ACS Clinical Scholars in Residence benefit from access to outcomes measures and mentors

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) is now accepting applications for the 2020–2022 Clinical Scholar in Residence positions. Applications are due April 1, 2019.

The ACS Clinical Scholars in Residence Program is a two-year on-site fellowship in surgical outcomes research, health services research, and health care policy. It was initiated in 2005 to advance the College’s quality improvement initiatives and to offer opportunities for residents to work on ACS Quality Programs. More specifically, ACS Clinical Scholars in Residence perform research relevant to ongoing projects in the ACS Division of Research and Optimal Patient Care.

About the program

The primary objective of the fellowship is to address issues in health care quality, health policy, and patient safety, with the goal of helping the ACS Clinical Scholar in Residence prepare for a research career in academic surgery. The ACS Clinical Scholars in Residence have worked on projects and research using data from the ACS National Surgical Quality Improvement Program, the National Cancer Database, the National Trauma Data Bank®, the Surgeon Specific Registry, and the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program and have been involved in guideline development and accreditation programs. Scholars are assigned to the appropriate group within the ACS based on their interests and the College’s needs.

In addition, participants earn a master’s degree in health services and outcomes research or health care quality and patient safety during their two years at the ACS headquarters in Chicago, IL. The goal of this aspect of the program is to educate clinicians to become effective health services and outcomes researchers. The health services and outcomes research curriculum focuses on these issues within institutional and health care delivery systems, as well as in the external environment that shapes health policy centered on quality and safety issues. The program takes approximately two years to complete. All coursework is done at Northwestern University’s downtown Chicago, IL, campus, one block from the ACS headquarters. The ACS also offers a variety of educational programs from which the Clinical Scholars may benefit, including the Health Services Research Methods Course.

The ACS assigns internal mentors to meet regularly with each ACS Clinical Scholar in Residence. Scholars also have opportunities to interact with various surgeons who are affiliated with the ACS and the Division of Research and Optimal Patient Care. Mentorship is one of the most important aspects of this fellowship. Guidance and interaction with multiple individuals from diverse backgrounds will provide the best opportunity for success. In addition, a core of ACS staff statisticians and project analysts serve as invaluable resources to the ACS Clinical Scholars in Residence.

Past successes

Since its inception, surgical residents from throughout the U.S., including Alabama, California, Connecticut, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, and Ohio, have participated in the ACS Clinical Scholars in Residence program. These individuals say that they have had excellent, productive experiences that have been useful in launching their careers in the field of academic surgery. A total of 18 scholars have completed the program, and five scholars are currently participating. The ACS Clinical Scholars in Residence have demonstrated great dedication to outcomes research and the improvement of the quality of surgical care.

The ACS Clinical Scholars in Residence have presented their findings at numerous national meetings and in high-impact, peer-reviewed publications, in addition to contributing a great deal to the ACS quality improvement programs. Furthermore, scholars have gone on to attain prestigious fellowships in several fields, including surgical oncology and pediatric surgery.

Apply now

The 2020–2022 scholars will begin their work July 1, 2020. At present, applicants are required to have funding from their institution or other grant mechanism.

For more information about the program and the application requirements, go to the ACS Clinical Scholars in Residence web page or send an e-mail to

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