Physician Division — Awards

Elizabeth Blackwell Award

The Elizabeth Blackwell Medal, created as a lasting tribute to the first woman awarded an M.D. degree from an American medical school, is granted to a woman physician who has made the most outstanding contributions to the cause of women in the field of medicine.

The award was initiated in 1949 by Elise S. L’Esperance, MD. Prior to 1993, the award was a member award but is now open to both members and  non-members.

View the Blackwell Award Exhibit and Short Film


  • Woman physician either working or having worked in the U.S.
  • Influenced the ever-expanding role of women in medicine
  • Demonstrated commitment, originality, innovation, or creativity in her field of medicine
  • Made pathways for other women in medicine
  • Made exceptional contribution to the image of women in medicine
  • Overcame adversity in medicine
  • Achieved recognition as a leader in women’s health in the area of public policy, health care delivery, research, medical education, patient care, application of basic sciences to health care.

2024 AMWA Award Winner

Mary Polan, MD

Submit a Nomination

Nominations are now closed.

Previous Recipients

2023     Nancy D. Spector, MD
2022     Julie K. Silver, MD
2021     Susan Thompson Hingle, MD, MACP, FRCP, FAMWA
2020     Darilyn Moyer, MD, FACP, FRCP, FIDS
2019     Alma Littles, MD
2018     Michele Barry, MD, FACP
2017     Marjorie R. Jenkins, MD, MEdHP, FACP
2016     Padmini Murthy, MD MPH, MS
2015     Mae Jemison, MD
2014     Mary Guinan, MD. PhD
2013     Kimberly Templeton, MD
2012     Luanne Thorndyke, MD
2011      Valerie Montgomery Rice, MD
2010     Linda Clever,MD, MACP
2009     Nancy Nielson, MD
2008     Elinor Christiansen, MD
2007     Debra R. Judelson, MD
2006     Patricia Joy Numann, MD
2005     Sarah S. Donaldson, M.D., FACR
2004     Mary Jane England, M.D.
2003     Joanne Lynn, M.D.
2002     Olga Jonasson, M.D.
2001      No Annual Meeting, no selection
2000     Nanette Kass Wenger, M.D., and Jeanne Spurlock, M.D., posthumously
1999      Lila Stein Kroser, M.D.
1998      Leah J. Dickstein, M.D., and Tina Strobos, M.D.
1997      LeClair Bissell, M.D.
1996      Elizabeth W. Karlin, M.D.
1995      Vivian W. Pinn, M.D.
1994      Anne H. Flitcraft, M.D.
1993      Yoshiye Togasaki, M.D.
1992      Roselyn Payne Epps, M.D., and Jane E. Hodgson, M.D.
1991      Anne L. Barlow, M.D.
1990     Lila A. Wallis, M.D.
1989     Helen O. Dickens, M.D.
1988     Claudine M. Gay, M.D.
1987     A. Lois Scully, M.D.
1986     Luella Klein, M.D.
1985     Carol C. Nadelson, M.D.
1984     Charlotte H. Kerr, M.D., and Helen M. Caldicott, M.D.
1983     Clara Raven, M.D.
1982     Helen B. Taussig, M.D.
1981      Mathilda R. Vaschak, M.D.
1980     Ann P.D. Manton, M.D.
1979      Bernice C. Sachs, M.D.
1978      Minerva S. Buerk, M.D.
1977       Eva F. Dodge, M.D., and Edith P. Brown, M.D.
1976      Claire F. Ryder, M.D.
1975      Ruth Hartgraves, M.D.
1974      Laura E. Morrow, M.D.
1973      Alice Drew Chenoweth, M.D.
1972      Alma Dea Morani, M.D.
1971       Frieda Bauman, M.D.
1970      Rosa Lee Nemir, M.D.
1969      Katharine W. Wright, M.D.
1968      Margaret J. Schneider, M.D.
1967       Amey Chappell, M.D.
1966      Esther C. Marting, M.D.
1965      Camille Mermod, M.D.
1964      Helena T. Ratterman, M.D.
1963      Elizabeth S. Waugh, M.D.
1962      Judith Emmelia Ahlem, M.D.
1961      Elizabeth Kittredge, M.D.
1960     Nelle Sparks Noble, M.D.
1959      Helen F. Schrack, M.D.
1958      Ada Chree Reid, M.D.
1957      Esther Pohl Lovejoy, M.D.
1956      Evangeline S. Stenhouse, M.D.
1955      Elise S. L’Esperance, M.D.
1954      Mabel E. Gardner, M.D.
1953      Elizabeth Bass, M.D.
1952      Catharine Macfarlane, M.D.
1951       Esther Pohl Lovejoy, M.D.
1950      Bertha Van Hoosen, M.D.
1949      Mary Riggs Noble, M.D.