Meet the Women of the American Medical Women's Association

The medical field is one that has been primarily dominated by males for years. Whether it is due to fear of sexism in the workplace or lack of female role models, women are heavily underrepresented in medicine. To combat this issue, clubs and organizations have come to exist to provide that support system to encourage more young women to explore their interest in pre-health fields, one of which is the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA). I had the pleasure of speaking with some of the executive board members of AMWA about what makes this club so special and why you should join if you are a woman seeking a career in medicine.

Her Campus (HC): What is AMWA?

Joanne Zhao (JZ): The American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) is an organization that promotes professional development in the medical field and serves as a voice for women’s health issues.

HC: What is your position in AMWA?

JZ: I am the President of the FSU Undergraduate Chapter of AMWA.

Sydney Svendsen (SS): I am the Secretary for AMWA.

Jade Davila (JD): I am the Social Chair for AMWA

HC: What made you join AMWA, and what does it mean to you?

JD: I joined AMWA while I was looking to get involved at FSU. I wanted to find a place where I could meet others who would be pursuing similar goals as me. AMWA has come to mean a lot to me since I first joined because I’ve found a diverse community of genuinely friendly and supportive women.

JZ: I joined AMWA because it provided such a supportive environment for female students going into pre-health fields. Joining AMWA has allowed me to meet and make connections with many individuals who share the same interests.

HC: Why do you think clubs like AMWA are essential to have?

JZ: The path to any health professions field can be extremely challenging, which is why it is so important to have groups like AMWA so that students can build each other up and learn from one another.

SS: AMWA is an important club to have because women in medicine tend to be a minority. STEM and Medical fields have tended to be dominated by men, so women need to have a place where they feel supported and they need to know that they have a place in this field.

medical mask on ground Tatiana Rodriguez

HC: In your opinion, who was the most important/impactful speaker, AMWA has hosted?

SS: The most impactful speaker to me was Dr. Erin Carlquist. She stressed to us that being a woman in medicine is very different, but not something bad. She helped teach me things that people don't generally tell you about being a female in medicine.

JD: The most impactful speaker to me was Dr. Erin Boyd, an emergency medicine physician. She was the most impactful speaker because she emphasized that things didn’t always go how she planned and all the alternatives in the path to becoming a doctor.

HC: How has AMWA helped promote women to join the medical field?

JZ: AMWA emphasizes the importance of diversity in medicine and provides a supportive environment for women entering the medical field. With guest speakers from various medical fields, service events throughout Tallahassee and social events, AMWA members have gained so much knowledge and resources.

JD: I feel like the main thing AMWA does to help promote women into the medical field is to present women who have made it, who went through all the challenges we have and still made it through.

HC: In your opinion, what was the most important/impactful event AMWA has hosted?

JZ: I would say that all of our service events have been very impactful. From serving brunch at the Kearney Center to making care packages for the clients at Big Bend Cares, AMWA strives to make a difference in the greater community.

HC: What are some challenges you have faced being a woman pursuing a career in medicine, and how has AMWA helped in that?

JD: Pursuing a career in medicine already seems like a daunting notion, but being a woman, especially a woman of color, has been a challenge, specifically due to lack of representation. One of the things I love the most about AMWA is our club’s diversity and how supportive we are of each other.

AMWA 2 Photo by Joanna Zhao

SS: Thinking about medical school is very stressful, especially when I am interested in starting a family in the future. This club has taught me that it is okay to give myself a break and that time to myself is not a crime.

HC: Why should more women join AMWA?

JZ: When you join AMWA, you gain an amazing support system. AMWA is an incredible organization that helps to build you both as a person and as a professional. I’m extremely thankful that I made the decision to join my freshman year.

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