Report for General Assembly 2022: Federative International Committee for the Support of Anatomy Professionals (FICSAP)



The aims of FICSAP are to work collaboratively to:

  • identify associations that seek manpower development and training in the field of Anatomy
  • assist with support in the form of training to the areas identified


Helen Nicholson (Chair)

Representative from N America -Segun Oyedele

Representative from S America – Susana Biasutto

Representative from Africa – Samuel Asala

Representative from Asia – Guo-Fang Tseng

Representative from Europe – Guido Macchiarelli

Representative from Oceania – Stephanie Woodley

Representative from PEAP - Carol Hartmann

Representative from FIPAR – Anne Agur

Activities since the last General Assembly

The title of the FIC has been amended from Supranational Anatomical Projects to Support for Anatomy Professionals to better reflect the purpose of the committee. Membership has been refreshed to reflect Anatomists from across the world and goals and a 5 year plan approved http://ifaa.net/committees/supranational-anatomical-projects-ficsap/

The arrival of Covid-19 has delayed some of our plans and we are currently about a year behind our proposed schedule of work.

The plans for year 1-2 were:

Identify associations/institutions requiring help and understand the nature of assistance and resources that would be useful.

  • Undertake a survey across member associations to determine what help is required and who would be willing to assist
  • Undertake focus group sessions at major conferences to understand what assistance would be useful

In the second half of 2021 a survey was undertaken in collaboration with FIPAE was circulated to all anatomists. The aim of the survey was to investigate what support anatomists at differing stages in their career would find helpful. The survey built on the findings of Kramer et al 2020 who explored the challenges that early career anatomists face. As well as collecting demographic data, the FICSAP related questions focused on what support anatomists at differing stages of their career had found useful in the past and which areas they would like support in the future. Following ethics approval, the Qualtrics survey was distributed via the IFAA member societies, Plexus and via the IFAA website.  The survey was conducted in English, but the Chinese Society of Anatomical Sciences kindly offered to translate the FICSAP/FIPAE survey into Mandarin and circulate it to its members at the end of 2021. While the Chinese survey looked at the views of all anatomists as a single group, in the main survey the data were analysed by stage of career: early, mid and senior.

The findings of both surveys will be presented at the FICSAP symposium first thing tomorrow morning. Briefly, the Chinese survey received 296 responses and the main survey 406 complete responses. While in the Chinese survey most anatomists felt supported in their career. In the main survey the results varied with the stage of career, with 71% of senior anatomists reporting they had sufficient support compared with only 42% of early career anatomists. In both surveys the activities that had been most helpful in the past were: mentorship, attending conferences, and workshops and training courses. All anatomists, regardless of stage of career, sought more opportunities to network and collaborate with international anatomists for both teaching and research, and training in virtual delivery of anatomy. For the early career group this was followed closely by training for education delivery, training research methods and skills, and funding for conferences.

We hope to hold some focus groups at the Congress and will seek feedback from member societies regarding the best way to meet the needs of anatomists and particularly early and mid-career colleagues living in Asia and Africa.

The survey reinforces the need for a programme to support early career anatomists. Please see below the report of the President’s Emergent Anatomist Programme Report which is being ably led by Carol Hartmann and Jose Sanudo.

Helen Nicholson 25 July 2022


International Federation of Associations of Anatomists

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