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What is the American College of Surgeons?

The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational association of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to improve the quality of care for the surgical patient by setting high standards for surgical education and practice.


What does it mean to be a member?

Members of the American College of Surgeons are referred to as "Fellows." The letters FACS (Fellow, American College of Surgeons) after a surgeon's name mean that the surgeon's education and training, professional qualifications, surgical competence, and ethical conduct have passed a rigorous evaluation, and have been found to be consistent with the high standards established and demanded by the College.

There is also another category of membership known as "Associate Fellow." This category was established to provide an opportunity for surgeons who are beginning surgical practice and who meet specific requirements to assume an active role in the College at an early stage in their careers.

The College currently has more than 64,000 Fellows, including more than 3,700 Fellows in other countries, making it the largest organization of surgeons in the world. There are presently more than 5,000 Associate Fellows.


(Reprinted with permission, American College of Surgeons, 2004)


ACS Web Portal

The American College of Surgeons Web portal is a secure, single sign-on, members-only benefit that provides users with a personalized gateway to the Internet. The portal's specialty and special-interest communities include robust information that is of great educational value to Fellows, residents, and medical students in all specialties, including core content, reports, algorithms, discussion forums, news feeds, links to related Web sites and podcasts, important meeting dates, videos, recommended reading, accreditation/certification information, and more all focused on the user's specialty and areas of special interest.


ACS Video: Through the Eyes of a Surgeon

The College has created a video that focuses on the critical need for surgeons to have a strong voice and seat at the table in all patient care decisions, especially as the health care environment continues to change. The video highlights why surgeons have a unique and important perspective and focuses on the need to strengthen the collective voice of all surgeons, especially in our efforts to reach health care leaders, policymakers, and the public.

Download the video here