• Mission

  • The American Association for the Surgery of Trauma was conceived during the meetings of the Western Surgical Association and Southern Surgical Association in December 1937. The 14 founders who were present at one or both of these meetings invited another 68 surgeons to a Founding Members meeting in San Francisco on June 14, 1938, and the first official meeting of the AAST was held in May 1939 in Hot Springs, Virginia.

    Since its inception, the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma was established to further the study and practice of traumatic surgery in its various departments, in the United States and Canada.

    Mission Statement of AAST:

    The AAST is dedicated to discovery, dissemination, implementation, and evaluation of knowledge related to acute care surgery (trauma, surgical critical care, and emergency general surgery) by fostering research, education, and professional development in an environment of fellowship, collegiality, inclusion, diversity and equity. 

    The AAST mission is accomplished through the following:

    • The Annual Meeting of the AAST provides a forum for scientific presentations, exchange of ideas and techniques, and continuing medical education. 
    • The AAST publishes two Journals: Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, the leading source for peer-reviewed publications in trauma, surgical critical care and emergency general surgery and Trauma Surgery and Acute Care Open, a peer-reviewed open access journal
    • The AAST creates, welcomes, and actively promotes diversity within its membership and leadership
    • The AAST founded and oversees the Acute Care Surgery Fellowship training programs.  
    • The AAST provides research funding and scholarships for medical students, residents, fellows and junior faculty. 
    • The AAST supports, conducts and fosters multi-institutional trials and studies. 
    • The AAST provides representation and leadership to national medical and surgical organizations including the American Board of Surgery and the American College of Surgeons Board of Governors and Committee on Trauma. 
    • The AAST promotes international collaboration and scientific exchange by conducting joint society meetings.
    • The AAST supports United States military surgeons through special programs, and military-specific educational sessions at the AAST Annual Meeting.

     Today, the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, is the premier academic trauma surgery organization in the United States and has over 1,700 members from 30 countries.


    The Association publishes the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery and Trauma Surgery and Acute Care Open and holds annual scientific meetings designed to exchange knowledge pertaining to current research practice and training in the surgery of trauma and support research studies to investigate new methods of preventing, correcting and treating traumatic injuries.

    To view the AAST Inclusion and Diversity statement, please click here.


    AAST invites you to look through our site. If you are looking for something which you cannot find, please send us an email at aast@aast.org. The AAST website, Trauma Source, is adding information daily. Thank you for visiting our website.

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