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Anat Sci Educ. 2008 Mar-Apr;1(2):60-7. doi: 10.1002/ase.16.

Anatomists debate the value of a teaching credential.

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Department of Surgery, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.


Fewer and fewer programs are training graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the classical anatomical disciplines. Nonetheless, there remains a need at all levels of clinical and basic science education for skilled instructors of anatomy, histology, and embryology. Two sessions at the 2006 annual meeting of the American Association of Anatomists (AAA) explored whether a system of accreditation would benefit students, institutions, and training programs. Although the value of accreditation was controversial, three challenges for the various anatomical societies emerged from these discussions: (1) To identify the skills and knowledge that should be shared among all anatomists, and the more specific skills and knowledge needed for the diverse settings in which anatomists work. (2) To address the historical inattention of institutions to the training of educators. (3) To develop strategies to lobby institutions and national organizations to support the training and work of educators in the anatomical sciences. One approach to meeting these challenges would be to develop guidelines for training programs. These guidelines would help graduate students seek the training they need, provide institutions with a benchmark to assess or develop training programs, and provide the basis for focusing lobbying efforts targeted at institutions or existing accreditation bodies.

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