Abstract

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) recently launched a new program to provide regional support for simulation-based surgical education through the establishment of a consortium of accredited education institutes. The goals of the program are to enhance surgical patient safety, support efforts of surgeons to meet the requirements for Maintenance of Certification, address the core competencies that all surgeons and surgical residents need to achieve and demonstrate, and enhance access to contemporary surgical education. The ACS-accredited institutes will comprehensively address the needs of a broad spectrum of learners and advance the science of simulation-based surgical education. Accreditation is being offered at two levels--Level I (Comprehensive) and Level II (Basic)--based on three standards that focus on the learners served, the curricula offered, and the technological support and resources available. Initial plans of the consortium of ACS-accredited Education Institutes include development and dissemination of innovative curricula, peer review of new educational programs and products, sharing of limited educational resources, and pursuit of collaborative research and development. This program should be of great value in supporting the professional activities of surgeons, surgical residents, medical students, and members of the surgical team, and in delivering surgical care of the highest quality.