• Message From the President, Raul Coimbra, MD

    Dear Members of the AAST.

    The year could not have had a better start. After our retreat in December, several working groups, composed by members of several committees, rolled up their sleeves and started working hard to achieve our goals for the year and to set the stage for many more great things for future years.


    The goals we agreed on with the aim to have ownership of Acute Care Surgery include:

    • Develop Clinical Practice Guidelines in Emergency General Surgery (EGS) and Surgical Critical Care (SCC)
    • Create/Develop an Optimal Resource Document for EGS
    • Continue working on the development of an EGS grading system and testing/validating it.
    • Develop a data dictionary and a registry for EGS
    • Increase EGS content in the Annual Meeting program
    • Continue assessing and improving the ACS fellowship program


    The goals for Research include:

    • Continue providing leadership and participating in the Coalition for National Trauma Research (CNTR)
    • Use the AAST/CNTR Clinical Trauma Research Agenda, recently published in JTACS, to guide MITC trials and AAST fellowship applications
    • Develop a more comprehensive research agenda in Trauma covering the whole continuum of care, as well as injury prevention, and for it to be aligned with the goals of the NASEM report
    • Create a monthly announcement of funding mechanism and opportunities in injury research
    • Create and develop a robust EGS research agenda
    • Create and develop a robust SCC research agenda
    • Create an EGS and SCC Research Network of centers interested in participating in multi-institutional trials
    • Develop educational programs in Outcomes Research, Clinical Trials, Big Data Mining, Health Care Economics, etc.
    • Produce good quality studies in EGS
    • Produce good quality studies in SCC


    The goals for Member Services include:

    • Improve communications: the member survey was sent out already
    • Improve members’ access to increase membership participation in the strategic plan and on committees
    • Change the program in the Annual Meeting to include more EGS content
    • Support both journals to improve access, transparency, and opportunities for publications


    In addition to the strategic planning, we have been working very hard to maintain the work flow and quality of the JTACS editorial process. Dr. Ernest Moore, our editor-in-chief, and the associated editors have done a great job improving the quality of the publications, which will ultimately pay dividends as the impact factor increases and other metrics improve. Unfortunately, in late February, Jennifer Crebbs, the editorial manager of JTACS, informed us that she had the intent to leave JTACS and explore other professional opportunities as a freelancer. We hired a consultant to perform a very detailed assessment of the editorial process, human resources, and work flow in the JTCAS office. We decide then to follow other high-impact science and medical journals and signed a contract with a company specialized in peer-review management and editorial processes to support the Editor-in-Chief and the associated editors. This is a significant change in the way we conduct the editorial process of JTACS, but it is aligned with what is becoming the standard in the industry. We are obviously interested in your input; be sure to let us know if you notice any difference or any negative impact to the review and editorial process of your manuscripts.

    Our second journal, TSACO, had a great launch last year and continues to thrive. Dr. Timothy Fabian, the TSACO editor-in-chief, has done a phenomenal job in making TSACO an international journal. When we celebrate the first anniversary of TSACO in May, we will have reached the initial goal of 50 publications, which is quite remarkable for an open-access journal. I ask all of you to consider sending your manuscripts that fit into the scope to TSACO for consideration for publication. Some of you have expressed to me concern about the fact that TSACO is not yet indexed in MEDLINE. It turns out that once it becomes indexed in MEDLINE, all manuscripts published prior to the indexation date will be listed and accessible for searches in PUBMED.

    I thank you for your interest in the AAST and want to encourage you to get involved in one of the working groups listed above. Please register for the Annual Meeting in Baltimore. A fantastic scientific program was created with you in mind. Once again, I want to express my gratitude for the opportunity to serve as your president.


    Raul Coimbra, MD, PhD, FACS

    AAST President

    The Monroe E. Trout Professor of Surgery

    Surgeon-in-Chief UCSD Health System – Hillcrest Campus

    Executive Vice-Chairman Department of Surgery

    Chief Division of Trauma, Surgical Critical Care, Burns, and Acute Care Surgery

    University of California San Diego Health Sciences