AMA Awards Research Grants to Advance the Study of Women in Medicine

Sep 13, 2017 at 04:10 pm by Staff

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 2017 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 23 research awards since 2006 on topics such as flexible work options and the promotion and retention of diversity in medical education.

"As part of Women in Medicine Month, the grant program reaffirms the AMA's commitment to increasing the influence of women physicians and advocating for women's health issues," said Patrice A. Harris, M.D, M.A., immediate past chair of the AMA Board of Trustees. "This year, the AMA recognizes two exceptional projects that explore the challenges senior and minority women in medicine face today."

One of the winning 2017 projects focuses on "Issues Faced by Senior Women Physicians." It was led by Kimberly Templeton, M.D., Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Kansas Health System and immediate past- president of the American Medical Women's Association and Anne Walling, M.D., Professor Emerita in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita.

"When we started this study, one senior physician participant in an initial focus group noted that, 'this was the first time in her life that (she) had felt vulnerable,'" said Dr. Templeton. "This impactful statement reminded us that, while we need to continue to focus on the issues of younger physicians, many of the 'baby boomer' cohorts of women physicians now face new and often unexpected challenges that cannot be ignored. Unfortunately, they don't have many role models from whom to learn how to navigate this phase of their careers."

"We uncovered a variety of issues in our initial findings, including health and financial concerns, practice and professional challenges, and the burden of caretaking for spouses, family members and others," said Dr. Walling. "We hope to develop new literature - literature that does not exist today - that prepares senior women physicians for the latter phases of medical practice followed by retirement."

The second winner is Basmah Safdar, M.D., Associate Professor and Director of the Department of Emergency Medicine Director at Yale University. Her research project, "Does stereotyping of a physician by gender and race affect patient satisfaction?

Evidence from a patient analog experiment," seeks to explore patient bias against physicians, and provide insight into the underlying cause of workplace stressors that impact career satisfaction and burnout of doctors from underrepresented groups.

"Workplace prejudice is an important cause of physician burnout and attrition among women physicians and other underrepresented physician groups," said Dr. Safdar. "By collecting systematic data, we hope to take this conversation beyond anecdotes in order to deal with such pervasive biases. We thank the AMA in helping us bring this topic to the forefront of a national conversation."

Read more about this year's award recipients at AMA Wire.

Sections: Clinical