Welcome to Clinical Congress 2019

Ronald V. Maier, MD, FACS, FRCSEd(Hon), FCSHK(Hon), FCCS(Hon)
Ronald V. Maier, MD, FACS, FRCSEd(Hon), FCSHK(Hon), FCCS(Hon)

On behalf of the Board of Regents and Officers of the American College of Surgeons (ACS), it is my pleasure to welcome you to San Francisco, CA, for Clinical Congress 2019. The theme of this year’s conference is For Our Patients, reflecting the central focus of my 2018 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 1,993 Initiates will be conferred Fellowship in the ACS—1,300 from the U.S., 38 from Canada, and 655 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—the Lifetime Achievement Award, the third Mary Edwards Walker Inspiring Women in Surgery Award, and two new awards, the Distinguished Military Lifetime Achievement Award and the Resident and Associate Society Outstanding Mentor of the Year Award. As we did last year, we will honor, by name, those Fellows who have passed away over the last year, in gratitude for their lives in service to their patients, colleagues, and our profession. The Convocation will begin at 6:00 pm at Moscone Center West, Ballroom.

The Opening Ceremony, the official start of the Clinical Congress, begins at 8:00 am Monday, Moscone Center West, Ballroom. Immediately following the Opening Ceremony, Nina Totenberg, national news correspondent, National Public Radio, will deliver the Martin Memorial Lecture, sponsored by the American Urological Association. Ms. Totenberg will remain 
on site for a meet-and-greet with attendees in Moscone Center West, 3024.

The Program Committee—under the leadership of Henri R. Ford, MD, MHA, FACS, FAAP, FRCSEng(Hon), Chair, and David T. Cooke, MD, FACS, Vice-Chair—has developed an impressive program, comprising 11 Named Lectures, 120 Panel Sessions, 15 Didactic Courses, 13 Surgical Skills Courses, 31 Video-Based Education Sessions, 87 Scientific Forum Sessions, 45 Meet-the-Expert Sessions, and 19 Town Hall Meetings.

The Scientific Forum will feature oral presentations of outstanding scholarly work by surgical investigators. A recent feature added at Clinical Congress 2017 is that all scientific posters are submitted and available for viewing electronically on any mobile device or computer throughout the entire Clinical Congress, and Continuing Medical Education (CME) credit is provided for e-Poster Rounds. For Clinical Congress 2018, the ACS issued a call for late-breaking clinical trials abstracts and did so again this year. The Surgical Forum Committee selected clinical trials that have the potential to change practice and improve patient care for presentation at 9:45 am Monday.

I anticipate that you will find the Clinical Congress invaluable in your effort to attain CME Credits and meet regulatory and institutional mandates. The ACS designates this live activity for a maximum of 48 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. I hope you will claim your share this year.

Make the most of your Clinical Congress experience by visiting ACS Central, which is open 9:00 am−4:30 pm 
Monday through Wednesday in the Moscone Center South, Halls ABC. This venue provides opportunities to meet with staff and learn about the latest ACS products and programs. ACS Central also can serve as a gathering space to meet with friends and colleagues, charge your devices, hear about new programs, 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, receive a flash drive with your professional photo, and even record a video on how the ACS has helped to foster your career trajectory. 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.

Be sure to visit the Technical Exhibits as well, where nearly 200 companies will display their products and services. This year, you also are invited to participate in The Surgical Metrics Project, which will provide participants with the opportunity to engage in an exploration of the use of wearable technologies to measure surgical decision making and technique. Resident, active practice, and retired surgeons are all encouraged to participate. At this event, which will take place Monday through Wednesday in the Exhibit Hall, wearable technologies will be used to build a database of surgical decision making and technical approaches during repair of a small bowel enterotomy. A total of 10 procedure stations will be available, and the exercise will take less than 30 minutes.

In addition, the Guest Program offers many opportunities to explore San Francisco and the surrounding area, including Alcatraz, the wine country, Silicon Valley, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown, and many other sights and attractions Sunday through Wednesday.

End your Clinical Congress 2019 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 Moscone Center. The event is complimentary to all Clinical Congress attendees and their family members, and extended shuttle bus service will be provided.

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 memorable Clinical Congress experience.