February 2023

From WPS Chair Aleesha Shaik, MD, MPH

Aleesha Shaik
Aleesha Shaik, MD, MPH

The start of a new year offers an opportunity for reflection and goal setting. Though the WPS is a relatively new section of the AMA, we have accomplished so much since our inception, from advocacy efforts to educational initiatives to navigating the effects of COVID.

Resolutions that we have authored and supported on gender equity have led to new AMA policies on salary transparency, maternal discrimination and caregiver burnout. Most recently we authored a resolution on ensuring access to medications like methotrexate in the post-Dobbs era.

We also launched our Pathways to Leadership educational series with our Speed Mentorship event at Annual 2022, connecting over 50 mentors and mentees. The series continued with virtual and in-person events featuring inspiring leaders in medicine, including former AMA President Dr. Patrice Harris, ACOG President Dr. Iffath Abbasi Hoskins, and Massachusetts ACP Governor Dr. Elisa Choi. Their powerful stories and wisdom provided practical advice for women in their own leadership journeys.

Looking forward, the governing council is committed to continuing our work in policymaking, leadership development and member engagement. Please look out for information on our upcoming Women’s History Month events and additional opportunities for involvement in the section, particularly for our Policymaking Committee.

Our collaborations and initiatives have supported and promoted the professional advancement of women. We selected two incredible research projects for the Joan F. Giambalvo Fund for the Advancement of Women and recognized the AMA-WPS Inspiration Award Honorees. We also collaborated with the Center for Health Equity to support the Women’s Wellness through Equity and Leadership (WEL) program.

Ultimately, the value of our section and what sets us apart is our AMAzing members, from medical students to resident and fellow trainees to established physicians. One such member is Leelabati Biswas, an MD/PhD candidate at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, who is this year’s AMA Research Challenge winner. She won $10,000 to support her important project, “Decoding Pregnancy Loss: Validating a Novel Genetic Biomarker of Poor Egg Quality.” Leela has also won an NIH F30 pre-doctoral fellowship and studied at the Marine Biological Laboratories in Woods Hole. She also volunteers in the Promise Clinic, the Rutgers student-run free clinic for uninsured patients. She is interested in precision medicine and interdisciplinary efforts to advance patient care. Congratulations, Leela!

Have information about WPS members doing great work? Email us at [email protected].

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