, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 213-221
Date: 10 Oct 2007

The New ACS/APDS Skills Curriculum: Moving the Learning Curve Out of the Operating Room

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Surgical education has dramatically changed in response to numerous constraints placed on residency programs, but a substantial gap in uniform practices exist, especially in the area of skills laboratory availability and usage. Simulation-based training has gained significant momentum and will be a requirement for residencies in the near future. In response, the American College of Surgeons and the Association of Program Directors in Surgery have formed a Surgical Skills Curriculum Task Force with the aim of establishing a National Skills Curriculum. The first of three phases will undergo implementation in 2007, with subsequent phases scheduled for launch in 2008. The curriculum has been carefully structured and designed by content experts to enhance resident training through reproducible simulations, with verification of proficiency before operative experience. Free-of-charge distribution is planned through a web-based platform, and widespread adoption is encouraged. In the future, these simulation-based strategies may be useful in assuring the competency of practicing surgeons and for credentialing purposes.

Oral presentation at the 48th Annual Meeting, Education Committee Panel (Dr. David I. Soybel, Moderator), The Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract (SSAT), May 23, 2007, Washington, DC.
This paper was originally presented as part of the SSAT Education Committee Panel on Simulation in Gastrointestinal Surgery at the SSAT 48th Annual Meeting, May 2007, in Washington, DC. The other articles presented in the panel were Johnson KA, Sachdeva AK, Pellegrini, CA, The Critical Role of Accreditation in Establishing the ACS Education Institutes to Advance Patient Safety through Simulation; Fried GM, FLS Assessment of Competency Using Simulated Laparoscopic Tasks; and Rehrig ST, Powers KA, Jones DB, Integrating Simulation in Surgery as a Teaching Tool and Credentialing Standard.