Managing the Future of the Profession

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SSO has managed the Breast Surgical Oncology Fellowship Program for nearly 25 years. The SSO Training Committee plays an integral role in ensuring that the Breast Surgical Oncology Fellowship Program Requirements and Curriculum are keeping pace with the changes in the field. In the summer of 2018, the SSO Training Committee charged a task force to review logged cases and evaluate the curriculum. Based on this review, the Training Committee brought forward recommendations to the SSO Breast Program Directors subcommittee and the SSO Executive Council. The following recommendations were approved and will go into effect August 1, 2019.

  • Maintain the requirements for hands on/observed ultrasound experiences and for percutaneous procedures.
  • Increase minimum requirement for “Level 1, 2 completion axillary node dissection” from five (5) cases per year to ten (10) cases per year.
  • Add genetics consultations as a required category with a minimum of 3 observed consultations per year.
  • Add “Oncoplastic closure; mobilization of glandular tissue flaps (beyond a simple layered cavity closure)” procedure into the Breast Op Log for tracking purposes.
  • Add categories of coding and billing and issues surrounding breast feeding to the curriculum topic list.

SSO also supports the Complex General Surgical Oncology (CGSO) Fellowship program by overseeing the CGSO Program Directors, coordinating the interview process for the CGSO match and providing guidance through representation on the American Board of Surgery (ABS) and their CGSO Board. Representatives include Russel Berman, MD, Kenneth Tanabe, MD and Kelly Hunt, MD. As a result of this representation, SSO is able to provide surgical oncology input into certification and training issues and is able to petition the ABS and the ACGME for changes to the program requirements. In the last 15 years, the number of CGSO programs has grown from 15 to 33 and the number of breast oncology programs has grown from 26 to 53 programs across the country and Canada. In the last ten years, 635 CGSO Fellowship positions were filled from over 1,100 applicants and 634 Breast Oncology Fellowship positions were filled from over 880 applicants.

SSO is proud to facilitate the match process and provide programmatic and administrative support to the fellowship programs, as well as provide various training and career development activities for future surgical oncology leaders. SSO will continue to look to the Members to provide guidance and support for the future direction of these programs and new programs to come. For more information about SSO opportunities for fellows and young physicians, visit the Fellows section of surgonc.org.

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