SCKMC Surgeon Earns Recognition

November 18, 2011

South Central Kansas Medical Center (SCKMC) general surgeon, Dr. Tyson Blatchford recently received acceptance to the American College of Surgeons (ACS). ACS is an association, specifically for surgeons, founded to improve the quality of care for the patient by setting high standards for surgical education and practice. Members of the ACS are referred to as "Fellows."

"Not every general surgeon has the privilege of being a fellow of the ACS. It's a commitment on my part to a higher standard of care. A commitment of excellence above and beyond the average general surgeon," Blatchford said.

The letters FACS (Fellow, American College of Surgeons) after a surgeon's name mean that the surgeon's education and training, professional qualifications, surgical competence, and ethical conduct have passed a rigorous evaluation, and have been found to be consistent with the high standards demanded by the College.

"It's the last stop after graduating from residency and being board certified. Achieving fellowship is taking (your education) to the highest level you can take it in terms of patient care and excellence," Blatchford said.

The ACS application process includes in depth reviews of the surgeon's case load and patient outcomes, an interview with regional fellows, and consideration by the ACS board. The entire process usually takes over one year to complete, and cannot begin until a surgeon has practiced for at least two years.

"The ACS board expects you to be involved in education. Not just with patients, but also physician assistants and residents. You also have to be board certified, and demonstrate your commitment to patient safety. It all goes back to committing to a higher standard, a commitment to personal growth, patient safety and best outcomes. At anytime you don't uphold the standards, (the fellowship) can be taken away," Blatchford said.

The American College of Surgeons currently has approximately 77,000 members, making it the largest organization of surgeons in the world. Blatchford has been a member of the SCKMC medical staff since 2009, and is currently a member of the hospital's Medical Executive committee. The Arkansas City native attended the University of Kansas Medical School in Wichita, KS and completed his general surgery residency at Carilion Clinic in Roanoke, VA.. His office is at SCKMC Outpatient Services Building, located at 6401 Patterson Parkway in Ark City.

Photo: Dr. Tyson Blatchford recently received acceptance to the American College of Surgeons.