A Look at the Anatomy Educator Job Market: Anatomists Remain in Short Supply

Adam B. Wilson, Andrew J. Notebaert, Audra F. Schaefer, Bernard J. Moxham, Shiby Stephens, Caroline Mueller, Michelle D. Lazarus, Aaron Z. Katrikh, Williams S. Brooks

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12 Citations (Scopus)


In 2002, a widely publicized report projected an anatomy educator shortage based on department chairpersons' perceptions. Now, 17 years later, the question lingers: “Does an anatomy educator shortage persist and, if so, how severe is the shortage?” Trends in the number, type, and fill rate of anatomy educator job openings were explored by analyzing job posting in the United States over the past two years. A survey was distributed to leaders of anatomy-related departments in the United States, Canada, and European Union. Most departmental leaders who responded (65% or more) from the United States/Canada (n = 81) and the European Union (n = 52) anticipate they will have “moderate” to “great” difficulty hiring anatomy educators in gross anatomy, histology, and embryology over the next five years. Within the United States, the number of anatomy educator job postings at medical schools more than doubled from at least 21 postings in 2017 to 52 postings in 2018. Twenty-one percent of postings between 2017 and 2018 were never filled. While the number of anatomy educator openings within the United States/Canada is perceived to remain in a steady state for the next five years, the European Union estimates a five-fold increase in the number of openings. Departmental leaders prioritize anatomy educator applicants who have teaching experience (mean ± SD = 4.64 ± 0.84 on five-point Likert scale), versatility in teaching multiple anatomy disciplines (3.93 ± 1.07), and flexibility in implementing various teaching pedagogies (3.69 ± 1.17). Collectively, these data suggest the shortage of anatomy educators continues in the United States/Canada and the European Union.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-101
Number of pages11
JournalAnatomical Sciences Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • anatomical sciences education
  • anatomy faculty
  • job market

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