I have been a Fellow in good standing in the American College of Surgeons (ACS) for over thirty years. Founded in 1913, the ACS is the oldest and largest organization representing surgeons in the world. Its mission used to be to further excellence in surgery and support surgeons and our patients. This is no longer the case.
In 2020, the ACS leadership declared war on surgeons and surgery. It claimed that the ACS is structurally racist, that surgeons- especially white surgeons are racists, and that surgery itself is racist. No evidence to support any of these shocking claims has ever been provided. This messaging by the ACS leadership goes so far as to support the unbelievably toxic claim that patients do better when operated on by a surgeon of their own race. You cannot find any claim more poisonous to the relationship between surgeons and their patients. Imagine meeting your surgeon who is of a different race than yours and worrying whether their implicit racism will prevent them from giving you the best care. This is an insult and a slap in the face to all surgeons who go to work every day committed to the best care of the patient before them, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or any other irrelevant characteristic. We all take the same oath to serve every patient to the best of our ability.