In the summer of 2002, AAA conducted a survey of 188 anatomy-related department chairs to:
- Determine if there are enough, too many, or too few future anatomists in the training pipeline to meet teaching needs in the coming years.
- Provide department chairs with benchmarking data to compare departmental funding, salaries, and infrastructure support with other schools in the U.S. and Canada.
- Provide information to assess graduate research and training programs in comparison to others.
In part, the impetus for this survey stemmed from reports that medical school administrators' plans for faculty hiring and curriculum changes are based on the supposition that too few anatomists are being trained to meet future teaching needs. A key goal of the survey was to gather the data to support or refute this assertion, which could then lead to the development of strategies for the future.
AAA's reading of the data from the 95 chairs who responded shows that we seem to be training enough anatomists to meet future teaching needs — but, for a variety of reasons, many of those who are trained do not subsequently wind up teaching. This issue was addressed in a February 2003 session at the annual meeting of the Association of Anatomy, Cell Biology & Neurobiology Chairpersons (AACBNC), reported on in the March 2003 AAMC Reporter.
Because this is a first-time survey, we have no trends to report. The data presented can only be compared to what is "known" intuitively or found in other sources. Based on the feedback, AAA decided a few years ago that the survey data AAMC presents on these subjects meets the needs of the anatomical sciences community.
To comment or see the data collected in 2002 in detail, please send an e-mail to AAA at: firstname.lastname@example.org.