2021 Annual Reports from the IFAA Treasurer, College of Representatives and Federative International Programmes and Committees and other Portfolio holders


Treasurer’s report: Tom Gest

As of January 9, 2022, the IFAA banking account had $40,103.17, an increase from $34,768.65, which was the balance of the IFAA account in November 2020. 

We have established a business banking account at Chase Bank and closed the previous IFAA account at Trustmark. The move to Chase Bank provides the IFAA with an international banking location, and our Secretary Diogo Pais will be able to serve as the co-signatory on the account, ensuring continuity of the IFAA account.  The relocation to Chase will save approximately $500 in banking fees next year.

An ad hoc subcommittee consisting of Treasurer Thomas Gest, Past-Treasurer Richard Drake, Richard Cabral, Ceri Davies, Bernard Moxham, and Helen Nicholson, formulated an updated dues rate structure, and the revised dues rate was approved ad referendum by the IFAA General Assembly.  The revised dues rate structure will be implemented in 2022.

Most IFAA member societies are currently up to date through 2021 with their membership dues, and those few societies that are in arears will be reminded of their dues obligation.  The call for the 2022 dues will be going out to member societies in February.

The funds in the President’s Emergent Anatomists Programme (PEAP) are currently $3,884.67.

College of Representatives (Chair: Cagatay Barut)

A questionnaire was prepared in collaboration with the President of IFAA to investigate global scarcity of trained anatomists. This questionnaire was shared with the members of the College by e-mail on May 11th, 2021. The first item among the tasks to be considered was to investigate global scarcity of trained anatomists. To achieve this goal, the first step was to identify the current situation and to assess the need for manpower by means of a survey. This questionnaire aims to provide the point of view of the member societies. The deadline for responses was June 10th, 2021.  In addition, Representatives were asked about the organization of a Google Group to improve the communication between members of the College.

Individual reminders for comments on the survey were sent on May 29th, 2021 to all members of the College). Responses were as follows:

  • Six member associations sent comments on the draft of the questionnaire.
  • One member association sent several articles to improve the questionnaire.
  • One member association sent an empty response
  • Eight member associations answered the questionnaire.
  • Three member associations sent a reply but not a comment nor an answer.
  • There were no responses from the rest of the Representatives of the member associations.

The Chair is waiting for the IFAA FICSAP and FIPAE survey to be completed in order to progress with the current task.

There were no responses related to the organization of a Google Group for the College of Representatives.

In response to the request by Dr. Carol Hartman an announcement related to IFAA President's Emergent Anatomist Programme “Introduction to Scientific Writing” Workshop was sent to the members of the College on August 15, 2021.

 On Sep 17, 2021 an update related to the 20th IFAA Congress was sent to members of the College individually.

On Nov 28,2021 an e-mail requesting information regarding upcoming anatomical congresses and their dates were sent to the members of the College. Respondents are as follows:

  • The Society of Experimental and Clinical Anatomists of Nigeria
  • The Republic of Azerbaijan, Public Association «Scientific Society of Anatomists, Histologists and Embryologists»
  • Bulgarian Anatomical Society

Anatomical Education - FIPAE (Chair: Nalini Pather)

In the last annual report in November 2020, the following FIPAE goals for 2021 were outlined:

  • finalise membership of subcommittees and prioritise activities for 2021
  • finalise program of virtual symposia for 2021
  • develop and launch FIPAE webpage and a tool for collaboration
  • develop survey to Anatomy Programme Directors

As with most committees and programmes, due to the pandemic and time pressures on anatomists in most countries, our goals were modified. 

The following deliverables were achieved since the last report

  • Education Research Training Workshop on 6 December 2020

Quality Qualitative Research in Anatomy delivered by Associate Professor Michelle Lazarus (AAA, ANZACA, AMEE), Assistant Professors Stefanie Attardi (AAA, IAMSE) and Jessica Byram (AAA, AAMC)

  • Anatomy Festival from 15 October to 15 December 2021

The festival comprised an Opening Symposium on World Anatomy Day, 15 October 2021 and Closing Symposia on 15 December 2021. The symposia recordings are accessible at http://ifaa.net/anatomyconnex/ 

  • Launch of Anatomy Connex, the FIPAE portal for sharing symposia presentations, innovation, scholarship, and discussion on topical anatomy education matters (http://ifaa.net/anatomyconnex/)
  • Together with FICSAP, disseminated a survey to determine the needs of anatomists.

