The American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) is an organization which functions at the local, national, and international level to advance women in medicine, advocate for equity, and ensure excellence in healthcare.
The American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) was founded in 1915 at a time when women physicians were an under-represented minority. Over the decades, AMWA has served as the vision and voice of women in medicine and nurtured the growth of generations of women physician leaders. Yet despite gains in the number of women entering medicine (now equal to that of men), women still face significant hurdles within medicine, including pay inequity, sexual harassment, unconscious bias, and a persistent gender gap in healthcare leadership.
Our areas of work include leadership and professional development, mentorship at all career levels, advocacy, women’s health, and public health campaigns (human trafficking, gun violence, opioid abuse, caregiving). The links below will give you more information about these specific initiatives within AMWA. Your support will go a long way in improving not only healthcare but our society as a whole.
Advocating for Equity
Core to all of AMWA’s work is a focus on diversity and inclusion and in 2020, a new effort to eliminate structural racism in medicine.
AMWA works to promote gender equity in medicine and fix the gender gap in healthcare leadership. This includes working to prevent sexual harassment in medicine and raising the voices of women who all too often have stories of #MeTooMedicine to share.
AMWA is the main organization to mentor the next generation of women in medicine. We are particularly focused on ensuring diversity and encouraging first generation students to pursue careers in medicine.
The COVID-19 pandemic raised awareness of the tremendous need to support mental health. Physicians are no exception. Launched in the wake of the suicide of Dr. Lorna Breen, an emergency room physician on the frontlines of the COVID pandemic, AMWA’s Humans Before Heroes initiatives hopes to destigmatize physician mental illness so that healthcare providers will not have barriers to seeking treatment themselves. Likewise, our focus on physician suicide prevention addresses the fact that the suicide rate for women physicians is 2.27 times higher than the general female patient population.
Wellness also means finding meaning and purpose in our role as healthcare providers. AMWA’s work in the medical humanities strives to do just that. We hope to inspire to both healthcare providers and patients as we explore the intersection of medicine with art, writing, music, film, history, and dance,
Gendered Medicine: Why It Matters
As a leader in championing the field of women’s health in the 20th century, AMWA has continued to be at the forefront of women’s health. Since 2019, AMWA has co-organized the annual HPV Prevention Week and is launching a new campaign to make the menopause conversation part of routine medical care. AMWA has also raised awareness that women’s health includes more than what has been traditionally referred to as bikini medicine. In this expanded definition, we recognize that women’s health includes all health conditions for which there are differences in the diagnosis, management, and outcomes between men and women. We also want to ensure that new therapies and technological innovations are developed with sex and gender differences in mind, so that both men and women benefit equally from these new modalities.
Promoting Public Health Issues
AMWA has been a leader in addressing urgent public health issues through education and advocacy. Read more about our work to prevent human trafficking, speak out against gun violence, address the opioid epidemic crisis, and promote strategies for obesity prevention. AMWA has also provided 100 years of service in global humanitarian aid through the American Women’s Hospitals Service, beginning with the work to serve abroad in World War I, even when women physicians were barred from official commissioned status in the military.
Your support matters. Whether you choose to volunteer your time or make a donation, we invite you to join our work and allow your voice to make a difference.
With much gratitude,
The American Medical Women’s Association