CSAT Receives ACS Education Accreditation

December 2014

The Carlos and Davis Center for Surgical Anatomy and Technique (CSAT) of Emory University has been awarded accreditation for three years as a Comprehensive Education Institute (CEI) of the American College of Surgeons Accredited Education Institutes (ACS-AEI) program. ACS-AEI promotes patient safety by advocating simulation training to cultivate skills in academic surgical programs, supporting the development of new education methods and emerging technologies, identifying best practices, and facilitating research and collaboration among its member centers. CSAT received notice of its accreditation after a successful site visit in September.   

CSAT's adept use of 21st century media technology exemplifies the ACS requirement that CEIs demonstrate innovation by developing and refining original curricula directed at multiple audiences. CSAT's "Surgical Anatomy of the Liver" iPad app—which became available in the Apple iTunes App Store in April 2014—publicly initiated CSAT's new focus on using electronic methods to distribute the message that knowledge of surgical anatomy is critical to minimizing complications in the OR. Intended for trainees, medical students, instructors, and anyone that needed a quick way to learn or teach liver anatomy, the interactive 3D app allowed users to mentally map the anatomy of the liver in ways that were never before possible with print illustrations or imaging studies. The CSAT apps currently in development include a pelvic anatomy app, a common surgical procedures app or "video atlas" that will contain step-by-step video presentations shot in the OR, and a 2.0 version of the liver app that will feature a CT scan function.

CSAT's role in vetting the teaching and training systems in the 24-hour simulation lab of the Emory Office of Surgical Education illustrates its commitment to the CEI principle that state-of-the-art simulations, simulators, and progressive technologies should be available to trainees. In addition to leading training sessions in the lab, chief residents and faculty of the Department of Surgery also participate in CSAT's Surgical Anatomy, Embryology, and Operative Techniques Course for 4th year medical students. The traditional workshop setting features didactic lectures and demonstrations, human cadaveric dissection labs, animal surgery sessions, simulation and robotics labs, and laparoscopic training, and offers opportunities for initiation of the types of beneficial mentoring relationships that CEIs should nurture.

"This accreditation validates our educational programs and our efforts up to this point, enhances our opportunities for exchanging ideas by giving us access to the network of ACS-AEIs, and will serve as an additional platform to grow our educational offerings, particularly in the areas of CME and formalized skills sessions," says Dr. Keith Delman, Carlos Professor of Surgical Anatomy and Technique and director of CSAT.

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