ACS Mastery in General Surgery Program


American College of Surgeons - Mastery in General Surgery

R. Phillip Burns, MDWe are pleased to announce that the Department of Surgery of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine Chattanooga has been approved by the American College of Surgeons to sponsor one of seven pilot programs in the nation for a one year Transitions to Practice (TTP) in General Surgery (now called the ACS Mastery in General Surgery Program).  Our own R. Phillip Burns, MD, FACS, Chair of our Department of Surgery, is the Program Chief for the Chattanooga program.  W. Heath Giles, MD, FACS, and Richard Moore, MD, PhD, FACS, serve as Junior Associate Directors for the ACS-accredited Program.


The American College of Surgeons (ACS) has developed this program for new surgeons who have completed residency and are entering into the practice of general surgery. The Mastery in General Surgery (Mastery) Program will support the transition to independent practice in general surgery through:

  • Building autonomy, decision-making, and clinical skills
  • Developing experience in practice management, leadership, and quality improvement
  • Learning the business of medicine
  • Launching your career in general surgery

Original Seven Participating Institutions

  • Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI
  • Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, VA
  • Gundersen Lutheran Health System, LaCrosse, WI
  • Mercer University School of Medicine/Medical Center of Central Georgia, Macon, GA
  • Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, OH
  • University of Louisville School of Medicine, KY
  • University of Tennessee College of Medicine Chattanooga, TN

An excellent overview about the Transitions to Practice in General Surgeon and the journey to today's ACS Mastery in General Surgery is found in this article in the July 2018 issue of the Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons.


To view a list of the 31 ACS Mastery in General Programs across the country, click on this link:


Click on this link to apply for 2021-2022 available positions:  


To learn more about this program or to request an application, contact ACS at 312-202-5653 or e-mail


Benjamin Kellog, MDDr. Benjamin Kellog was our first participant in the American College of Surgeons Transitions to Practice in General Surgery and holds a faculty appointment in the Department of Surgery.  He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine (Class of 2008) and completed his Surgery Residency at the University of California San Diego (2008-2013) before joining our faculty in July 2013.  He is remaining as a part of our faculty after completing the one year program.


The program has the support of our Dean, DIO, and our Graduate Medical Education Committee.



Updated 08/10/2020

UT College of Medicine Chattanooga     960 East Third Street, Suite 100     Chattanooga, TN 37403     (800)947-7823, ext 6956

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