Panelists recount benefits of Academy membership during Special Session

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) Academy of Master Surgeon Educators™ Special Session on Monday afternoon, October 27, provided a forum for panelists to share benefits of membership in the Academy and to identify key updates to the program, including plans to develop a new peer-reviewed publication.

Established by the ACS Division of Education, the Academy recognizes surgeons who have devoted their careers to surgical education. The Academy’s mission is to play a leadership role in advancing the science and practice of education across all surgical specialties. Currently, there are 170 members of the Academy from 34 states and 11 countries.

“This program is a huge opportunity to recognize the best of the best surgical educators in the U.S. and across the world,” said Ajit K. Sachdeva, MD, FACS, FRCSC, FSACME, Director, ACS Division of Education, and Co-Chair of the Academy’s Steering Committee.

In an effort to help recognize future “megatrends” in surgical education, the Academy plans to establish a peer-reviewed publication. “I want to set the stage for why a publication is important,” said ACS Regent Anton N. Sidawy, MD, MPH, FACS. “The Academy’s goals—specifically to foster the exchange of creative ideas, disseminate advances in surgical education, and positively impact the quality of surgical care and patient safety—need a publication in order to move forward.”

Sources for submissions to the publication will include “individual or group peer-reviewed studies, surgical education abstracts accepted at the annual Clinical Congress … and targeted solicited review articles, opinion/viewpoints, and historical vignettes,” Dr. Sidawy said. “We believe this publication will be in print [format] with an open archive and open access articles,” he added, noting that the publication title has yet to be determined but will “likely highlight the role of the ACS and the Academy.”

Carla M. Pugh, MD, PhD, FACS, underscored the essential role of technological innovation in the Academy. She noted the program’s Emerging Technologies and Artificial Intelligence in Surgical Care and Education symposium—attended by 100 Academy inductees and members earlier this month—as an example of the program’s focus on innovation.

“Simulation 2.0—the next version of simulation, whether it is an animal- or mannequin-based simulation—is moving toward the data we can capture while we are performing simulation … This data will qualify surgical workflow and will set criterion for metrics for teaching,” said Dr. Pugh, who led the effort in bringing The Surgical Metrics Project to Clinical Congress this year—an initiative that explores the use of wearable technologies to measure surgical decision making and technique.

Brenessa Lindeman, MD, MEHP, FACS, provided the perspective of an Associate Member of the Academy. “For me as a young surgeon educator, I am very grateful to the College and the Academy for thinking about the important work of training the next generation of surgeons and for giving these educators a platform for recognition and a place to share their work,” Dr. Lindeman said.

The inaugural class of the Academy of Master Surgeon Educators was selected in the summer 2018 and inducted October 3, 2018. The next class was selected this summer and inducted October 4, 2019, in Chicago. The next application cycle is tentatively set to launch March 2020.