American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes


Organization and Administration of the College

The policies of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) are formulated and implemented through the work and cooperation of various organizational and administrative elements that are designed to afford Fellows the broadest possible participation in College affairs. These elements include the College's officers, the Board of Regents, the Board of Governors, College chapters, and the administrative staff.

Each year at their annual meeting, the Fellows elect a President and two Vice-Presidents. College officers also include the Treasurer and Secretary, the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Board of Regents, the Chair, Vice-Chair and Secretary of the Board of Governors, the Director, and the Comptroller.

The Treasurer, Secretary, Comptroller, and Director are appointed by the Board of Regents and serve at the discretion of the Board.

Regents and Governors

The Board of Regents

The Board of Regents formulates policy and directs the affairs of the College. It has 24 members, 23 of whom are elected by the Board of Governors for three-year terms. The 24th Regent is the President of the College. Regents may serve three consecutive three-year terms.

The Board of Regents is assisted in its work by numerous committees, councils, and advisory groups. The major standing committees of the College include an executive committee, a central judiciary committee, and a finance committee of the Board of Regents, and a central credentials committee.

The Board of Governors

The Governors act as the liaison between the Board of Regents and the Fellows. Elected by the Fellows, the Governors serve as a clearinghouse for the Regents on Fellowship matters. The also serve as the administrative channel through which chapters and individual Fellows may bring their problems and concerns to the attention of the Board of Regents.

Governors elect Regents, aid in the establishment and administration of chapters, participate in chapter CME coprovidership programs, and help to select the personnel for College-related committees that are organized within their areas. They help in investigating special cases concerning applicants for Fellowship, and, on request, submit reports on applicants' activities as well as presenting an annual report on local College affairs to the Board of Regents.

Each state, Canadian province, and commonwealth is represented by one or more Governors, the number depending upon how many Fellows are practicing in the area. Foreign countries that have more than 15 Fellows are also represented by Governors, as are a number of surgical organizations and federal medical services.

Governors may serve two consecutive three-year terms. Each year they elect a Chair of the Board of Governors, a Vice-Chair, and a Secretary. These officers, together with four additional Governors, form the executive committee of the Board of Governors. The Chair, Vice-Chair, and Secretary attend all meetings of the Board of Regents.

Reaching the Community

ACS Chapters

The College exerts it influence at the community level primarily through the local chapters. The College currently has 113 chapters, including 65 in the U.S., two chapters in Canada, and 46 in countries abroad.

Chapter membership is open to anyone who is a Fellow of the College and to Associate Fellows. However, chapters can have different levels of membership beyond Fellows and Associate Fellows, according to the membership requirements set in their bylaws. Each chapter provides information on who is eligible for chapter membership.

The chapters provide for a close association of their members in their common effort to improve the quality of surgical care. They also offer a medium through which surgical experiences may be presented and discussed, and they constitute a common ground for specialists in the various branches of surgery.

Chapters provide a forum through which young surgeons who have not yet gained membership in more limited surgical societies can share their thoughts and experiences with older and more established surgeons.

Finally, it is through the chapters that Fellows in the community are able to cooperate with other professionals and with civic groups, third-party carriers, and state government agencies that are concerned with community health care and the socioeconomic and legislative aspects of health care. In addition, Fellows can support College activities such as the field force in trauma and the Cancer Liaison Program of the Commission on Cancer through local chapters of the College.