The new ACS/APDS skills curriculum: Moving the learning curve out of the operating room

Daniel J. Scott, Gary L. Dunnington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

258 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-221
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Gastrointestinal Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Gastroenterology


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