Joan F. Giambalvo Fund for the Advancement of Women

The Joan F. Giambalvo Fund for the Advancement of Women provides scholarships of up to $10,000 to support research advancing the study of women in the medical profession and strengthening the AMA's ability to identify and address the issues affecting women physicians and medical students.

The first award was granted in 2006. The scholarship was established by the Women Physicians Section (WPS) in conjunction with the AMA Foundation. To date, 25 research awards have been granted.

The application (DOC) for the 2019 grant cycle is now available. Applications must be received on or before 5 p.m. Central, July 15, 2019.

Learn about the recipients of the 2018 Joan F. Giambalvo Fund for the Advancement of Women and read about their research projects.

2018 Giambalvo Fund Recipients


Left to right (top row): Eliza Lo Chin, MD, MPH; Roberta Gebhard, DO; Mollie Marr

Left to right (bottom row): Mary Rojek, PhD; Arghavan Salles, MD, PhD; Maren Loe, MD/PhD student

Project 1: Fixing the Leaky Pipeline—Attrition of Women During Medical Training

Award Winners

Eliza Lo Chin, MD, MPH, executive director of the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) and assistant clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco

Roberta Gebhard, DO, AMWA president-elect and co-chair of the organization’s task force on gender equity

Mary Rojek, PhD, chair of the AMWA’s Sex and Gender Health Collaborative

Mollie Marr, medical student at Oregon Health & Science University, and AMWA student president-elect

Project Summary

Despite increasing numbers of women entering the medical profession over the past decade, the percentage of active women physicians has made only marginal gains. This trend speaks to the persistence of a leaky pipeline for women that occurs at all stages of their medical careers. This qualitative pilot study will examine the primary factors that led medical students and residents to leave the medical profession during their training years. The study will provide an important opportunity to learn about women’s experiences during medical training, how we might improve their experience and how the healthcare environment could be more responsive to the needs of all trainees.

This project is one arm of a large multi-year initiative of the American Medical Women’s Association, Fixing the Leaky Pipeline, which seeks to identify the issues and factors that lead to the attrition of women within the medical profession, barriers to their career advancement, and possible interventions that can be implemented both locally and nationally. Over 40 volunteer physicians and students are participating in the larger initiative; they represent a broad range of stakeholders from multiple specialties and diverse practice or training settings.

"We hope the findings from this study will guide subsequent research that will analyze in more depth the factors which influence women to leave medicine at various stages of their careers."

Roberta Gebhard, DO

Project 2: Investigating Gender Bias in Medical Student Evaluations

Award Winners

Arghavan Salles, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Minimally Invasive Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine (WUSM)

Maren Loe, MD/PhD student, WUSM 

Project Summary

This project will analyze core clerkship evaluations of third-year medical students. The goal is to determine whether there is any quantitative difference between male and female students in evaluation questions, and whether there is any qualitative difference between comments written about male and female students. After this analysis is completed, findings will be presented to clerkship directors and attending physicians who evaluate students and suggest strategies to help them minimize bias.

"Ultimately through this project, we hope to raise awareness of gender bias broadly and to help evaluators and clerkship directors mitigate bias in their evaluations in the interest of justice."

Arghavan Salles, MD, PhD

View past recipients.

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.

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