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Course Content

The Advanced Trauma Operative Management (ATOM) course is an effective method of increasing surgical competence and confidence in the operative management of penetrating injuries to the chest and abdomen.

The course consists of six 30-minute lectures followed by a three-hour lab session during which the student will manage 12 different injuries.

The lectures teach the management of penetrating trauma as related to:

  • Trauma Laparotomy
  • Spleen and Diaphragm
  • Liver
  • Pancreas and Duodenum
  • Genitourinary
  • Cardiac and Vascular

The lab session, with a 1:1 student-to-instructor ratio, presents students with scenarios in which they must identify and repair simulated injuries. Injured areas include:

  • Bladder
  • Ureter
  • Duodenum
  • Kidney
  • Stomach
  • Diaphragm
  • Pancreas
  • Spleen
  • Liver
  • Cardiac
  • Inferior Vena Cava

The students must also complete pre-course and post-course exams and evaluations online.

  • The student will explain and describe the proper operative technique for dealing with trauma injury.
  • The student must identify traumatic injuries and develop a management plan in order to surgically repair the injuries.
  • At the completion of this course the student will be able to demonstrate the following:
    • Increased self-efficacy in the management of traumatic injuries
    • Increased knowledge in the management of penetrating injuries
    • Ability to successfully and safely perform all operative procedures presented in the course
Target Audience

The intended audience includes senior surgical residents, trauma fellows, military surgeons, and fully trained general surgeons who are not frequently called on to treat penetrating injuries.

About the Course

Lenworth Jacobs, MD, FACS of the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and Hartford Hospital Trauma Program, developed the ATOM course. It was established in 1998 out of a demonstrated need for the interactive exchange of knowledge regarding operative procedures in the management of trauma. In 2008, the ATOM program came under the auspices of the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma.


The American College of Surgeons is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

CME Credit

The American College of Surgeons designates this educational activity for a maximum of 7.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits.TM Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


ATOM Program
American College of Surgeons
633 N. Saint Clair St.
Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: 312/202-5387
E-mail: atom@facs.org

The ATOM manual and CD-ROM can be purchased online.