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 2023 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-WPS. 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 34 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.

“As we celebrate Women in Medicine Month, the AMA is honored to recognize this year’s awardees for their impressive work aimed at addressing gender disparities,” said AMA President Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, M.D., M.P.H. “Through this annual grant program, the AMA reaffirms its commitment to increasing the influence of women physicians and advocating for women’s health issues. We will continue to support efforts to bring awareness to and help address important issues facing women in medicine today.”

The winning 2023 project focuses on exploring the role surgical ergonomics may play in gender disparities. The goal of the project is to evaluate surgical instrument fit, ergonomics, experiences of surgical training, and day-to-day operations among surgeons in the U.S. to better understand how surgical instruments and ergonomics differentially affect the experiences of female, male, and nonbinary surgeons. The cross-sectional survey will be led by Yoshiko Iwai, M.S., from the University of North Carolina and Oluwadamilola M. Fayanju, M.D., M.A., M.P.H.S., from the University of Pennsylvania.

“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),” said Ms. Iwai and Dr. Fayanju.

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.

As part of the AMA’s celebration of Women in Medicine month, the AMA-WPS will host a webinar, “Women Physician Leaders and Balance,” on September 28 exploring ways to support women in medicine as they face challenges in aligning their career goals with personal responsibilities.

The AMA-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.