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Advanced Trauma Operative Management (ATOM) Course


New ATOM courses will be offered in 2020. Stay tuned for information about dates and registration.

The UC San Diego Division of Trauma, Surgical Critical Care, Burns and Acute Care Surgery is the first West Coast institution to offer the American College of Surgeons Advanced Trauma Operative Management (ATOM) course. ATOM 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 participant 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 participant-to-instructor ratio, presents participants 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 participants must also complete pre-course and post-course exams and evaluations online.


  • The participant will explain and describe the proper operative technique for dealing with trauma injury.
  • The participant must identify traumatic injuries and develop a management plan in order to surgically repair the injuries.
  • At the completion of this course the participant 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.


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 Credit. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. The American College of Surgeons ATOM course complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Any person who needs accommodation under the ADA should contact the course site.

UC San Diego Medical Center-Hillcrest
Division of Trauma
200 West Arbor Drive, #8896
San Diego, CA 92103

Phone: (619) 543-7200
Fax: (619) 543-7202