• A
  • |
  • A
  • Text size

Joan F. Giambalvo Fund for the Advancement of Women

Information about the Joan F. Giambalvo Fund for the Advancement of Women (formerly the Joan F. Giambalvo Memorial Scholarship)

The American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation in association with the AMA Women Physicians Section (WPS) has established the Joan F. Giambalvo Fund for the Advancement of Women with the goal of promoting  women in the medical profession and strengthening the ability of the AMA to identify and address the needs of women physicians and medical students.

Application process

The application deadline for the 2016 Joan F. Giambalvo Award is July 31, 2016. Read about past recipients under the Recipient tab.


The application for the Joan F. Giambalvo Award is now open.

About Joan F. Giambalvo, MD

Joan Fara Giambalvo received her undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and, in 1956, her medical degree from Temple University Medical School. Dr. Giambalvo was an intern at Temple University Hospital and certified in her residency by the American Board of Anesthesiology. Dr. Giambalvo passed away on May 14, 1971, at age 39, of liposarcoma.

If you would like further information regarding the scholarship, send us an email.

Recipient information

Past Recipients of the Joan F. Giambalvo Fund for the Advancement of Women

2014 Recipients

Elizabeth H. Ellinas, MD
, Medical College of Wisconsin
Title: Gender Differences in Promotion & Retention

Sneha Harshad Shah, MD, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Title: Gender Differences in Empathy and Burnout Amongst Emergency Medicine Residents

2013 Recipients

Rashmi Kudesia, MD, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Women’s Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Title: Reproductive Knowledge, Barriers, and Outcomes Among Female U.S. Medical Students and

Juliet Lee, MD, FACS; Yolanda Haywood, MD; Hope Jackson; Aisha Davis, MD; Jehan El-
Bayoumi, MD,
George Washington University School of Medicine
Title: The Experience of Chief Residents Who Have Remained in and Who Have Left Academic

2012 Recipients

Linda Brodsky, MD & Roberta Gebhard, DO, co-chairs of the Gender Equity Task Force, American Medical Women's Association
Title: Work Habits of Women Physicians: Request for Planning Grant

Natalie Anne Clark, MD, University of Michigan Medical School
Title: Conceiving Conception: Fertility Perceptions among American Physicians

Lora C. Denton, MD, FACP, Memorial Health University Medical Center
Title: Flexible Work Options: Finding Feasible Solutions to Keep Women in the Workplace

Lisa Kairis, MD Loma Linda University
Title: Gender Differences in Practice Patterns of Obstetricians/Gynecologists: A Critical Shortage of Female Obstetricians Who Perform Deliveries

Marcella Nunez-Smith, MD, MHS, Yale School of Medicine
Title: Promotion and Retention of Diversity in Medical Education: Gender

2011 Recipients

Elizabeth Breen, MD is an Associate Professor of Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Her research will investigate the impact of family on a female surgeon’s career. Women represent over half of matriculating medical students. Thus, women will need to play a large role in the field of surgery in the years to come. For women surgeons, the optimal time to build careers coincides with the optimal time for building a family. This could hinder the progress of women in the surgical field. Dr. Breen will study the correlation of certain family stages with career productivity. The resulting research could lead to changes to make surgery more compatible with a healthy work/life balance.

Heather Paladine, MD is Residency Director and Assistant Clinical Professor at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center. She will investigate the key characteristics, benefits and challenges of women family physicians who practice in rural settings. Rural areas of the United States suffer from a shortage of physicians. Currently, women physicians are more likely to practice in urban areas. As more female physicians enter the workforce, this difference has significant implications for the availability of health care in rural areas. Dr. Paladine’s research will help to determine the best ways to attract and retain female physicians in rural areas.

2010 Recipients

Rachel Levine, MD is the Assistant Professor of Medicine at the John Hopkins Unviersity School of Medicine.

Hilit Mechaber, MD is the Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

Today with over 50% of medical students being female, Drs. Levine and Mechaber believe the decisions these students make during their education and throughout their life span as a physician will have a profound impact on the medical profession. They also believe mentoring to be critical to the personal and professional development of medical students as well as for career planning. Nevertheless, best practices for mentoring female medical students have not been studied thoroughly. By analyzing data from a series of student and faculty focus groups, the doctors hope to find new techniques that may assist educators in developing effective mentoring programs.

