AMWA National Student Conference

March 13-16, 2014 in Washington, DC

In conjunction with AMWA’s 99th Annual Meeting

The 2014 AMWA National Student Conference proved to be another year of triumphant success. The attendance surpassed last year’s record with over 200 medical students from across the nation. The weekend served to be an invigorating series of events to follow the theme of “Women in Medicine: Successfully Facing Future Challenges and Advances.” With sessions ranging from mentorship to “message-mapping,” the 2014 AMWA National Student Conference was an enlightening experience for all those in attendance.

The conference kicked off on Thursday with Advocacy Day on the Hill sponsored by AMWA and the Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR). AMWA students and physicians lead teams to ensure the inclusion of women and minorities in all phases of medical research and that sex differences be studied and evaluated at all levels. They also pushed for the instruction of federal health agencies to translate sex differences from bench to bedside for the benefit of both women and men and making such information publically available.

On Friday morning, Capitol Hill Tours set the stage for a day focused on the state of our nation with a session by William Haseltine, PhD on “Can America Achieve Affordable Care?” Followed by Stephanie Pincus, MD, MBA with “Death and Sex: Perspectives on End of Life”, Noreen Fraser’s “Staring Down Cancer: 11 Years with Metastatic Breast Cancer”, and “Introduction to Women’s Health” by Vivian Pinn, MD. Next, Mark Kris, MD gave an enlightening talk on “The Watson Project: Memorial Sloan Kettering Collaborates with the IBM Super Computer” and how this new initiative will change the face of organized medicine and diagnoses. Alexandra Heerdt, MD, MPH followed with a talk on “Advances in Breast Cancer Treatment.” The afternoon concluded with Mark Tercek, MBA discussing “The Value of Nature.”

The Friday evening reception at the Marvin Center of George Washington University allowed student attendees to meet and mingle over dinner. The Friday Evening Symposium that opened up with Daria Mochly-Rosen PhD with “Ethanol and the Heart-The Plot Thickens” followed. Peggy Murray, PhD spoke on “Preventing Alcohol Problems Throughout the Lifespan.” The symposium concluded with a moving speech given by “The Godmother of Title IX”, Bernice Sandler, EdD on “The Chilly Climate for Women: How Women Are Often Treated Differently in Subtle Ways and Nobody Notices.” Dr. Sandler received a standing ovation from the entire room for her relentless efforts towards allowing us all an equal opportunity for education. The evening concluded with student elections, which saw over 30 students run for heavily contested national leadership positions. A strong and invigorated board was elected to kick-start an exciting new year!

Saturday began with an early poster session. Students and residents were invited to present their research and work to physician judges and fellow peers. The morning sessions opened up with an exciting talk from Richard Schlegel, MD, PhD presenting “HPV Vaccination and Our Adolescent Population.” Dr. Schlegel, who is the co-inventor of the HPV vaccine, reported updates on the vaccination development including increasing the types of HPV it would protect against as well as decreasing the number of subsequent doses needed. Kevin Grigsby, DSW, motivated the entire room with his session on “Prepare to Negotiate Successfully with Message-Mapping,” which gave tools on how to successfully get a core message across with three supporting points in under 15 seconds! Danielle Ofri, MD, PhD and Editor-in-Chief of the Bellevue Literary Review shared her stores on “How Technology is Rapidly Changing the Way We Treat Patients.” Her session reminded us all that the onset of the EMR is great for data storage but has interfered with the patient’s actual story. Ardis Dee Hoven, MD and President of the American Medical Association discussed “Taking the Helm: How Women Can Shape the Future in Medicine.”  The AMWA Annual Awards Luncheon followed, which honored recipients of National AMWA awards. Aleena Paul, an AMWA Regional Director and a medical student at Albany Medical College, was the proud recipient of the 2014 Anne C. Carter Leadership Award.

Saturday afternoon continued with presentations from Julie Ann Freischlag, MD on “Gender Differences in Vascular Disease”, Sharronne Hayes, MD on “Sex and Gender Considerations in Cardiovascular Disease”, and Anthony Fauci, MD on “Ending the AIDS Pandemic: From Scientific Advances to Public Health Implementation.”

Ariana Huffington, Chair, President, and Editor-in-Chief of the Huffington Post Media Group was the Conference Keynote Speaker. Her presentation, “THRIVE: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder” moved the audience. She discussed how her quick career advancement ultimately led to her collapsing of exhaustion. This made her realize that burnout is indeed the disease of our civilization. Arianna discussed that money and power need to be accompanied by a third metric for a balanced life. She ended her session with the exclusive release of her fourteenth book “Thrive” and finished with a book signing in the lobby.