The main challenge over the last year was engagement with committee members due to the pandemic’s additional pressures on academics. Despite these, four planning meetings took place over the year.

The following goals will be the focus on 2022

  • Increase engagement and collaboration with subcommittees
  • Collaboration with IFAA 2022 Organising Committee to deliver FIPAE Symposium and Workshop during the congress
  • Continued development of the FIPAE Anatomy Connex portal and discussion platform
  • Following evaluation of the FICSAP/FIPAE 2021 survey, design and implement a qualitative investigation on impact of pandemic on anatomy education (opportunities and challenges).
  • Continued engagement of global community through virtual symposia. The proposed symposia topics for 2022 are: active learning, digital technologies, and humanism in anatomical education

Anatomical Research – FIPAR (Chair: Han-Sung Jung)

1st IFAA FIPAR Webinar: 2021 Sep 10th

Dr. Marko Konschake (Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria) “Ethics for Anatomical Research”

Dr. Quentin Fogg (University of Melbourne, Australia) “The Exciting Need for Morphological Anatomy Research”

Dr. Jose Antonio Vega Alvarez (Universidad de Oviedo, Spain) “Mechanobiology in Human Cutaneous Sensory Corpuscles”

2nd IFAA FIPAR Webinar: 2021 October 13th

Dr. Jose Sanudo (Universidad Complutense of Madrid, Spain) “New Insight into the development of the inguinal canal”

Dr. Shigeru Kuratani (RIKEN Cluster for Pioneering Research, Japan) “Development of the hagfish and early evolution of vertebrates”

Dr. James Coey (St. George's International School of Medicine, UK) “Do medical students have a role in advancing research within the anatomical sciences?”

3rd IFAA FIPAR Webinar: 2021 December 14th  

Dr. Iain D Keenan (School of Medical Education, Newcastle University, UK) “Exploring 3D Anatomy”

Mr. Leonard Shapiro (Dep. of Human Biology, University of Cape Town, South Africa) “Anatomical Observation using Touch and Drawing”

Dr. Caroline Erolin (Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification (CAHID), University of Dundee, UK) “Interactive 3D Digital Models for Anatomy and Medical Education”

Topics for 2022:

  • How to produce future helpful webinars, especially for young scientists, including experimental approaches and background.
  • Need to consider how to upload the recorded files to the IFAA Website

Anatomical Terminology - FIPAT (Chair: Shane Tubbs)

The various terminology groups have been in communication with their working group leaders. Some members, for various reasons e.g., health, had to step down in the interim and replacements have been identified and sent to IFAA Exec for approval. Two notices from the Sec. of FIPAT have been sent to Working Group leaders asking for progress notes. These responses have essentially stated that early meetings have been held and plans are being formulated.

Ethics and Medical Humanities - FICEM (Chair: Andreas Wikelmann)

The first FICEM video meeting was held on 31 March/1 April which was attended by virtually all members, and we hope to make this a regular occurrence this year.

Four of the FICEM members are currently working with Valerie DeLeon and others as part of an AAA task force to develop guidelines on how to deal with "legacy collec-tions" and some of their ethical challenges. It has been agreed that once this group has pro-duced a draft, FICEM will look at it to add a more international perspective and to discuss whether it has to be adapted to also become an IFAA document.

Following reports of a public dissection of a body donor for the entertainment of a paying public in Portland (USA) in November, FICEM has issued a statement condemning such practices, which has been published on the IFAA website: http://ifaa.net/news

We are about to finalise a reference list to update the suggested readings on the FICEM website. This should materialise in January.

The Chair of FICEM contributed to an updated version of the “IFAA Statement on COVID-19 and body Donors” and to the Recommendations of the German Museum Association on the Care of Human Remains in Museums and Collections.”

Scientific Publications - FICSP (Chair: Gulgun Sengul)

We have expanded the range of membership of the FICSP to more member societies (14 FICSP members in 2019, currently there are 21 journals represented, the most recent one is Folia Morphologica (official journal of the Polish Anatomical Society).

A document for the links of the most recent issues FICSP journals and links for the abstracts for anatomy meetings that took place in 2020 were published in the May issue of the PLEXUS.

