AMA awards research grants to advance the study of women in medicine

Sept. 15, 2020

The American Medical Association (AMA) Women Physicians Section (WPS) and the AMA Foundation announced the winners of the 2020 Joan F. Giambalvo Fund for the Advancement of Women research grants program, as part of AMA’s Women in Medicine Month recognition in September. 

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 healthcare 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. 

AMA has the release