Saturday night concluded with AMWA’s 99th Anniversary Gala at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Attendees were surrounded by powerful art created by exclusively women artists throughout the ages. Dinner included a special Presidential Award Presentation to Arianna Huffington who moved the audience with another impeccable speech. Students and physicians danced the night away in the gallery floor.

Members reconvened on Sunday morning for some tips on personal growth with lectures from Liise-anne Pirofski, MD on “Personal Development & Professionalism” and Amy Paller, MD on “The Healthy Mentoring Relationship.” Following these two sessions, students and physicians broke off into small groups for mentoring and networking. The conference concluded with a discussion on “Food Insecurity and Global Women’s Health” by Louise Ivers, MD, MPH, DTM&H and a quick discussion of “The 30 Minute MBA for Physicians” given by Joseph Mortati, MBA. A look back on the AMWA programs, initiatives and achievements were given by members to conclude the conference and set goals for future endeavors.

This conference broke records in numbers of student attendance and left everyone feeling renewed and re-inspired for the road ahead. The newly elected AMWA Student Division is already in the works for a bigger and better conference to celebrate AMWA’s 100 Years in Chicago, IL next spring.


Conference Award and Grant Winners:

Student Case Presentation

1st Place 

Sasha Wee & Leighe Lincoln

Poster Title: Leave No Stone Unturned- Raising Awareness for Pediatric Gallstone Pancreatitis

Institution: Indiana University School of Medicine

2nd Place

Ashley Narsinghani

Poster Title: Legal guardianship in Adults with Eating Disorders

Institution: Indiana University School of Medicine

3rd Place 

Dulanji Kuruppu

Poster Title: Coping With Changing Roles: When Doctors Become Patients

Institution: Indiana University School of Medicine

Student Original Research

1st Place

Sarrah Shahawy 

Poster Title: A Comparative Study of Outcomes for Endoscopic Diverticulotomy versus External Diverticulectomy

Institution: Harvard Medical School

2nd Place

Fatima Fahs

Poster Title: Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit Art Therapy Stress Management

Institution: Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine

3rd Place

Leigh Morrison  & Amanda Ventura

Poster Title: Evaluation of a health and empowerment program created by medical students for commercial sex workers: Pilot study

Institution: University of Cincinnati College of Medicine

Heller Award of Excellence for Branches

·         Nationwide Most Outstanding Branch: Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Anne C. Carter Leadership Award

·         Aleena Paul, Albany Medical College, Class of 2016


Travel Grant Awardees

Emmanuelle Abitbol, Vanessa Al Rashida, Toni Aluko, Samantha Armstrong, Logan Blankenship, Amelia Bray-Aschenbrenner, Elizabeth Brigham, Anna Brown, Porsche Buchanan, Monica Buckner, Brittany Casey, Lotiffa Colibao, Cassandra Conrad, Emily Corcoran, Emman Dabaja, Reema Dedania, Amanda Deliere, Lisa Deng, Nerlyne Desravines, Sarah DiVittorio, Florence Doo, Imarhia Enogieru, Mica Esquenazi, Fatima Fahs, Kimberly Faldetta, Amanda Fletcher, Kayla Florio, Marantha Gabaud, Kristin Geros, Nicole Gersdorff, Sara Grossi, Hayley Guilkey, Zeynep Gul, Rachel Hanke, Erika Hissong, Joyce Ho, Carly Hudelson, Rachel Hunt, Kristy Hwang, Katie Jerzewski, Emily Kelly, Erin Ketchem, Christine Kim, Cecily Koppuzha, Johanna Kreafle, Maria Kryatova, Dulanji Kuruppu, Sarah Langdon, Gloria Lee, Lindsay Leech, Jenny Lin, Madeleine Manka, Kaitlyn Mayer, Kathleen McGuinn, Katie Meyer, Katherine Miller, Emily Miner, Leigh Morrison, Ashley Narsinghani, Diana O’Neal, Jendayi Olabisi, Lisa Oliveri, Megan Orlando, JeNita Partridge, Nedhi Patel, Danielle Patterson, Aleena Paul, Maria Phillis, Liandra Presser, Verity Ramirez, Sruthi Renati, Rebecca Reynolds, Kimberly Seidel, Kimberly Seifert, Jenny Shao, Melissa Stone, Maria Tamera, Rachel Teat, Irene Tsung, Vaibhavi Umesh, Ivana Viani, Rachel Volke, Shawna Watson, Allison Wilcox, Annemarie Wolfe, Amanda Xi, Cassie Xu

Back to Past Meetings Page