Anatomical Education (FIPAE)

Federative International Program for Anatomy Education (FIPAE)

1. Vision

FIPAE: A vibrant international academy of anatomists co-operating to enhance anatomical education across the world through collaboration, innovation, and evidence-based scholarship.

2. Mission

FIPAE: Aiming to nurture a connected community, with representation from member societies, focused on coherently enhancing evidence-based education in the anatomical sciences through collaborative reciprocal initiatives that contribute knowledge, practice and scholarship in order to grow the discipline, build capacity, and engage with 21st century educational challenges.

3. Goals

There are four main goals related to promoting and further developing anatomy education:

  1. Nurture a connected community
  2. Promote collaborative reciprocal initiatives
  3. Promote resource and skills exchange
  4. Engage in 21st century educational challenges

a. Nurture a connected community

Aim: Foster a connected inclusive academy of anatomists collaborating and leading anatomy education in the 21st century

Key activities:

  • active supporting of the FIPAE committee initiatives
  • increasing participation of FIPAE-led initiatives and projects through establishment of regional chapter meetups, regionally led engagement with local societies (e.g. via annual conference activities)
  • active participation of young anatomists and early faculty in FIPAE committees
  • collating an online repository anatomy educational scholarship thus increasing dissemination, driving dialogue, and promoting scholarship
  • leveraging multiple communication channels to foster wider participation and engagement e.g. Plexus, FIPAE website, social media (Twitter, Facebook), collaboration tools for interest groups (e.g. List servers, Slack)
  • advocating for extending FIPAE interaction and networks with '‘'partner' organisations and groups (e.g. AMEE)

b. Promote collaborative reciprocal initiatives

Aim: Establish and integrate evidence-based innovation into anatomy education and scholarship and engage anatomists in addressing 21st century challenges.

Key activities:

  • Develop communities of practice that collectively:
    • Create a shared vision of priority areas for the next four years with the FIPAE committee,
    • Advocate for establishing a fellowship of an academy of experienced anatomists that advance anatomy education by serving the wider anatomy community as a reference group,
    • Develop an online platform for shared resources for anatomy education, underpinned by sound pedagogy and teaching strategies, and leveraging technological development
    • Advance anatomy curriculum reform and develop frameworks and resources for defensible and transparent assessment judgements, and for evaluation of course and program quality

c. Promote resource and skills exchange in anatomy education innovation and delivery

Aim: In order to advance and secure the future of the discipline, leverage the community of practice and the evidence-based research to develop a program of skill and resource sharing

Key activities:

  • Establish a fellowship program of an academy of experienced anatomists available to advise on anatomy education innovation, design and delivery
  • Develop and/or promote, if existing, skills-programs for 21st century anatomy education e.g. Dissection masterclass, coding, 3D modelling, research methods
  • Initiate international dialogue to collaborate more effectively in sharing resources and capturing practices to improve learning and teaching in anatomy
  • Building communities around educating the public
  • Develop a proposal to recognise outstanding anatomist through an academy further empowering them to provide leadership and vision in anatomy education, and to contribute to positioning anatomy as a transformational science

d. Engage with 21st century educational challenges

Aim: Leverage the IFAA strengths, and interdisciplinary potential to address higher education's most complex challenges, and importantly, to inspire positive change and just world around us.

Key Activities:

  • Enable agility to respond quickly to emerging trends in higher education e.g. technology
  • Integrate with evolving disciplines (e.g. design-thinking, art, biomedical engineering) by organising regular webinars, presentations and workshops
  • Foster collaboration with anatomy societies as well as sister organisations (e.g. AMEE, OTTAWA, SIGGRAPH, the Royal Colleges) to leverage resource development and dissemination
  • Respond to changes of the 21st century by active communication and dissemination of hot topics
  • Leverage collective power to engage policymakers with a view to strategic partnerships for educational goals and global research initiatives
  • Advocate for funding from international bodies to promote collaborative development of anatomy education resources for multiple sectors and especially for developing countries
  • Empower anatomists and educate the public by supporting local and regional debates, and challenges in anatomy education

