Joan F. Giambalvo Fund for the Advancement of Women

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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, 34 research awards have been granted.

AMA is 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 application (DOC) deadline is July 15, 2024. 

Learn about the recipient of the 2023 Joan F. Giambalvo Fund for the Advancement of Women and read about their research project.

Project Title: Surgical Instrument Ergonomics and Gender Disparities

2023 Giambalvo award recipients
Pictured: Yoshiko Iwai, MS (l); Oluwadamilola M. Fayanju, MD, MA, MPHS (r)

Award winners

  • Yoshiko Iwai, MS, University of North Carolina
  • Oluwadamilola M. Fayanju, MD, MA, MPHS, University of Pennsylvania

Project summary

While gender disparities are pervasive in surgical specialties, it is poorly understood how surgical instruments and ergonomics differentially affect the experiences of female, male, and nonbinary surgeons. The goal of this study is to evaluate surgical instrument fit, ergonomics, experiences of surgical training, and day-to-day operations among surgeons in the United States.

We will accomplish this by conducting a mixed methods study that includes a cross-sectional survey of surgeons in the United States. We hypothesize (1) that surgical instrument fit and ergonomics will differ among surgeons by gender and specialty and (2) that female surgeons and nonbinary surgeons assigned female sex at birth will experience more adverse ergonomic sequelae (e.g., grip fatigue) due to poor surgical instrument fit.

We are honored to receive the 2023 Joan F. Giambalvo Fund for the Advancement of Women. We believe elucidating the impact of surgical instrument ergonomics on female surgeons and surgeons-in-training will be far-reaching and has the potential to improve operative experiences for women in the future.

We are grateful for the opportunity to pursue this work in collaboration with our outstanding colleagues at the University of North Carolina (Dr. Caprice Greenberg), the University of Pennsylvania (Dr. Maria Altieri), the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (Drs. Mara Antonoff and Rebecca Snyder), and the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Dr. Robert Radwin).”

Access the press release for the 2023 Joan F. Giambalvo Fund for the Advancement of Women winners.

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

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.

Support Women Physicians

Promote the progress of women in the medical profession with a tax-deductible donation to the Joan F. Giambalvo Fund for the Advancement of Women.

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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