A Message from the President

January 2024

Dear AACPD Members,

Welcome to the Association of Anesthesiology Core Program Directors (AACPD). The AACPD aims to support anesthesiology program directors (PD) through education, mentorship, networking, advocacy, and engagement to advance the specialty of anesthesiology and our training programs. We look forward to collaborating with you and hope you find value in society membership.

History of the AACPD

The first efforts to organize anesthesia chairs and PDs began in 1964 when the Southeastern University Department of Anesthesia Chairmen (SUDAC) held its first meeting at Emory University. The invited participants included Chairs of university departments of anesthesiology located south of the Mason-Dixon line and east of the Mississippi River. In the late 1960s, SUDAC leadership approached chairs at other academic departments, leading to formation of the Society of Academic Anesthesia Chairmen (SAAC).

In the 1980s, another group of anesthesiology departments with residency programs in hospitals not affiliated with medicals schools was recognized. This resulted in formation of the Association of Anesthesiology Program Directors (AAPD), which held annual meetings jointly with SAAC. During this time, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) required PDs to also serve as the department chair. Due to progressively increased workload of anesthesiology PDs, in late 1990 academic department chairs began delegating the work of the PD to another faculty member. Functionally, the SAAC/AAPD was an organization of department chairs, with designated PDs attending the annual meeting as a guest of the department chairperson.

In 2003, the ACGME changed the requirement that the anesthesiology chairperson must serve as program director. Subsequently, in 2007 the SAAC/AAPD voted to restructure the organization, allowing membership of all academic anesthesiology chairs, core residency program directors and eventually subspecialty program directors. In 2008, SAAC was officially restructured to become the Society of Academic Anesthesiology Associations (SAAA) and more recently, the Society of Academic Associations of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine (SAAAPM).

The SAAAPM is an umbrella organization supporting the Association of Academic Anesthesiology Chairs (AAAC), Association of Anesthesiology Core Program Directors (AACPD), Association of Anesthesiology Subspecialty Program Directors (AASPD), and Association of Anesthesiology Program Administrators and Educators (AAPAE). In 2018, the society approved the formation of the Associate/Assistant program director (APD) component of AACPD, allowing APDs to attend the annual meeting as non-voting members.

AACPD Leadership, Past and Present
Current Council members:

  • President: Jed Wolpaw, MD, MEd, FASA – Johns Hopkins University
  • President-Elect: Andrea Dutoit, MD – University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Secretary: Susan Martinelli, MD, FASA – University of North Carolina Hospitals
  • Past President: Timothy R. Long, MD – Mayo Clinic, Minnesota
  • Councilor: A. Elisabeth Abramowicz, MD, FASA – Westchester Medical Center
  • Councilor: Crystal M. Manohar, MD, MBA, FASA – University of Texas Health San Antonio
  • Councilor: Timothy W. Martin, MD, MBA, FASA – University of Florida
  • Councilor: David Stahl, MD – The Ohio State University

Past Presidents:

  • Stephen Rupp, 2008-2009 – Virginia Mason Medical Center
  • Ted Sanford, 2009-2011 – University of Michigan
  • Catherine Kuhn, 2011-2013 – Duke University
  • Joy Hawkins, 2013-2015 – University of Colorado
  • Karen Souter, 2015-2016 – University of Washing
  • Manuel Pardo, 2017-2019 – University of California San Francisco
  • Charles A. Napolitano, 2019-2021 – University of Arkansas
  • Timothy R. Long, 2021-2023 – Mayo Clinic, Rochester

Guiding Principles for AACPD Annual Meeting Planning:

A significant benefit to AACPD membership includes participation in the annual meeting. In planning the annual meeting, the council values input from membership and relies heavily on feedback from previous meetings. We look forward to engaging a diverse group of speakers from programs throughout the country. The annual meeting focuses on several important issues including:

  1. ACGME accreditation
  2. ABA certification
  3. Best practices in GME
  4. Leadership development
  5. Specialty trends that impact residents and training programs
  6. Networking and mentorship
  7. Advocacy

Past AACPD Initiatives:

  1. A Standardized Letter of Recommendation (SLOR) for medical students applying to anesthesia residency. Drs. Deb Schwengel (Johns Hopkins), Manny Pardo (UCSF), and Daniel Lee (UCSD) created Word and PDF versions. Please consider using the SLOR, as a growing number of PD's find them easier and more efficient to read and write.
  2. The New Anesthesia Program Directors Manual. This document was created by Karen Souter (University of Washington) to orient the new anesthesia core program director to different aspects of the role.
  3. Surveys of Anesthesia PD’s. AACPD and SAAAPM have an approval process to distribute surveys to core program directors. The request form can be downloaded here.
  4. Repository for presentations at prior AACPD meetings. The AACPD web site contains links to the presentations from recent annual meetings.
  5. Implementing and refining program signaling for our specialty.
  6. Creating a mentorship program for new PDs.

On behalf of the AACPD Council, we look forward to collaborating with and advocating for you. We welcome your input and engagement as we shape the AACPD to best support you and your program.

Jed Wolpaw, MD, MEd, FASA
AACPD President
Association of Anesthesiology Core Program Directors