The new American College of Surgeons (ACS) Academy of Master Surgeon Educators is designed to be a”think tank” to meet the Academy’s stated mission of continually advancing the science and implementation of education across all surgical specialties through innovation and promotion of the highest achievements across the lifetime of surgeons, according to Academy Steering Committee Co-Chair L. D. Britt, MD, MPH,DSc(Hon), FACS, FCCM, FRCSEng(Hon), FRCSEd(Hon), FWACS(Hon), FRCSI(Hon), FCS(SA)(Hon), FRCSGlasg(Hon), Past-President of the ACS.
Dr. Britt and Academy Steering Committee Co-Chair Ajit K. Sachdeva, MD, FACS,FRCSC, Director, ACS Division of Education, discussed the new Academy during a special session Monday.
The first call for Academy membership applications will come in December 2017, with a February 2018 application deadline. The inaugural cohort of Academy members will be selected April 2018, with Academy induction to follow in June 2018.
The first members of the Academy, and those who follow, will be expected to take part in several activities to encourage, foster, and recognize excellence in education. Key activities will include annual meetings that involve the entire membership, as well as annual symposia, visioning, and brainstorming sessions. The Academy plans to communicate through ongoing online communication and a yearly publication featuring articles and commentaries that Dr. Sachdeva called an “anchor” for the Academy.
He said that the Academy would expect its members to pursue lofty, far-reaching goals while developing innovative programs that address specific needs. Members also will need to create an effective mentorship program that supports the advancement of future Master Surgeon Educators. Specific goals are:
- Foster an exchange of creative ideas
- Disseminate advances in surgical education both nationally and internationally
- Positively affect the quality of surgical care and patient safety
- Find and recruit innovators and thought leaders committed to lifelong surgical education, and then translate innovation into action
- Offer mentorships to surgeon educators through their different career phases
The Academy will have three types of memberships, each requiring specific criteria to be met for induction. The three membership categories are: Member, Associate, and Affiliate.
Members will come from two paths:
- those who have spent their careers in medical education and have pursued grants to further their efforts and have become known nationally and internationally for their work; and
- professionals who may not have been published to the same level as the first group but have mentored others who have become leaders in education.
Members of the Steering Committee joined Drs. Britt and Sachdeva in the session to share their thoughts and answer audience questions. Sir Murray F. Brennan, MD, FACS, ACS Distinguished Service Award Recipient, said that the audience has a key role in the development of the Academy. “I would ask you when you go home to identify those people who would make a difference,” he said. “Who makes a difference? Who changes our lives?”