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 2022 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 identify and address issues that affect women physicians and medical students. The AMA-WPS and AMA Foundation have granted 33 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. Additional information about the award and Joan F. Giambalvo can be found on the AMA Foundation website.

“During Women in Medicine Month, the AMA is honored to recognize this year’s awardees for their exceptional work aimed at addressing social justice issues impacting minoritized women in academic medicine and improving the well-being of female and minoritized physicians-in-training,” said AMA President Jack Resneck Jr., 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 2022 projects focuses on exploring the xenophobic experiences of first-generation immigrant female Arab physicians and the challenges they’ve faced in the U.S. academic medicine system—which often lead to career dissatisfaction, inability to progress up the academic ladder and a desire to leave academic medicine. By addressing a gap in the literature related to xenophobic experiences of Arab international medical graduates, the goal of the project is to highlight issues faced by “un-seen” Arab women physicians in academia and help program directors and faculty leadership develop a structured support system across the continuum of medical education. It will be led by two women from the George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Maram Alkhatib, M.D., assistant professor of medicine, and Zareen Zaidi, M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine.

“We are deeply honored and grateful by this recognition and support from the AMA. We hope to utilize this grant to build a body of research around social justice issues impacting minoritized women in academic medicine,” said Dr. Alkhatib.

The second winning project is a study aimed at identifying the prevalence and extent to which interpersonal communication contributes to the mistreatment of surgical residents in the hospital setting beginning with their intern year. The project will be led by Kavitha Ranganathan, M.D., director of craniofacial reconstruction, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, assistant professor in the Department of Surgery, Harvard Medical School. The team of co-investigators also includes Timothy R. Smith, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., director of Computational Neuroscience Outcomes Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, assistant professor of neurosurgery, Harvard Medical School, and medical student researcher Cierra Harper, B.S., Howard University College of Medicine.

“We are deeply grateful and honored to receive the 2022 Joan F. Giambalvo Fund for the Advancement of Women award. The impact of interpersonal communications on physician well-being, particularly across differing demographic populations, is an important issue that affects all specialties and institutions. We are extremely thankful for the support of the AMA in affording us the opportunity to pursue research on this topic,” said Dr. Ranganathan.

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 100,000 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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