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Emergency War Surgery Course

Format: Resident with Distant Learning Requirements

The EWSC establishes combat training competencies and coordinates training to develop and sustain DOD trauma surgeons located in operational environments, military treatment facilities, or at Level I trauma treatment facilities. This course is intended for DOD trauma surgeons, orthopedic surgeons, and surgical sub-specialties; however, physician assistants, trauma nurses, medical technicians, and surgical technicians are able to attend and audit the course to gain exposure facilitating assistance to the surgical physicians. The course consists of didactic distant learning lectures and an in-person laboratory practicum. The course facilitators (general surgeons, orthopedic surgeons, and other surgical specialties) will guide and assist students to gain a better understanding of surgical treatment techniques unique to the care of the trauma injured patient in an austere environment. This course will help surgeons understand the pathophysiology of war wounds to best care for the injured casualty. This course content is standardized among the three services by mutual agreement and sharing of curriculum. Completion of distance learning activity is required prior to course attendance.

Advanced Surgical Skills for Exposure in Trauma

The ASSET+ course establishes combat training competencies and coordinates training to develop and sustain DOD trauma surgeons located in operational environments, military treatment facilities, or at Level I trauma treatment facilities. This course is intended for DOD trauma surgeons, orthopedic surgeons, surgical sub-specialties, physician assistants, trauma nurses, medical technicians, and surgical technicians. Students will receive a manual prior to taking the course which provides an overview of key surgical exposures in five key anatomic areas: neck, chest, abdomen and pelvis, and upper and lower extremities. The two-day cadaver and simulator-based course follows this modular, body region approach. Each section begins with a short, case-based overview; followed by a hands-on exposure performed by students under the guidance of faculty. The student-to-faculty ratio is low, allowing extensive faculty guidance and interaction with students. The student assesses their ability to perform each exposure independently and is evaluated on knowledge and technical skills. This course will fulfill the skills element of the General Surgery KSA requirements for all services. Skills will follow the Clinical Practice Guideline recommendations for pre-deployment training.

Combat Orthopedic Trauma Surgery

The purpose of the COTS+ course is to establish combat training competencies and coordinate training to develop and sustain DOD orthopedic surgeons located in operational environments, military treatment facilities, or at Level I trauma treatment facilities. This course is intended for DOD orthopedic surgeons, trauma surgeons, surgical sub-specialties, physician assistants, trauma nurses, medical technicians, and surgical technicians. In addition to fractures, it is not uncommon for battlefield extremity injuries to also have complex soft tissue injuries, vascular injuries, and/or burns. During this intensive course, surgeons and other healthcare providers will receive practical surgical training that will prepare them to stabilize and resuscitate extremity trauma. Attendees will also learn the appropriate deployed setting soft tissue coverage techniques for these wounds. Each section begins with a short, case-based overview, followed by a hands-on exposure performed by students under the guidance of faculty. The student-to-faculty ratio is low, allowing extensive faculty guidance and interaction with students. The student assesses their ability to perform each exposure independently and is evaluated on knowledge and technical skills. This course will fulfill the skills element of the Orthopedic Surgery KSAs requirements for all services. Skills will follow CPG recommendations for pre-deployment training.

The EWSC offers up to 30 CMEs. Nurses can petition to convert CMEs to CEUs.

ATTRS Registration Instructions

EWSC ASSET+

The ASSET course establishes combat training competencies and coordinates training to develop and sustain DOD trauma surgeons, located in operational environments, military treatment facilities, or at Level I trauma treatment facilities. This course is intended for DOD trauma surgeons, orthopedic surgeons, surgical sub-specialties, trauma nurses, medical technicians, and surgical technicians.

Course didactic: self-paced completion in JKO for all participants prior to attendance at resident course; surgeons, non-surgeons, and nurses.

Day 1

  • ASSET+
  • Surgeons will perform the course skills

Day 2

  • ASSET+
  • Surgeons will perform course skills
  • Post-course test will be administered
  • Certificates and CME

Participants will receive an email from MODS with instructions on how to access CME credits.

EWSC COTS+

The COTS course establishes combat training competencies and coordinate training to develop and sustain DOD orthopedic surgeons located in operational environments, military treatment facilities, or at Level I trauma treatment facilities. This course is intended for DOD orthopedic surgeons, trauma surgeons, surgical sub-specialties, physician assistants, trauma nurses, medical technicians, and surgical technicians.

Course didactic: self-paced completion in JKO for all participants prior to attendance at resident course; surgeons, non-surgeons, and nurses.

Day 1

  • ASSET+
  • Surgeons will perform the course skills

Day 2

  • COTS+
  • Surgeons will perform course skills
  • Post-course test will be administered
  • Certificates and CME

Participants will receive an email from MODS with instructions on how to access CME credits.

Steps for Each Service to Enroll in EWSC

U.S. Army

All students must complete a DA Form 3838, signed by their commander. Forward the signed DA Form 3838 and current physical fitness test to the service specific point of contact listed below. Seats are limited for this course and are not controlled by DMRTI or the instructor staff.

U.S. Air Force

  • DSN: 487-9618
  • COMM: (210) 652-9618
  • Course information should be addressed to the Functional Point of Contact once you CAC in at the following website https://www.my.af.mil/etcacourses/default1.aspLimited access AF portal
  • If you cannot find a course contact within the course data click the FUNC P.O.C tab at the top of the page to locate the appropriate functional point of contact.

U.S. Navy

Coast Guard

  • Contact Medical Readiness Division, COMM: 202-475-5183

Course Links and Documents

Upcoming Courses

Class Report Date Start Date End Date Locations
ASSET/COTS Oct. 30, 2023 Oct. 31, 2023 Nov. 2, 2023 Naval Medical Center San Diego, CA
COTS Nov. 15, 2023  Nov. 16, 2023 Nov. 17, 2023  Joint Base San Antonio/ Spring Branch, TX
ASSET Nov. 29, 2023  Nov. 30, 2023  Dec. 1, 2023  Joint Base San Antonio/ Spring Branch, TX
ASSET/COTS Jan. 29, 2024  Jan. 30, 2024 Feb. 2, 2024  Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, VA
ASSET Feb. 21, 2024 Feb. 22, 2024 Feb. 23, 2024 Joint Base San Antonio/ Spring Branch, TX
COTS April 24, 2024 April 25, 2024 April 26, 2024 Joint Base San Antonio/ Spring Branch, TX
ASSET/COTS
Apr. 29, 2024 Apr. 30, 2024 May 2, 2024 Naval Medical Center San Diego, CA 
ASSET June 5, 2024 June 6, 2024 June 7, 2024 Joint Base San Antonio/ Spring Branch, TX
ASSET
July 10, 2024 July 11, 2024 July 12, 2024  Joint Base San Antonio/ Spring Branch, TX
ASSET/COTS July 29, 2024 July 30, 2024 Aug. 2, 2024 Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, VA
COTS Sept. 4, 2024 Sept. 5, 2024 Sept. 6, 2024   Joint Base San Antonio/ Spring Branch, TX

All course dates may be rescheduled if the minimum student quota requirement has not been met. In the rare event of course cancellation or date change, DMRTI will notify all students as soon as changes are confirmed. Confirmed registered students will have priority in the next course.

Last Updated: September 22, 2023
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