Two Zoom meetings in June and December 2021

We have planned to organize webinars for 'Publishing in Anatomy Journals' open to all anatomy scientific communities. Topics are ticks and trips for publishing 'anatomy variation manuscripts', 'original research articles', 'writing reviews', 'making reviews for anatomy journals', 'teaching anatomy articles'. We will also be discussing ethics, statistics, conflicts of interest issues for animal and human studies, plagiarism. We will start announcing by the end of January, for the first one webinar in late February and continue in March when it will be a better timing for the southern hemisphere.

Support for Anatomy Professionals – FICSAP (Chair: Helen Nicholson)

Activities in 2021

Carol Hartmann has facilitated 3 Scientific writing workshops during the year associated with conferences as part of the President’s Emergent Anatomists Programme (PEAP).

In collaboration with Nalini Pather (FIPAE) we have developed, gained institutional ethical approval from the Universities of Otago and New South Wales, and launched a survey to all anatomists seeking information about what they need to develop their careers. This survey is due to close on 31 January and has so far elicited 465 responses.

The Chinese Society of Anatomical Sciences (CSAS) kindly translated the survey into Chinese and ran it over a 3 month period. While the survey questions are similar, they are not exactly the same as the English survey. However, they provide very useful information. The data from the survey was presented to the CSAS at their International Congress in December 2021.  They received 296 responses (56% male, 44% female with a mean age of 45 + 8 years). In terms of support that had helped anatomists in the past, they had found that mentorship and discussions with colleagues had been most helpful. Areas where Chinese anatomists would like further assistance are: training in anatomy education delivery, training in research methods and skills, and opportunities to network with international researchers and anatomists.

Plans for 2022

  • Analysis of the survey will be undertaken in February and the results shared with ExCo and particularly FIPAE and FIPAR members.
  • Once the analysis is completed a second survey will be sent to all member societies asking them what support they currently provide for their members and whether they would be willing to share any of their resources with other societies.
  • Once we have this information, we will determine how FICSAP can best assist societies and their members.

Equality and Diversity in Anatomy – FICEDA (Chair: Odile Plaisant)

Membership of FICEDA needs to be reviewed. Recently, we have lost a member who resigned for reasons that were unspecified and there are other members who have not contributed since the formation of the FIC.

Aside from an IFAA Zoom talk by the FIC’s Secretary on matters related to ‘Sexism and Anatomy’, we have not been able to accomplish much in 2021, mainly because we await ethical approval for a survey on attitudes and policies toward equality and diversity within IFAA member societies. The survey instrument has been available for distribution for the past year, but it could not be sent out without the ethical approval and because of the need to time its distribution in relation to other surveys within the IFAA. The results of our survey are crucial to enabling identification of best practice and also to formulate IFAA guidelines for equality and diversity.

Action Plan

For 2022

We presently have 3 members from the US who are not active in FICEDA. It is proposed to have one new member from the US and to seek new members in Africa and Eastern Europe.

We urgently need ethical approval for our survey so that we can distribute our questionnaire to anatomical societies.

From analyses of the results of the survey, draft IFAA guidelines will be produced for initial discussion within the Executive Committee.

We urge the Executive Committee and FIPAT to now complete the removal of pudere-related terms from all the IFAA terminologies, given that non-radical alternative terms are readily available.

From 2022

A second survey will be distributed, this time assessing individual anatomists’ attitudes towards ED.

Aspects of ED that relate to gender issues internationally will be assessed in terms of the different genders of anatomists and also in terms of the ways gender issues and sexual orientation matters are taught in anatomy courses and how textbooks deal with gender and ethnic issues.”

Plexus: (Editor: Isabel Stabile)

Two issues of Plexus were compiled and published in April and September 2021 respectively. We solicited contributions from a variety of stakeholders for both issues, but the number of responses was relatively low. In November 2020, we met with the President of IFAA to brainstorm other possible sources of articles. We came up with a number of strategies, which have been moderately successful. These included obtaining an additional list of individual members; emailing representatives of all member societies with a request to submit information; inviting new societies to send in a small piece to introduce themselves; soliciting obituaries; asking Chairs of FIPS etc to provide an ongoing summary of their activities; obtaining titles of papers presented at local/international meetings as well as Table of Contents from anatomical journals; and finally asking members to contribute short pieces about recent achievements, important articles etc. Possibly the most important source of articles and images for Plexus 2022 will likely come from the highly successful Anatomy Day celebrations that were held across the world in October 2021.


International Federation of Associations of Anatomists

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