Joan F. Giambalvo Fund for the Advancement of Women

Apply for a Giambalvo scholarship

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 American Medical Association Women Physicians Section (WPS) in conjunction with the AMA Foundation established the Joan F. Giambalvo Fund for the Advancement of Women to promote the progress of women in the medical profession and to strengthen the ability to identify and address the needs of women physicians and medical students.

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Donate to the AMA Foundation and designate your support for the Joan F. Giambalvo Fund for the Advancement of Women.

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We are seeking innovative research proposals focusing on professional work/practice issues that affect women physicians, including but not limited to:

  • Leadership training protocols
  • Gender-based physician practice patterns
  • Physician satisfaction or burnout
  • Retention incentives
  • Practice re-entry issues

The Giambalvo award supports research on workforce issues that impact women physicians, residents and students. Recipients have the opportunity to enhance their research and presentation skills while contributing to the knowledge of issues that support gender diversity in medicine.

This award is for a maximum of $10,000. Download the application (DOC).

Application deadline is July 15, 2020 at 5 p.m. Central.

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, 27 research awards have been granted.

Learn about the recipients of the 2019 Joan F. Giambalvo Fund for the Advancement of Women and read about their research projects.

2019 Giambalvo Fund Recipients

Project 1: Gendered differences in medical students’ sense of belonging in orthopedic surgery: A multi-institution study

Two honorees for women in medicine event

Pictured: Cara Cipriano, MD (left) and Kate Gerull, physician-in-training (right)

Award Winners

  • Kate Gerull, medical student, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, project director
  • Principal investigator: Cara Cipriano, MD, assistant professor of orthopedic surgery, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis

Project Summary

Orthopedic surgery has historically struggled with gender diversity, and it is now considered the least gender-diverse medical specialty. Our goal is to investigate factors that are contributing to the gender gap within Orthopedic Surgery. We will survey all medical students at eight participating institutions and conduct structured phone interviews with selected students around topics related to belonging and fit within Orthopedics.

After analysis, we will present our findings to the program directors at participating institutions and make suggestions to improve diversity within their institutions.

“We hope to better understand why women are pursuing orthopedics at low rates.” - Kate Gerull

“I’m excited for this opportunity to help the field of orthopedic surgery and its efforts to improve gender diversity.” - Cara Cipriano, MD

Project 2: Women physicians in transition: Learning to navigate the pipeline from early to mid-career

Five honorees for women in medicine event

Pictured: Tiffany I. Leung, MD; Angie Chen, MD (top row, left); Tammy Lin, MD (top row, right); Karen Wang, MD (bottom row, left); and Sima S. Pendharkar, MD (bottom row, right)

Award Winners

  • Principal investigator: Tiffany I. Leung, MD, MPH, FACP, FAMIA, assistant professor, Faculty of Health & Life Sciences, Maastricht University; Chair-Elect, Council of Early Career Physicians, American College of Physicians
  • Sima S. Pendharkar, MD, MPH, FACP, division chief of hospital medicine, The Brooklyn Hospital Center; assistant professor, Department of Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine
  • Angie Chen, MD, FACP, FASAM, medical director, Primary Care Chemical Dependency Clinics–Stanford University; clinical assistant professor, Department of Primary Care and Population Health - Stanford University
  • Tammy Lin, MD, MPH, FACP, voluntary assistant clinical professor, Department of Medicine–University of California, San Diego
  • Karen Wang, MD, MHS, assistant professor, Department of Internal Medicine–Yale School of Medicine

Project Summary

The goal of this project is to increase understanding of the experiences and perspectives of women physicians as they transition from early career to mid-career phase. Increasingly, published literature demonstrates that women physicians face unique obstacles while progressing through their careers, navigating career advancement and seeking balance between professional and personal responsibilities.

However, there remains a growing need for best practices at individual, institutional, and systemic levels for overcoming such physician gender inequities. Developing a deeper understanding of women physicians’ experiences during important transitions could reveal unique barriers and opportunities, and inform best practices developed based on such experiences.

Project deliverables include identifying common themes for women physicians in transition through semi-structured interviews and qualitative analysis, and collecting from participants, with their consent, their narratives and lessons learned through short video vignettes to be produced and shared with other women in transition via social media.

“…I’m working with four talented colleagues on a project entitled, ‘Women Physicians in Transition: Learning to Navigate the Pipeline from Early to Mid-Career.’ This project was born in part by personal experiences of each of us as early- to mid-career women physicians, but also motivated a lot by the larger empowerment movement for women in medicine. Among us, we’ve experienced a diversity of issues, challenges, and successes, whether because of our gender, race, relationship status, and the social contexts in which we work and live. But there are commonalities among our stories, and those are the stories and learnings we want to explore with other women, too. We are all navigating careers while striving to integrate it with a personal or family life and numerous additional roles and trying to stay healthy and well. But how do they do it? These are the kinds of issues we want to explore as we invite women in transition from early- to mid-career to participate in this reflective journey with us. We’re so delighted and honored to be able to move forward on this with the support of the AMA Foundation. We’re looking forward to contributing to the growing community of physicians of all genders who are addressing such important issues in our profession.” – Tiffany I. Leung, MD

Past recipients

Learn about the past recipients of the Joan F. Giambalvo Fund for the Advancement of Women.

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.