The AMWA 108th Annual Meeting & MWIA North America Congress, held in March 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was a resounding success, with members attending from across the country. We thank the many members of MWIA who attended. AMWA will make conference videos available to all attendees.

One of the key topics discussed during the meeting was diversity in leadership in medicine. Dr. Joan Reede, Dean for Diversity & Community Partnership at Harvard Medical School; Dr. Ana Maria Lopez, Vice Chair of Medical Oncology and Chief of Cancer Services at Jefferson Health New Jersey; Jessica Haley, Sr. Director of the Eidos LGBTQ+ Health Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania, and Dr. Ojistoh Horn, Part-time Faculty Lecturer in Family Medicine at McGill University, spoke on the subject, highlighting the importance of representation and inclusivity in medical leadership.

Another important topic addressed at the meeting was advocating for reproductive justice after the overturn of Roe v. Wade, the ruling which had legalized abortion for decades in the U.S. Dr. Caitlin Bernard, Assistant Clinical Professor of OBGYN at Indiana University School of Medicine, spoke passionately about the issue and the need for continued advocacy in the face of increasing legal interference.

The Gala Keynote speaker was Dr. Janine Clayton, Director of the NIH Office for Research on Women’s Health, who received the AMWA Presidential Award. Other award recipients included Dr. Nancy Spector (Elizabeth Blackwell Award), Dr. Nichole Sandhu (Bertha Van Hoosen Award), Dr. Sandra Milligan (Lila Wallis Women’s Health Award), & Dr. Betty Sue Pace (Woman in Science Award).

Highlights of the meeting included visiting the Women in Medicine Legacy Archives at Drexel University’s College of Medicine & a joint Women in Medicine reception at The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, home of the Mutter Museum.  

New this year, the Innovation in Healthcare pitch competition featured five finalists & a winner of a $10,000 prize, Dr. Paula Jaye Doyle. 

MWIA leaders presented a powerful, informative, and interactive Ending Gender-Based Violence & Sexual Harassment: Advocacy Workshop at the meeting. AMWA also hosted an international panel discussion of One World, One War Against COVID-19: Women Physicians Come Together to reflect on insights during the pandemic. 

Overall, the annual meeting was a great success, with AMWA members coming together to discuss important issues & promote positive change in medicine. 

Recent AMWA initiatives include:                                       

  • A Travelling Stethoscope Fundraiser to raise funds to support humanitarian relief aid in Pakistan, Ukraine, and Kenya & to provide ongoing assistance to Turkey and Syria.
  • A Reproductive Health Coalition opposing legal interference that would preclude a physician’s ability to practice evidence-based medicine & prescribe FDA-approved medications in abortion care.
  • AMWA promotes awareness of rare diseases through the medical humanities & the power of film.
  • We promote awareness of sex & gender-specific healthcare, taking inspiration from our Brazilian colleagues within MWIA by implementing a 500,000 digital flier campaign
  • An AMWA ELEVATE Leadership Certificate program designed to help women physicians develop leadership skills & advance their careers.
  • We sponsor a #WhiteCoatChallenge, open to artists worldwide. The 2023 theme is “The White Coat Holds the Line” — to highlight the importance of protecting the doctor-patient relationship from legislative interference.
  • AMWA is also taking a firm stand against gun violence and racism. AMWA commended the U.S. House of Representatives for passing life-saving gun safety legislation and called on the U.S. Senate to do the same. Their developing anti-racism committee is also working to promote awareness and combat racism in the medical field.
  • Environmental health is also a priority for AMWA. We have joined other organizations in calling for the re-opening of the HHS Health Sector Climate Pledge to address climate change and its impact on public health.
  • AMWA is working to promote education in lifestyle medicine & food as medicine. These areas can help prevent and manage chronic diseases & improve overall health.

In addition to these efforts, AWHS-Clinic Nepal recently celebrated its 25th anniversary, & AMWA partner RENEW also marked 25 years of working to promote physician wellness.

As part of our commitment to improving healthcare, AMWA hosted a parallel event during the 67th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, focused on harnessing the power of innovation and technology. AMWA was also recognized with the President’s Volunteer Service Lifetime Award and the Ruth Rising Naomi Award from the Ruth Sisters Fellowship International.

We are happy to join our international colleagues in their dedication & commitment to improving healthcare.

Members in the News:

  • Kim Templeton presented information on improving diversity & well-being in residency applicants.
  • Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber spoke to the AMA on the representation of Hispanic & women physicians & commented on the Medscape survey on sexual harassment of physicians.
  • Padmini Murthy was appointed to the Core Group of Women & Child Health and Well-Being with the Working Group on Integrated Holistic Health C20 2023
  • Three leaders of the AMWA Sex and Gender Health Collaborative, Drs. Caroline Paul, Kim Templeton, & Jan Werbinski, will present on Sex as a Biological Variable in Research w/ CITI Program.
  • Jan Werbinski spoke on stemming gender bias in healthcare (National Public Radio)
  • AMWA leaders Dr. Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber and Dr. Roberta Gebhard spoke out on anti-harassment policies in the workplace (Medscape)
  • Kim Templeton wrote on Sex & Gender in pain care (Kansas Journal of Med)
  • Karen Poirier-Brode, MD, CM
  • AMWA National Coordinator to the MWIA

Karen Poirier-Brode, MD, CM
AMWA National Coordinator to the MWIA