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Acute Care Surgery has had important implications for the education of medical students, residents, fellows, staff surgeons, and other members of the surgical team. To create a curriculum for the new ACS rotations, one of the services reviewed the literature on Acute Care Surgery, scanned the websites of Acute Care Services from across North America, and surveyed faculty to create goals and objectives for junior and senior residents. The curriculum was implemented alongside the new ACS rotation to favorable reviews: “This service is a wonderful opportunity to focus on acute general surgery in an environment where learning is as important as service.” Interestingly, ACS implementation had a favorable effect on sub-specialty general surgical rotations as well, with a substantial increase in the ability of residents to attend clinics, scheduled ORs, and academic half days due to a reduction of call volumes on these services.
Canadian ACS services are currently developing a national curriculum for residents and fellows. Although the details of the fellowships are still emerging, they are currently being developed in 3 Canadian centers, with the intention of preparing surgeons who are focused on clinical and academic excellence and leadership in Acute Care Surgery. The emergence of ACS as an area of specialized knowledge at the heart of General Surgery also creates numerous opportunities for continuing medical education. Surgeons from across all subspecialties can use ACS as a platform to disseminate new and ACS-relevant findings throughout General Surgery, and can learn useful techniques and strategies in ACS from their colleagues.
As General Surgery becomes increasingly fragmented by subspecialization ACS will continue to provide links to evidence and connections between surgeons, and will keep a diverse surgical workforce well-equipped to handle the often complex problems of Acute Care Surgery.
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