Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013
This Week's News
Grant program funds research on gender-based work/practice issues
Women and men in medicine are nearly equal in number, with females comprising 47.8 percent of medical school graduates in 2011–12, according to data from the Association of American Medical Colleges. That figure has held relatively steady during the past eight years, hitting a high-water mark of 49.3 percent in 2007–08.
So if the two genders are so close in number, why does there continue to be such a scarcity of empirical studies on gender-related issues affecting the profession? This lack of research opens the door for stereotypes, misinformation and unsubstantiated theories about the impact that more female physicians might make on the physician work force.
Physicians interested in researching some of the ways in which the recent increase of women physicians will affect the profession can get monetary support by applying for this year's Joan F. Giambalvo Memorial Scholarship, an effort by the AMA Foundation and the AMA Women Physicians Congress. The AMA Foundation will supply grants of up to $10,000 to two physicians looking to examine these issues in an effort to better understand future practice needs.
Past Giambalvo scholarship recipients have researched such topics as:
- Retention and promotion trends for racial and ethnic minority faculty members across academic medical centers.
- Key characteristics, benefits and challenges of women family physicians who practice in rural settings.
- Barriers keeping inactive physicians out of practice.
- Obstacles preventing more women physicians from practicing in rural areas
- How questions and attitudes regarding childbearing affect a woman's decision to pursue a career in surgery.
One recent grant recipient, Rachel B. Levine MD, has had her research on the mentoring experiences of medical students accepted for publication in Academic Medicine. Dr. Levine focused on finding new techniques to assist educators in developing effective mentoring programs to help female medical students with their personal and professional development.
"This grant program provided support that probably would not have been available elsewhere to study an issue that has the potential to influence the future of the medical profession," Dr. Levine said.
Applications for scholarship grants are due Feb. 25; download one today.
The Giambalvo Memorial Scholarship program is supported by Pfizer Inc., and honors the work of Joan Fara Giambalvo, MD, who passed away in 1971 at the age of 39. Dr. Giambalvo received her medical degree from Temple University Medical School and was certified in her residency by the American Board of Anesthesiology.