentoring, exposing students to rural career earlier in their careers, and recruiting more students from rural backgrounds.

Surgeons as employees: Is the lining always golden?

The allure of hospital employment and the financial incentives for hospitals to recruit physicians as employees are covered in this column.

Patient-centered outcomes research: Is this really something new?

This column informs Bulletin readers about the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, the research it will support, and new projects that have recently launched.

Action urged to prevent retained surgical items

The Joint Commission has issued a Sentinel Event Alert urging hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers to take a fresh look at how to avoid leaving items such as sponges, towels, and instruments in a patient’s body after surgery. This month’s column highlights recommended action items in the Alert.

Annual Report 2013: Where did they go?

The 2013 Annual Report of the National Trauma Data Bank (NTDB®)—an updated analysis of the largest aggregation of U.S. and Canadian trauma registry data—is highlighted in this month’s column.

Ronald M. Stewart, MD, FACS, to head Committee on Trauma

The Board of Regents of the ACS recently appointed Ronald M. Stewart, MD, FACS, to serve as the next Chair of the ACS Committee on Trauma.


Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons
633 N. Saint Clair St.
Chicago, IL 60611


Download the Bulletin App

Apple Store
Get it on Google Play
Amazon store