2009 Recipient

Nicole J. Borges, PhD is the Director of Medical Education Research and an Associate Professor with the Department of Community Health at Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine.

Dr. Borges and her team of investigators plan to survey a representative sample of all women physicians in academic medicine.  The goal of her study is to gain perspective on how, when, and why physicians choose an academic path. Each physician will be asked a pre-established set of questions constructed by a group of career development and medical education experts and pilot tested.  Dr. Borges hopes that the knowledge gained from this study will assist women physicians on career development and decision making in academic medicine. She hopes to submit her findings to scholarly journals on medical education and to present at an upcoming AAMC conference.

2008 Recipients

The first scholarship was presented to Sue Yom, MD, PhD. Dr. Yom is an Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). In her study, Dr. Yom will examine why women faculty leave and the costs associated by the respective institutions due to this lack of retention. In a 2002 survey conducted by her institution, it was found that while both male and female physicians derived great satisfaction from their work, women had more critical views and negative experiences in a number of areas ranging from income satisfaction to support for their lives outside of work. Dr. Yom plans to design a new survey based on the data found in the 2002 survey and administer the survey to all male and female faculty who held an academic appointment at UCSF from 1997-2007. As she poses questions specific to the data acquired in the 2002 survey, she hopes to identify specific reasons women are leaving practice, the costs associated with staying in practice, and the current retention efforts aimed at women physicians. In addition to submitting her findings for publication and various presentations, Dr. Yom plans to present her findings to UCSF and other leading medical centers to encourage interventions designed to reduce attrition among all faculty, but particularly female faculty.

The second scholarship was presented to Maurice Clifton, MD, MSEd. Dr. Clifton is the Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs with the Mercer University School of Medicine in Macon, GA. In his study, he will examine the two kinds of obstacles he believes are preventing more women from practicing in rural areas. The first type of obstacle relates to characteristics of the physician (e.g. comfort level living in a rural area). The second type relates to the practice location in which the physician may practice/teach (e.g. quality of schools). Through qualitative open-ended questions, Dr. Clifton hopes to better understand these obstacles faced by women physicians in order to design interventions to better target applicants to serve rural areas. His survey will be administered to women physicians practicing in the Southeast for between one and three years. Women to be surveyed will come from the following three specialties: family medicine, internal medicine, and pediatrics. In addition to submitting his findings for publication and various presentations, Dr. Clifton also plans to use these findings to develop a grant proposal to solicit additional funds which may be used in designing interventions.

2007 Recipient

Patricia Turner, MD and Ethan Jewett, MA were the 2007 Joan F. Giambalvo Memorial Scholarship recipients.

Mr. Jewett hopes to identify the barriers currently keeping inactive physicians out of practice in order to develop useful solutions and models for physicians to reenter the workforce.

Dr. Turner is interested in examining the impact questions and attitudes regarding childbearing have on a woman’s decision to pursue a career in surgery. She will also investigate if a career choice of surgery has negative impacts on a woman’s likelihood to bear children.

2006 Recipient

Reshma Jagsi, MD, DPHIL, the first recipient of the Joan F. Giambalvo Fund for the Advancement of Women, is the primary author of an article in the July 20 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). The authors of the article, entitled “The ‘Gender Gap’ in Academic Medical Literature- a 35 year perspective” found that while the proportion of women among both first and senior physician-authors of original research in the United States has increased, women still compose a minority of the authors of original research and guest editorials in the journals. View abstract of article.

Dr. Jagsi has also Giambalvo Scholarship funding to research the gender gap in the attainment of independent funding for research. Her findings were recently published in the Annuls of Internal Medicine. View abstract of article.

Donate now

“Despite the growing number and influence of women in medicine, female physicians still lag behind their male counterparts in pay and career advancement—we need to eliminate this gap.”

—AMA Past-President Nancy H. Nielson, MD, PhD

The Joan F. Giambalvo Fund for the Advancement of Women provides a unique opportunity for health care researchers to identify and address the issues that affect women physicians and medical students. Your gift to the Fund for the Advancement of Women will make this important research possible. Please donate today.