News From the College

Surgeons learn about leading, influencing policy at 2017 ACS Leadership & Advocacy Summit


The 2017 American College of Surgeons (ACS) Leadership & Advocacy Summit, May 6–9 in Washington, DC, was a well-attended conference that brought together surgeons from across the U.S. to enhance their leadership skills and to learn about how they can advocate for the advancement of issues important to the field of surgery.

Leadership Summit

More than 450 surgeons and residents participated in the ACS Leadership Summit held May 6–7. The Leadership portion of the Leadership & Advocacy Summit included a series of presentations that provided practical, take-home tips on how to be a better leader. Presentations covered such diverse leadership topics as how to handle difficult conversations, manage difficult people, and lead from behind; how it’s not all about you, and leading by example; volunteering in your own backyard; avoiding burnout and promoting resilience; preparing for leadership positions in medicine; and successfully addressing critical situations in the operating room. PowerPoint presentations shown at the 2017 Leadership Summit are available at

In addition, ACS chapter leaders shared success stories. Representatives of the Connecticut Chapter focused on resident engagement, representatives of the North Texas Chapter and South Texas Chapter explained the positive results that can be realized by holding joint chapter meetings, and members of the Georgia Society of the ACS discussed their Stop the Bleed® effort. Participants then convened in state breakout sessions during the lunch hour to identify new strategies and initiatives for implementation at the chapter level. ACS Executive Director David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS, provided an update on ACS activities.

Advocacy Summit

More than 300 surgeons and residents participated in the ACS Advocacy Summit, May 7−9. Participants in the Advocacy Summit portion of the ACS Leadership & Advocacy Summit came to Washington primarily to meet with lawmakers and congressional staff to educate them about key ACS legislative priorities that affect surgical patients, including ensuring an adequate surgical workforce in underserved areas; advancing childhood cancer research and surveillance and providing resources for pediatric cancer survivors; allocating funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which provides health care coverage to uninsured children from low-income families; improving liability protections for trauma care providers; and providing greater flexibility for providers during implementation of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). The issue briefs presented during the Advocacy Summit are available on the ACS Professional Association website at

In addition, health care reform was discussed during a few panel sessions. Just days before the Advocacy Summit, the House of Representatives had passed the American Health Care Act by a vote of 217-213. Summit attendees were educated about the College’s concerns with the legislation and were advised that the Senate bill likely would be dramatically different. The College continues to work to ensure that ACS health care reform principles—patient safety and quality, patient access to surgical care, reduction of health care costs and medical liability reform—are included in a revised Senate bill. The full ACS 2017 statement on health care reform was published in the May issue of the Bulletin and is available at

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