Clinicians involved in sleep at an academic medical center should plan on attending the discussion group “D04: Organization and Structure of Academic Sleep Centers”, at 8:00am-12:00pm on Tuesday, June 12. The discussion group will highlight examples of successful academic sleep program structures, and discuss challenges and solutions for academic development of the field.

Sleep medicine has grown enormously, creating struggles with the many different structures that have evolved at academic medical centers. Job opportunities for academic physicians or investigators are often limited by their background training before sleep. Instead of being reinvested to support sleep program growth, margins generated by sleep activity are often used to support unrelated departments or hospital priorities.

Clinical training designed to address any problem related to sleep is confined to a one-year fellowship. The result is supposed to be the same whether previous training involved four years of anesthesiology or three years of family medicine. Our field has evolved with many inconsistencies that originate from the organization and structure that sleep medicine has assumed at academic medical centers.

The discussion group will address these issues and solicit audience feedback as the AASM Academic Affairs Committee prepares a white paper on this key topic.  With evolving changes in practice and reimbursement, the solutions may not be simple. The recommendations that emerge for the future of sleep structural organization within academic medical centers could set the course for the field for many years to come, in clinical practice, education and research. Please consider attending and making your voice heard at this critical forum.