Miller School Students Stand Out at American Medical Women’s Association National Conference

Students and faculty members from the Miller School of Medicine joined their peers at the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) National Conference held in Chicago April 23-26. The centennial meeting gathered physicians, leaders and health care professionals from around the world in the city where the AMWA was founded nearly 100 years ago.

Among the highlights from this year’s meeting, third-year Miller School students presented three of the 107 poster presentations at the conference. Priyanka Debnath presented “Pain, discomfort, and embarrassment during high-resolution anoscopy among women: a potential barrier to care?” Anam Khaja presented a poster on “Cervical Cancer Screening in Perinatally Infected HIV+ Adolescents and Young Women,” and Johanna Kreafle presented “Implementation of a Sustainable Patient Education Program in a Student-Run Free Clinic,” which won 2nd Place in the Original Research Poster Competition.

Komal Paladugu and Kreafle were also recognized at the Awards Luncheon with a Service Award for Paladugu’s work with the PATH (Physicians Against the Trafficking of Humans) Committee and for Kreafle’s work as the Student Co-Chair of the National Fundraising Committee this year. Marie Denise Gervais, M.D., assistant professor of family medicine and community health, and Lilian M. Abbo, M.D., associate professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases, and President of the Miller School’s chapter of Women in Academic Medicine, attended with eight Miller School students.

Some of the highlights of the conference included well-known speakers, including Nancy Snyderman, M.D., NBC News Chief Medical Editor; Vivek H. Murthy, M.D., M.B.A., Surgeon General; Mae C. Jemison, M.D., the first woman of color in space; and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Nicholas Kristof.

Kreafle said, “The opportunity to hear such incredible leaders and role models in medicine speak, as well as networking with physician and medical student leaders from across the country, made the conference extremely valuable.”

“We have a very active AMWA chapter at UM and our AMWA members will continue to have a strong presence both locally and nationally,” said Hilit F. Mechaber, M.D., Associate Dean for Student Services, and the Miller School AMWA Chapter Advisor.

In fact, the National President of the AMWA, Farzanna Haffizulla, M.D., is a Miller School alumna.

The AMWA is the oldest multispecialty organization dedicated to advancing women in medicine and improving women’s health by working at the local, national and international level. Founded by Bertha Van Hoosen, M.D., in 1915, it was organized when women physicians were an under-represented minority.

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