SESAP® 17 Advanced supports mastery of in-depth, targeted content

Surgical Education and Self-Assessment Program (SESAP®) 17 Advanced—which will feature in-depth content for surgeons seeking knowledge in specific topic areas—was the focus of a Tuesday, October 29, Panel Session at Clinical Congress 2019 moderated by John A. Weigelt, MD, DVM, FACS, SESAP 17 Program Director, and Ajit K. Sachdeva, MD, FACS, FRCSC, FSACME, Director, American College of Surgeons (ACS) Division of Education.

Building on the new edition of SESAP 17 produced by the ACS Division of Education and released this week at Clinical Congress, SESAP 17 Advanced will include new modules on the abdomen and alimentary tract, breast, endocrine, surgical critical care, and trauma, with each module addressing complex clinical problems and areas that continue to evolve.

SESAP 17 Advanced corresponds to SESAP 17 core categories, which serve as a foundation for the higher-level content. Surgeons who are interested in the Advanced content are required to invest in the SESAP 17 core material first as a prerequisite.

“The same unique characteristics of SESAP 17 carry over to the Advanced modules,” Dr. Sachdeva said. “One of our big aims is to focus on personalized, advanced cognitive skills education that is relevant to individual practices, and SESAP 17 Advanced is key to that.”

SESAP users have asked us for a more in-depth discussion that includes controversial issues and new technology in specific areas,” Dr. Weigelt said. “With this panel of experts today, we hope to show you how Advanced differs from the core.”

The Panel Session featured brief presentations from the lead authors of the five SESAP 17 Advanced modules, including John T. Vetto, MD, FACS (breast); Lorrie A. Langdale, MD, FACS (endocrine); Jason B. Fleming, MD, FACS (alimentary tract and abdomen); Lena M. Napolitano, MD, FACS (surgical critical care); and Jeffrey G. Chipman, MD, FACS (trauma).

“We started out with the Goldilocks’ test when we developed questions for SESAP 17. If the question was too easy or unclear, we didn’t use it. If the question was just right, we included it in the core SESAP 17. And if it was deemed too hard, we included it in SESAP 17 Advanced,” Dr. Vetto said. “Our charge with this Advanced module was to add more content in the form of longer critiques, include additional and more recent references, and feature information about controversial issues. As specialty surgeons, we should know about these controversies.”

“Our approach was to go from what every general surgeon should know in the SESAP core content to those who have a focused practice with the Advanced course,” Dr. Langdale said. “For the endocrine module, we focused on what to do in the redo setting and what you will do to work that person up, including complex diagnostic situations, as well as management tactics and strategies.”

“We also focused on enhancing the critique,” Dr. Fleming said. These enhancements to the Alimentary and Abdomen module include increased detail regarding definitions, adding figures (such as a graphic demonstrating clear tissue planes between the tumor, the superior mesenteric vein, and artery), and content highlighting trials with the best results. “We think these questions will be something you can go back to management with,” he added.

“Our role was really trying to ferret out core versus advanced content,” Dr. Napolitano said. “We started with 74 surgical critical care questions and we deleted 24 that were deemed too redundant, incorrect, or too specific. As we looked over the 50 remaining questions, we identified some holes and we decided to go to a national curriculum, the Surgical Critical Care Program Directors Society Surgical Critical Care Fellowship Curriculum, to identify areas lacking surgical critical care questions.”

Three additional questions were added covering the areas of nutrition, endocrine/steroids, and echocardiography/ultrasounds.

“We also focused on the critique with advanced information for how you would [for example] interpret the study. [Our goal] is to provide great content that you will be able to go back to for learning,” 
Dr. Napolitano said.

In selecting questions for the Advanced trauma module, Dr. Chipman noted the committee modified existing questions to address controversy and added current supporting references and provided a “deeper dive” in the question summaries.

Each SESAP 17 Advanced module lead author presented sample questions from the new modules, along with examples of enhanced critiques and graphic aids, including figures and visual abstracts.

SESAP 17 Advanced is expected to be released summer 2020.