ACS/ASE Medical Student Simulation-Based Surgical Skills Curriculum

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the Association for Surgical Education (ASE) have developed a resource for medical school and clinical faculty entitled the ACS/ASE Medical Student Simulation-Based Surgical Skills Curriculum. This ACS/ASE Medical Student Simulation-Based Surgical Skills Curriculum, developed under the aegis of the ACS Division of Education, provides materials that use simulation and simulators to help medical students

  • Are offered structured, uniform, and consistent learning experiences

  • Acquire the essential surgical skills needed by all physicians

  • Build a solid foundation for further training

The simulation-based modules can be used to teach clinical skills ranging from taking a history and physical and signing out a patient to inserting a central venous line with ultrasound guidance. The topics are aligned based on the year during which they are most commonly taught.

Learning Objective

Upon successful completion of this course, the learner will have mastery of a variety of surgical skills relevant to all physicians.

Course Outline

Year 1 Modules

  • Module 1: Acute Bleeding-Packing and Tourniquet
  • Module 2: Abdominal Exam
  • Module 3: Basic Vascular Exam
  • Module 4: Breast Exam
  • Module 5: Digital Rectal Exam
  • Module 6: Female Pelvic Exam
  • Module 7: Male Groin and Genital Exam
  • Module 8: Universal Precautions
  • Module 9: Venipuncture and Peripheral IV

Year 2 Modules

  • Module 1: Basic Airway Management
  • Module 2: Communication—History and Physical, and Case Presentation
  • Module 3: Foley Bladder Catheterization
  • Module 4: Intermediate Vascular Exam
  • Module 5: Nasogastric Tubes
  • Module 6: Sterile Technique—Gloving and Gowning
  • Module 7: Surgical Drains—Care and Removal
  • Module 8: Wounds—Basic Principles

Year 3 Modules

  • Module 1: Arterial Puncture and Blood Gas
  • Module 2: Basic Gastric Tube Placement and Care
  • Module 3: Basic Knot Tying
  • Module 4: Basic Casting and Splinting
  • Module 5: Basic Stoma Care
  • Module 6: Basic Suturing
  • Module 7: Central Venous Line Insertion
  • Module 8: Communication—During Codes, and Safe and Effective Handoffs
  • Module 9: Intermediate Airway
  • Module 10: Intraosseous IV
  • Module 11: Local Anesthetics
  • Module 12: Lumps and Bumps
  • Module 13: Paracentesis
  • Module 14: Thoracentesis
  • Module 15: Ultrasound Basics

Year 4 Modules

  • Module 1: Organ-Specific Ultrasound Diagnosis

Target Audience

All medical students during their first three years of training.


For assistance, comments, or questions, contact Krashina Hudson, Administrator, Resident and Medical Student Curricula,

If you have any technical questions, contact

Course summary
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Daniel B. Jones, MD, FACS
Kathleen R. Liscum, MD, FACS

Chief Editor

Robert D. Acton, MD, FACS

Assessment Editor

Connie C. Schmitz, PhD


Linda Barney, MD, FACS
Patrice G. Blair, MPH
Andre R. Campbell, MD, FACS
Ellen S. Deutsch, MD, FACS
Ajit K. Sachdeva, MD, FACS, FRCSC
Daniel J. Scott, MD, FACS
Stephen C. Yang, MD, FACS


James G. Bittner IV, MD, FACS
Jeffrey G. Chipman, MD, FACS
Marc deMoya, MD, FACS
Russell Dumire, MD, FACS
Michael A. Edwards, MD, FACS
Gladys L. Fernandez, MD, FACS
James Gregory, MD, FACS
Harsh Grewal, MD, FACS, FAAP
Alan Harzman, MD, FACS
Leonard Hines, MD, FACS
Celeste Hollands, MD, FACS
Paul Huffstutter, MD, FACS
Ted James, MD, FACS
J. Eric Jelovsek, MD, MMEd, FACOG, FACS
Haytham M. A. Kaafarani, MD, MPH
Alan P. Ladd, MD, FACS
Jason S. Lees, MD, FACS
Grant G. Miller, MD, FACS
Erica L. Mitchell, MD, FACS
Ebondo Mpinga, MD, FACS
David W. Page, MD, FACS
Barbara J. Pettitt, MD, FACS, FAAP
Dimitrios Stefanidis, MD, PhD, FACS
David E. Stein, MD, FACS, FASCRS
Warren D. Widmann, MD, FACS
Brette Wilson, RN, MS

Assessment Consultants

Adnan Alseidi, MD, EdM, FACS
Julia Corcoran, MD, MHPE, FACS
Marc A. deMoya, MD, FACS
Loretto Glynn, MD, FACS, FAAP
Mary Catherine Santos, MD, MSEd, FACS
Connie C. Schmitz, PhD
Maura E. Sullivan, MSN, PhD

ACS Division of Education Staff

Kim Echert, C-TAGME
Tim Hotze
Cherylnn Sherman

This activity is not eligible for CME or CE credits.

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