About the Journal

Academic Medicine is the official, peer-reviewed journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges. The journal serves as an international forum for the exchange of ideas, information, and strategies to address the major challenges facing the academic medicine community as it strives to carry out its missions in the public interest. The journal’s areas of focus include: education and training issues; health and science policy; institutional policy, management, and values; research practice; and clinical practice in academic settings.


Journal Time Line

1920 | 1930 | 1940 | 1950 | 1960 | 1970 | 1980 | 1990 | 2000 | 2010


Fred C. Zapffe


The Bulletin of the Association of American Medical Colleges is first published in July, under the leadership of Fred C. Zapffe, who serves as the editor-in-chief for 24 years. Dr. Zapffe describes it as “the only publication of its kind in the world—a journal devoted to medical education and pedagogy.”



The publication is more formally designated the Journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges.

1930s and 1940s



The journal shifts from a quarterly publication schedule to six issues per year.



The journal is published throughout World War II.




At the editorial board’s recommendation to use “a name that is significant and descriptive of the contents and field covered,” the journal is renamed Medical Education. It becomes the Journal of Medical Education in May.

Dean F. Smiley

John Z. Bowers


Dean F. Smiley becomes editor-in-chief and serves through 1957.


The journal begins to be published monthly.


John Z. Bowers becomes editor-in-chief and serves through 1962.

1960s and 1970s

John A. D. Cooper

Merrill McCord


John A. D. Cooper becomes editor-in-chief and serves through 1971.


Merrill McCord becomes editor-in-chief and serves into 1988.

1980s and 1990s



Addeane S. Caelleigh becomes editor-in-chief and serves through 2001.


Addeane S. Caelleigh


The journal’s focus is broadened to allow articles on a wider range of topics to appeal to the entire academic medicine community, and its name is changed to Academic Medicine.


The Medicine and the Arts feature debuts.





Academic Medicine is first published online.


Michael E. Whitcomb

Steven L. Kanter


Michael E. Whitcomb becomes editor-in-chief and serves through 2007.


The Teaching and Learning Moments feature debuts.


Steven L. Kanter becomes editor-in-chief and serves through 2012.


The journal’s covers begin to feature original works of art submitted by the academic medicine community. Later, the AM Last Page feature debuts.


David P. Sklar



2013 —

The Academic Medicine app launches.


David P. Sklar becomes editor-in-chief.


Image credits: The photograph of John Z. Bowers appears courtesy of the History of Health Sciences Collection, Eccles Health Sciences Library, University of Utah. All other images appear courtesy of the Association of American Medical Colleges. Sources: Petersdorf RG. From the President. Acad Med. 1989;64:20. Whitcomb M. What Is the Purpose of Academic Medicine? Acad Med. 2003;78:767‑768.