Enhancing the Voice of Faculty in the Association of American Medical Colleges: The Evolution of Faculty in U.S. Medical Schools and the Transformation of the Council of Academic Societies Into the Council of Faculty and Academic Societies

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Since its inception in 1966, the Council of Academic Societies (CAS) represented academic faculty in the governance structure of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). As the role of faculty in the academic health center of the 21st century has evolved (e.g., the number of faculty members has increased, contact hours with trainees per individual faculty member have decreased, the faculty has aged), new models for representation have become necessary. Because of the structure and requirements for organizational membership, CAS was not representing faculty as broadly as possible, so a redesign was necessary. In November 2012, the AAMC Assembly adopted changes to its bylaws creating the new Council of Faculty and Academic Societies. The new design increases the opportunity for all schools to be represented by both junior and senior faculty members while retaining society membership and, therefore, representation of the breadth of specialties in academic medicine. The new council’s structure better facilitates meeting its charge: to identify critical issues facing academic medicine faculty members; to provide faculty with a voice as the AAMC addresses those issues through the creation and implementation of AAMC programs, services, and policies; and to serve as a communications conduit between the AAMC and faculty regarding matters related to the core missions of academic medicine.

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