CHICAGO – Each September, the American Medical Association (AMA) recognizes influential female physician leaders as part of Women in Medicine Month. To showcase the accomplishments of these leaders, the AMA Women Physicians Section (WPS) and the AMA Foundation today announced the winners of the 2020 Joan F. Giambalvo Fund for the Advancement of Women research grants program.

The Joan F. Giambalvo Fund for the Advancement of Women Award is administered by the AMA Foundation on behalf of the AMA Women Physicians Section. The AMA-WPS and AMA Foundation awards scholarships of up to $10,000 to health care researchers to identity and address issues that affect women physicians and medical students. The AMA-WPS and AMA Foundation have granted 29 research awards since 2006 on topics such as flexible work options, gender differences in the practice patterns of obstetricians/gynecologists, and the promotion and retention of diversity in medical education.

“During Women in Medicine Month, the AMA is honored to recognize this year’s awardees for their exceptional work to shed light on the important issues facing women in medicine today,” said AMA President Susan R. Bailey, M.D. “Through this annual grant program, the AMA reaffirms its commitment to increasing the influence of women physicians and advocating for women’s health issues.”

One of the winning 2020 projects focuses on the creation and assessment of a virtual negotiation workshop for women physicians to help combat the discrepancies that exist in pay, position, and perks between men and women in medicine, particularly in the surgical field. It will be led by Anees B. Chagpar, M.D., M.Sc., MPH, M.A., MBA, FACS, Professor of Surgery at Yale University.

“I cannot adequately express how thrilled I am to have won this very prestigious award, in part for the award itself, but perhaps more so for the opportunity to design and evaluate a virtual negotiation workshop that can truly be impactful for female physicians and trainees,” said Dr. Chagpar.

The second winning project is a formal research sponsorship program for women in medicine and science at Southern Illinois University (SIU) School of Medicine aimed at increasing the presentation of scholarly work at regional and national meetings and publications by women researchers. This project will be led by Vidhya Prakash, M.D., Professor of Clinical Internal Medicine at SIU School of Medicine. The SIU team also includes Heeyoung Han, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Medical Education; Susan Thompson Hingle, M.D., Professor of Clinical Internal Medicine; and Wendi Wills El-Amin, M.D., Associate Professor of Family and Community Medicine.

“As a woman in medicine, I am more than aware of the multitude of gender disparities in our field. Women’s lack of academic advancement and lag in the research arena are not only due to gender bias and isolation, but also from a lack of resources including mentorship and networking opportunities. Through this project, it is our goal to empower women to join existing research projects and even create their own research initiatives with financial support, mentorship, and ongoing encouragement to take their ideas to the next level,” said Dr. Prakash. “What a tremendous privilege to be able to give deserving women in medicine and science at our institution an opportunity to expand their horizons and lead groundbreaking research, narrowing the gender equity chasm.”

The AMA has adopted numerous policies aimed at encouraging medical associations and other relevant organizations to study gender difference in income and advancement trends, by specialty, experience, work hours and other practice characteristics, and develop programs to address disparities where they exist. The AMA will continue to strongly support equity and diversity across medicine and promote professional growth and development for physicians at every stage of their careers.

The AMA Women Physicians Section (WPS) consists of more than 90,000 members of the AMA and aims to increase the number and influence of women physicians in leadership roles and to advocate for and advance the understanding of women's health issues.

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About the American Medical Association

The American Medical Association is the physicians’ powerful ally in patient care. As the only medical association that convenes 190+ state and specialty medical societies and other critical stakeholders, the AMA represents physicians with a unified voice to all key players in health care.  The AMA leverages its strength by removing the obstacles that interfere with patient care, leading the charge to prevent chronic disease and confront public health crises and, driving the future of medicine to tackle the biggest challenges in health care.

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