Welcome to Clinical Congress 2018

Barbara Lee Bass, MD, FACS
President, American College of Surgeons


On behalf of the Board of Regents and Officers of the American College of Surgeons (ACS), it is my pleasure to welcome you to Boston, MA, for Clinical Congress 2018. The theme of this year’s conference is the Joy and Privilege of a Surgical Career, reflecting the central focus of my 2017 Presidential Address.

This year’s Clinical Congress upholds the tradition of providing opportunities for surgeons, surgery residents, medical students, nurses, anesthesiologists, and other health care professionals who provide care to surgical patients to attain the knowledge and skills they need to provide optimal care. Approximately 14,000 surgeons, other physicians, allied health care professionals, exhibitors, invited guests, staff, and other stakeholders are expected to attend this year’s Clinical Congress.

A highlight of each Clinical Congress is the Convocation Sunday night, during which we welcome new ACS Fellows and install the new Officers of the College. This year, a record-breaking 1,970 Initiates will be conferred Fellowship in the ACS—1,332 from the U.S., 26 from Canada, and 612 from around the globe—and we will recognize Fellows who are celebrating their 25th and 50th anniversaries of ACS Fellowship. At the Convocation, we also will recognize 12 Honorary Fellows and present the Distinguished Service Award—the College’s highest honor—and the third Dr. Mary Edwards Walker Inspiring Women in Surgery Award. For the first time, we will honor, by name, those Fellows whohave passed away over the last year ingratitude for their lives in service to their patients, colleagues, and our profession. The Convocation will begin at
6:00 pm at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, Exhibit Hall B2.

The Opening Ceremony begins at 8:00 am Monday, also in Exhibit Hall B2, and will signal the official start of the Clinical Congress. Immediately following the Opening Ceremony, Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD, Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will deliver the Martin Memorial Lecture, sponsored by the American Urological Association. The focus of the lecture will be on the work performed at the NIH.

The Program Committee—under the leadership of Henri R. Ford, MD, MHA, FACS, FAAP, FRCSEng(Hon), Chair, and David T. Cook, MD, FACS, Vice-Chair—has developed an impressive program, comprising 11 Named Lectures, 120 Panel Sessions, 15 Didactic/Experiential Courses, 12 Surgical Skills Courses, 31 Video-Based Education Sessions, 43 Meet-the-Expert Sessions, and 14 Town Hall Meetings.

A highlight of the educational program will be the presentation of a Special Session titled How the Government Is Impacting the Practice of Surgery and Your Bottom Line. This session will take place Monday, 1:15−2:15 pm in the convention center’s Ballroom West. Gary L. Timmerman, MD, FACS, will moderate, and Brian J. Gavitt, MD, MPH, FACS, will co-moderate the session, which will provide Fellows with an in-depth analysis of the key economic issues that affect surgical practice. Administrative burdens and payment policies will be among the topics discussed.

The Scientific Forum will feature oral presentations of outstanding scholarly work by surgical investigators. A new feature added last year and repeated this year is that all scientific posters are available for viewing electronically on any mobile device or computer, and Continuing Medical Education (CME) credit is provided for e-Poster Rounds. New this year, the ACS issued a call for late-breaking clinical trials abstracts. The Scientific Forum Committee selected six clinical trials that have the potential to change practice and improve patient care. This new Clinical Trials Session will be presented Monday at 9:45 am.

I anticipate that you will find Clinical Congress invaluable in your effort to attain Continuing Medical Education (CME) Credits and meet regulatory and institutional mandates. The ACS designates this live activity for a maximum of 47.5 AMA PRA Category 1 credits. Self-Assessment Credits will be available for most Panel Sessions, Postgraduate Courses, and Video-Based Education Sessions, and certificates will be issued to attendees who achieve specific levels of verification through participation in Didactic and Skills Courses. Last year, 2,990 individuals claimed a total of 49,876.50 Category 1 CME Credits. In addition, 2,330 individuals claimed a total of 26,810 Self-Assessment Credits. Credits also were offered in new domains, including cultural competence, 454; end-of-life care, 25; and risk management, 232. I hope you will claim your share this year!

Make the most of your Clinical Congress experience by visiting ACS Central. ACS Central will be open 9:00 am−4:30 pm Monday through Wednesday, providing opportunities to meet with staff and learn about the latest ACS products and programs. ACS Central also can serve as a gathering space during the meeting to meet with friends and colleagues, charge your devices, hear about new programs, and meet and talk with College leaders in the ACS Theatre, or take some time to simply relax. While you are there, you also have the opportunity to update your member profile and receive a flash drive with your professional photo. Informational posters will be located throughout ACS Central outlining the ACS Theatre schedule for the day, and alerts will be sent via the Clinical Congress app and posted on social media.

The Guest Program offers many opportunities to learn about Boston’s prominent role in our nation’s rich history. You and your family will have opportunities to explore Revolutionary War battlegrounds, Cambridge, Salem and Marblehead, Fenway Park, the Rose Kennedy Greenway, the John F. Kennedy Library and Edward M. Kennedy Institute, and many other sights and attractions Sunday through Wednesday.

End your Clinical Congress 2018 experience Wednesday evening at ACS Taste of the City. Bring your appetite and plan to enjoy live music, activities, and camaraderie with ACS leaders, staff, friends, colleagues, and family members. ACS Taste of the City will take place 5:30−7:30 pm at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, Exhibit Hall B2. This event is complimentary to all Clinical Congress attendees and their family members, and extended shuttle bus service will be provided.

The Clinical Congress continues to represent the gold standard in surgical education. It’s also a wonderful opportunity for ACS members to reconnect with old friends and make new ones. I thank the surgeon volunteers and staff who make this exceptional event possible and extend to each attendee my best wishes for a productive and memorable Clinical Congress experience.