It is an incredible honor to serve as your Fellowship Council President this year. I first want to acknowledge the leadership and vision of Dr. Aurora Pryor who has just concluded her term as FC President. Dr. Pryor has guided us through a challenging year as a result of the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, while continuing to move the FC steadily forward. Her initiative of curriculum redesign will undoubtedly positively impact the fellowship experience for years to come. Thank you Dr. Pryor.
The Fellowship Council oversees advanced GI and related postgraduate specialty training for 185 fellowship programs and 238 fellowship positions. The mission of the FC is to ensure the highest standards for postgraduate surgical training and to facilitate the application and match process for these fellows. It takes a dedicated cadre of surgeon volunteers to serve on the various FC committees who carry out the real work of the Fellowship Council and the Board and members of the Executive Council who oversee the various FC operations and function. The amount of volunteer time they put in to ensure these FC activities and responsibilities are maintained is amazing. Thank you all! In addition, I want to recognize Maria Cummings and the entire FC BSC staff for their diligence in managing the day-to-day activities of the FC and keeping things running smoothly.
As you all are aware, the FC has a number of initiatives we are undertaking that will be moving forward this coming year. These include:
- EPA pilot which is being rolled out to all the FC programs which will ultimately replace the current quarterly procedure assessments and which should facilitate programs in assessing progress of the fellows toward independence over the fellowship year(s).
- Curriculum redesign in process to populate educational content across the various FC fellowship types which will provide enhanced access to pre-packaged lectures and other content that should enrich the fellowship experience and help program directors more easily full fill their educational responsibilities.
- Case log mapping is in progress and mostly complete that will facilitate tracking of fellow’s operative experience and progress towards meeting their fellowship operative requirements.
- Planned FC sponsored education session at the in-person SAGES meeting in Denver in March 2022.
The leadership of the FC is sensitive to the many demands facing program directors and would like to hear from you regarding the concerns and challenges that you are going through which have undoubtedly been heightened with the COVID pandemic. To that end, we intend to hold an open town hall session after the 1st of the year and have a conversation with you outside of our regular business meetings to discuss some of these issues. If you have immediate concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly via email by contacting Executive Director Maria Cummings at [email protected] We value your commitment to the highest standards of education and training for the fellows and look forward to continuing to partner with you to better the fellowship experience in the coming years.
Best wishes for a safe and COVID-free upcoming holiday season.
L. Michael Brunt, MD
The Fellowship Council