Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 213–221 | Cite as

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

  • Daniel J. ScottEmail author
  • Gary L. Dunnington
SSAT other


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.


Surgical education ACS/APDS skills curriculum Skills laboratories Simulation Proficiency-based training Competency 


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Copyright information

© The Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Surgery, Southwestern Center for Minimally Invasive SurgeryUniversity of Texas Southwestern Medical CenterDallasUSA
  2. 2.Department of SurgerySouthern Illinois University School of MedicineSpringfieldUSA

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