American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons

The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS), formerly the American Proctologic Society, is a professional society for surgeons specializing in colorectal surgery. It is one of the oldest surgical societies, having been established in 1899.


The organization was established as the American Proctologic Society in 1899,[1] at a meeting held in Columbus, Ohio:[2]

The meeting was called by Dr. J. Rawson Pennington of Chicago, Illinois. Dr. James P. Tuttle of New York, New York, was chosen temporary chairman and Joseph M. Mathews of Louisville, Kentucky, elected the first President. The object of the Society as stated in the Constitution is the cultivation and promotion of knowledge in whatever relates to diseases of the rectum and colon.[2]

The name of the organization was changed to American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons in 1973 "to indicate more clearly the scope of its specialty".[3]


The ASCRS has described its activities as follows:

Since its inception in 1899, the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS) has been actively providing support for the education of its members specializing in colon and rectal surgery, general surgeons, surgical residents, and medical students. With new developments in surgical education, the ASCRS continues to offer educational tools and activities tailored to meet acquisition of medical knowledge and technical skills in an ongoing fashion throughout surgeons' careers, foster high-quality patient care, and promote the integration of the core competencies of communication skills, professionalism, system-based practice and practice-based learning, and improvement in daily practice. These tools and activities are presented in this article.[1]

The ASCRS offers continuing medical education courses. For this provision, it is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education.[1]

The ASCRS holds an annual conference "to provide participants with in-depth and up-to-date knowledge relative to surgery for diseases of the colon, rectum, and anus", with an emphasis on patient care, teaching, and research.[1] The ASCRS is a participant in the American Joint Committee on Cancer. In 2016, the American College of Surgeons reported on its partnership with the ASCRS in developing technical skill assessments in the colorectal surgery field.

The ASCRS was one of the contributors in the formation of the National Accreditation Program for Rectal Cancer.


  1. ^ a b c d Judith L. Trudel, M.D., The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons and Surgical Education: What Does Your Society Do for You?, Clin Colon Rectal Surg. 2012 Sep; 25(3): 181–184. doi:10.1055/s-0032-1322548 PMC 3577576.
  2. ^ a b Transactions of the Annual Meeting of the American Protologic Society (1940), p. 12.
  3. ^ Roslyn G. Nitzberg, Choosing a Medical Specialty (1990), Vol. 7, p. 9.

Further reading

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