4. Members and Proposed Committee Structure

Standing Committee

  • Nalini Pather (chair)
  • Ali Mirjalili (New Zealand)
  • Anja Böckers (Germany)
  • Bernard Moxham (UK)
  • Claire Smith (UK)
  • Claudia Krebs (Canada)
  • Danielle Royer (USA)
  • Goran Strkalj (Australia)
  • Kaissar Yammiine (Lebanon)
  • Lap Ki Chan (China)
  • Tripti Jacob (India)

Representation from other countries will be actively sought in the first year

This committee is made of the leaders of the program's committees. The main focus is to develop the Anatomy Education Network. In addition, as there are potential overlaps between the committees, this group's role is to foster synergy and collaboration between the program's committees and to support the committees in achieving the agreed deliverables and managing timelines. Terms of Reference for this group will be provided to EXCO for approval.

Proposed Committee Structure and Membership

The program's proposed committee structure is below. It is proposed that each committee is led by chairs representing at least two different member societies. Where names for co-chairs has not yet been proposed, the College of Representatives will be consulted for recommendations. In discussion with each chair, the co-chair and an early-career anatomist assistant chair will be confirmed. Each committee, with input from the FIPAE Chair, will be responsible for implementing the priority initiatives of the program.

Anatomy Education: Technology, Skills, Resources
Claudia Krebs (Canada), Lap Ki Chan (China) + ECA* co-chair
Evidence-based Anatomy Education
Danielle Royer (USA) + Kaissar Yammiine (Lebanon) + ECA* co-chair
Anatomy Education Core Syllabus
Benard Moxham (UK) + co-chair +ECA* co-chair
Postgraduate Surgical and Radiological Anatomy Education
Ali Meerjalilli (NZ)+ Tripti Jacob (India) +EA assistant chair
Anatomy Education: Humanities, Ethics and Law
Anja Böckers (Germany) + Goran Strkalj (Australia) + Brenda De Gama* (S.Africa)

Note: *ECA, early-career anatomist; Need to confirm that members of each committee belong to member societies

5. Five-year plan

The five-year plan is organised according to a plan-implement-review-refine workflow. It iterates the main goals each year.

Year 1: Plan and Initiate

  • Submit Terms of Reference for Standing Committee to EXCO for approval
  • Develop detailed project framework and plan for the program with steering committee
  • Co-opt committee members from member societies with assistance from College of Representatives, and EXCO approval
  • For each committee, with leads, develop committee aim and confirm 1-2 priority initiatives
  • Define requirements for the program webpage
  • Develop social media presence for program and establish Twitter account
  • Plan and initiate community engagement activities including Anatomy Education webpage, webinars and podcast
  • Leverage existing initiatives to engage wider discourse, e.g. Anatomy Day, Anatomy Nights
  • Develop a survey for international anatomists to determine a regional 'as is' status and challenges for anatomy education

Year 2-3: Implement and Review

  • Implement approved committee priority initiatives
  • Develop the webpage to showcase free and shareable anatomy education resources through engagement of College and member societies
  • Collate and showcase evidence-based anatomy education, and practice guides on webpage
  • Continue to develop community program of webinar and social media initiatives with a process of evaluation
  • From survey responses, identify strengths and weakness of anatomy education, and explore plans to assist in addressing regional challenges in anatomy education through collaboration of the community to anatomy educators
  • Develop a proposal for an IFAA Fellow program for review by EXCO
  • Develop resources to support public engagement in anatomy education

Year 4-5: Review and Refine; and Re-plan

  • Review collaborative initiatives with member societies via the College of Representatives
  • Evaluate and review committee projects, and refine these initiatives to increase member society engagement and usefulness to furthering anatomy education
  • Evaluate website, webinar and social media programs, and provide these to EXCO
  • Identify sources of funding to further develop a global program to support anatomy education


International Federation of Associations of Anatomists

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