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

YFA Leader

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For surgeons under the age of 46, the Young Fellows Association (YFA) represents your interests, and provides a forum for you to shape the future of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and your specialty. Get involved in this high-energy group of future College leaders today.


The Governing Council of the YFA includes the YFA Executive Committee (Chair and Vice-Chair), chairs of the five YFA Standing Workgroups (Advocacy & Issues, Communications, Education, Membership, and Quality), RAS Ex-Officio, Board of Governor Liaison, and 11 members at large.

How Do I Participate in YFA?

  • Must be a Fellow under the age of 46
  • Connect through the work of the standing YFA workgroups
  • Apply for an ACS committee, Board of Governors workgroup, or Advisory Council liaison position

How Do I Get Elected to the Governing Council?

A call for nominations is sent to the YFA membership in the late spring/summer if there are open positions. Members can apply and be considered for a position. The candidates are interviewed over the phone by members of the nomination committee, who then select the top candidates and make a recommendation to the YFA Vice-Chair. The top candidate(s)—if there are multiple open positions—are selected by the YFA Executive Committee. (Age criteria: You must be able to serve a full-three year term while remaining under the age of 46.)


  • YFA Chair serves one year.
  • YFA Chair-Elect serves one year and then ascends to Chair.
  • Governing Council Member serves for three years.
  • Chair of standing YFA Workgroup can serve from one to three years.


  • Attend quarterly governing council calls and in-person meetings annually
  • Attend Governing Council meeting at Clinical Congress (three consecutive years)
  • Attend Governing Council meeting at Leadership & Advocacy Summit (three consecutive years)
  • Regularly attends meetings and participate in projects of one or more of the standing YFA Workgroups

Time Commitment

The time commitment can vary depending on what you decide to get involved in. For example, if you join one of the five workgroups, you can expect to work on projects, participate in conference calls, and potentially meet face-to-face.

Because I Want to Make a Difference

Daniel KlaristenfeldDaniel Klaristenfeld, MD, FACS

I am a community colorectal surgeon at a large multigroup, non-academic practice. Being involved in the ACS does not enhance my resume or improve my institutional standing. Everything I do is on my own time and the expenses come out of my own wallet. When I asked to become a member of the YFA Governing Council four years ago, it was because I wanted to get involved. I wanted to have a seat at the table where policies and decisions were being made. I wanted to be a voice for community surgeons working every day in the trenches. And I wanted to get the big picture view of where the "House of Surgery" is heading.

Being on the YFA governing council has given me a front-row seat to what happens within the ACS. Through the YFA, I have connected with mentors and made new friends. I have participated in shaping ACS policy, helped decide and create what is available at Clinical Congress, and lobbied my elected representatives for issues that are important to me and all of my surgical colleagues. Every time I come back from an ACS meeting or conference, I have a greater understanding and appreciation for how the ACS affects the lives of every surgeon in the world whether they know it or not. My advice is to get involved. It is easy to complain about the state of surgery in America today. It is much harder, yet much more gratifying, to stand up and try to make a difference.