In October 2014, Ajit K. Sachdeva, MD, FACS, FRCSC, FSACME, Director of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Division of Education, presented a proposal to the Board of Regents (B/R) to establish an ACS Academy of Master Surgeon Educators, and the B/R unanimously and enthusiastically approved this recommendation. A Steering Committee was then appointed by the Division of Education to provide the overall direction for this Academy, define the scope of activities of the Academy, and develop Standards and Criteria for induction into the Academy.
The Members of the Steering Committee of the ACS Academy of Master Surgeon Educators are listed below.
The Steering Committee pursued extensive background work that included a thorough literature review, interviews with leaders of other university-based academies, and surveys of various surgical specialties and national organizations. The Mission Statement for the Academy, and Goals of the Academy, as well as the Standards and Criteria for admission to this Academy were then defined and approved unanimously by the Committee. Specific Standards and Criteria were developed for each of the three categories of membership, which are as follows:
- Associate Member
- Affiliate Member
The Steering Committee determined that admission to the Academy would be a high honor and emphasized that individual Members would be required to contribute actively to the Goals of the Academy. Membership in the Academy would be open to Master Surgeon Educators from across the surgical specialties. The Steering Committee approved unanimously the processes for submission of applications, comprehensive review of each application against the established Standards and Criteria, and the details of the review process.
In October 2017, the B/R unanimously approved the plan for recognition of individuals who would be inducted as Members and Associate Members at a special Induction Ceremony. Also in October 2017, the Academy’s Steering Committee hosted a Special Session at the annual ACS Clinical Congress in San Diego, CA, to describe the Mission and Goals of the Academy, and to share information on the Standards and Criteria for admission in each category of membership. Feedback from the ACS membership was sought. The session was well attended and attendees expressed tremendous excitement about the program. Many nationally renowned surgeon leaders voiced strong interest in the Academy during and after the Congress.
Aim, Mission, and Goals of the Academy
The Aim of this Academy is to recognize and assemble a cadre of Master Surgeon Educators of national and international renown who will work closely with the ACS Division of Education to advance the science and practice of avant-garde surgical education and training.
Developed by the ACS Division of Education, the Mission of the ACS Academy of Master Surgeon Educators is to play a leadership role in advancing the science and practice of education across all surgical specialties, promoting the highest achievements in the lifetimes of surgeons.
The Goals of the Academy are as follows:
- Define megatrends in surgical education and training
- Steer monumental advances in the field of surgical education and training
- Foster major innovation in surgical education and training and promote productive collaboration
- Develop cutting-edge faculty development and recognition models
- Underscore the critical importance of surgical education and training in the changing milieu of health care
- Serve as an advisory group to the Division of Education
Selection of Members and Associate Members
The application process for Members and Associate Members was formally launched in March 2018. Each application was assigned to two Members of the Steering Committee who were asked to rate the application against the specific Standards and Criteria for admission to the Academy in the two categories. Concrete steps were taken to avoid any real or even perceived conflicts of interest. The Steering Committee met in July 2018 at the ACS headquarters in Chicago, IL, to discuss all the applications and make final decisions regarding admission of the applicants to the Academy. The two Steering Committee Members assigned to review and evaluate each application shared their evaluations with the entire Steering Committee and the decision regarding the application was made by consensus within the Steering Committee.
The ACS received 183 applications for Membership and Associate Membership. Following the stringent peer-review process, 106 Members and Associate Members were selected. This initial cohort of Academy Members includes preeminent and renowned surgeon educators, including several current and past leaders of the ACS. The initial cohort of Associate Members includes many individuals who possess the potential to become Members in the future. The lists of the Members and Associate Members selected by the Steering Committee appear in Tables 1 and 2, respectively.
Table 1. Academy of Master Surgeon Educators Members, Selected 2018
Table 2. Academy of Master Surgeon Educators Associate Members, Selected 2018
Induction of Members and Associate Members
The formal Induction Ceremony of the selected Members and Associate Members took place October 3, 2018, at the historic John B. Murphy Memorial Auditorium in Chicago, IL. Each individual selected as a Member or Associate Member of the Academy was required to be present at this ceremony to be formally inducted. The few individuals who were unable to attend the 2018 Induction Ceremony will be inducted at the next Induction Ceremony on October 4, 2019.
Dr. Britt served as the Master of Ceremonies for this seminal event, and Drs. Britt, Sachdeva, and Hoyt officially recognized each Member during the induction process. Dr. Hoyt then welcomed the new Members and Associate Members into this Academy, and Dr. Sachdeva highlighted future plans for the Academy.
During the ceremony, 91 Members and Associate Members (36 Members and 55 Associate Members) were inducted. They hailed from 33 states and the District of Columbia. The inductees included individuals from seven countries, and one Member came from as far away as Australia. The Induction Ceremony was successful and generated incredible enthusiasm and excitement. The vibrant energy in the room was palpable throughout the evening.
Activities of the Academy
Since the Induction Ceremony, the Academy has begun to pursue its ambitious agenda and audacious goals. Members and Associate Members of the Academy have been contacted and asked to share their suggestions regarding major projects that the Academy should consider pursuing. Many important suggestions and ideas have been shared by the Members and Associate Members, which will help in accomplishing the Academy’s far-reaching agenda and will steer the strategic directions of the ACS Division of Education. Active engagement of the Members and Associate Members and communication with other key stakeholders will be pivotal in the Academy reaching its full potential and positively affecting the entire House of Surgery for many years to come.
The cycle for 2019 Member and Associate Member applications to the Academy began in March. Also, this year the Academy will be accepting applications for Affiliate Membership along with applications for Membership and Associate Membership. Affiliate Members will include leaders from other professions beyond the House of Surgery, who support the Aim, Mission, and Goals of the Academy.