History of the Development of our Society spans the better part of 45 years.

An abridged history of the SAAC AAPD and the Formation of the Society of Academic Anesthesia Associations (SAAA).

On March 24th 1964, in Atlanta, the first meeting of SUDAC the Southeastern University Department of Anesthesia Chairman was held expressly to discuss the topic of teaching anesthesiology in medical school centers. The meeting was convened by Dr JE Steinhaus and a second Meeting of SUDAC was held in March 1965 in Gainesville convened by Dr JS Gravenstein. This group had no formal bylaws or officers, the only officer being the Chairman or convener of the meeting. True to this day (2008) one of the main topics for discussion was faculty salaries and the data presented at the meetings was used to counter the low salaries gathered by the AAMC which was supplied to Deans.1

In 1967, the leadership of SUDAC approached several chairmen of academic departments of anesthesiology in other parts of the country and on December 10, 1967 the Constitution of the Society of Academic Anesthesia Chairmen was adopted. The idea for developing such a society was that of Dr Douglas Eastwood.2

SAAC developed into a formal incorporated society with officers and bylaws and from an early date met in conjunction with the AAMC and so frequently met in Washington DC in October/November.3

In 1985, in recognition of the fact that there was a group of anesthesia departments with anesthesia residency programs who were not closely integrated with a college of medicine, the organization known as the Association of Anesthesiology Program Directors (AAPD) was formed.3 This Association historically held its meeting with that of SAAC and much of the program was shared between the two organizations. Thus evolved the combined SAAC/AAPD which had the practice of the Presidents of each society alternating as Chairs for the Annual Meeting as well as a shared Secretary/Treasurer and combined Council Member Meetings. This combined society was run with administrative support from the American Society of Anesthesia and by the time of its dissolution had combined all its operational funds in one bank account.

The Annual Meetings were arranged by the President (of either SAAC or AAPD) and subject matter related specifically to current events in Resident Education, Recruitment, Clinical Care, Research as well as interactions with the ACGME, and RRC and of course the annual SAAC Salary Survey which appears to have been a staple from the inception of the society. Also there was an annual address by the President of the ASA and reports from the RRC Chairman and the Secretary of the American Board of Anesthesiology.

In 1992 in recognition of the fact that leadership in anesthesiology is not gender specific the name of SAAC was changed from Chairmen to Chairs.3

At the annual meeting of SAAC/AAPD held on November 2, 2007 in Washington D.C., it was decided to restructure SAAC/AAPD in a manner that would enable membership of all Academic Anesthesiology Chairs as well as the Core Program Directors, and in the future, Subspecialty Program Directors. As of March 2008, the revised bylaws were approved by special vote of the entire membership and the society was officially reorganized. Consequently, AAPD was dissolved and its funds transferred to SAAC. SAAC was then restructured, in accordance with its bylaws, to become the Society of Academic Anesthesiology Associations (SAAA) as follows:

SAAC thus became the Society for Academic Anesthesiology Associations (SAAA) which is the umbrella organization for three associations.

The umbrella organization SAAA did not have individuals as members, but associations as its members. The three associations were:

(1) The Association of Academic Anesthesia Chairs (AAAC) representing the Chairs of the academic departments in this country. 
(2) The Association of Anesthesiology Core Program Directors (AACPD) which is representative of ACGME designated core program directors. 
(3) The Association of Anesthesiology Subspecialty Program Directors (AASPD) representative of the currently recognized subspecialty program directors. 

The major reason’s for this change were to provide a home for both Chairs and Program Directors in one Society and it was seen as a natural evolution from the previous combined SAAC/AAPD. This new Association afforded the ability of Program Directors of Academic Anesthesiology Departments as well as Subspecialty Directors who were not Chairmen to meet in conjunction with Chairman of Academic Departments and address areas of common concern. It was planned that there would be combined meetings held of interest to all three constituent groups as well as separate meetings on subjects of pertinence to the respective groups on the same occasion, again in conjunction with the meetings of the AAMC.

At the November, 2008 meeting held in San Antonio, Texas, elections were held to establish the officers of the newly formed AACPD, and at the November, 2009 meeting held in Boston, Massachusetts, elections were held to establish the officers of the AASPD.

With the appointment of these officers and so full representation to SAAA council, the fully constituted SAAA council met for the first time in April in association with the annual Association of University Anesthesiologists held in Denver, Colorado. The Council adopted a new vision and mission statement at this historic first council meeting.

Berend Mets, President Elect SAAA
April, 2010.

The above abridged history was written from letters compiled by Dr Alan Grogono November 19, 2003 appended below.

1 John E Steinhaus, October 4, 1999

2 Frank Moya, November 28, 1988

3 Jerome H Modell, October 1993

Douglas W. Eastwood (Chairman at Univ. of Virgina, Charlottesville, 1956 - 197)