Check out the August 2011 edition of AMWA Student NewsFlash!
AMWA Student NewsFlash
August 2011
Inside this issue...


Becoming a member of National AMWA is easy and comes with tons of benefits... check out some of the highlights featured in this edition of the AMWA Student NewsFlash!

Register now for the Women's Empowerment Symposium (WES), sponsored jointly by AMWA and AMSA, and get the early-bird discounted rate.  This is a truly remarkable experience to support women medical students in networking, planning for the future, and maximizing our potential.

Save the Date for AMWA's 97th Annual Meeting and national student conference on April 13-15, 2012 in Miami, Florida!  This year, the physician and student conferences will be jointly held at the Sofitel Miami.  Stay tuned for more details.

American Society of Plastic Surgeons invites AMWA members to attend their conference Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011 in Denver, CO. Register before Aug. 31 and attend for free. 

The Foundation for Women's Wellness (FWW), a small 501(c)3 nonprofit public charity, has two women's health fellowship awards to give this summer.  Applicants may be assisting with a women's health related medical research study or conducting work on their own.  Check here for more information.

Did you know that AMWA offers awards and scholarships to members like you? Now is the time to apply! Click here for award information and applications, and e-mail Kam Lam, our awards chair, with questions.

August is National Breast Feeding Awareness Month.  Join us in celebrating breastfeeding moms around the country this month!

The Body Positive, an organization based in Berkeley, CA, celebrated Be Body Positive Day on August 7th. We think it's never too late for women to work on our self-esteem and body images, so let's all take a moment and practice some self-love this month.

Please continue to send financial questions and concerns to Kam Lam ( so that she can forward them to our financial expert Stephen Dunbar to answer in upcoming editions of AMWA Student NewsFlash.

New look and content on the AMWA Student website! Check it out!  Learn exactly why AMWA continues to be relevant, get in touch with leadership, apply for awards and scholarships, and take advantage of AMWA opportunties for you or your branch!

Calling all branch presidents - we hope that you'll forward these AMWA Student NewsFlash newsletters to your local branch members monthly. Thanks for your help with spreading the AMWA love far and wide!

Letter from the Editor

Lauren Wolchok, National Secretary

The national and regional chairs have been busier than ever this month as we gear up for the 2011-2012 school year.  We are collaborating with the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) on this October's Women's Empowerment Symposium.  We are planning the national student conference, which will be fully integrated into the national physician AMWA conference this year in Miami, FA on April 13-15, 2012.  We are building new relationships with organizations like Kaplan and GL Advisor so that we can offer new discounts on their services to our members, as well as solidifying other member benefits and recruitment incentives.  And we are creating our annual budget, which will include more funds for needs-based scholarships and will continue to support scholarships for global health, attending the national conference, and grants for local and regional events.  Our goal is to make as easy as possible for you to take full advantage of all that AMWA has to offer... and if you need a refresher on the benefits of being an AMWA member, check out the article in this month's AMWA Student NewsFlash!

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Adopts Preventive Services for Women into the Affordable Care Act of 2010
Brittany Jackson, National AMWA Advocacy Chair

A message from Advocacy: On August 1st, 2011, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) made an historic advancement in women’s health with the release of new guidelines that will guarantee women certain preventive health services without out-of-pocket cost.  Following recommendations from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released July 19th(and not to mention a lightning-fast response of support from Planned Parenthood®), these services will be included in the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA), and will thus require all new private and Medicare insurance plans to include these services without co-payment, co-insurance, or deductible starting August 1, 2012.  Preventive services such as blood pressure checks, colonoscopies, mammograms, and childhood immunizations were similarly included under the ACA last summer.[1]
The IOM describes the focus on preventive medicine as the “centerpiece” of the ACA.  However, given that women have an overall greater lifetime need for healthcare services, the HHS assigned the IOM to review preventive services important to women’s health and develop recommendations that could fill the gender-specific gaps within the ACA.  The recommendations to the HHS released by the IOM on July 19th, 2011, were based on the review of health services, including “medications, procedures, devices, tests, education and counseling—shown to improve well-being, and/or decrease the likelihood or delay the onset of a targeted disease or condition.”[2]
What services will be covered starting August 1st, 2012?

  • Screening for gestational dia­betes in pregnant women between 24 and 28 weeks of gestation and at the first prenatal visit for pregnant women identified to be at high risk for diabetes.
  • The addition of high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA testing to conventional cytology testing in women with normal cytology results. Screening should begin at age 30 and should occur no more frequently than every 3 years.
  • Annual counseling on sexually transmitted infections for all sexually active women.
  • Counseling and screening for human immunodeficiency virus infection on an annual basis for sexually active women.
  • The full range of Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptive meth­ods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling for all women with reproductive capacity.
  • Comprehensive lactation sup­port and counseling and costs of renting breastfeeding equipment. A trained provider should provide counsel­ing services to all pregnant women and to those in the postpartum period to ensure the successful initiation and duration of breastfeeding.
  • Screening and counseling for interpersonal and domestic violence.
  • At least one well-woman pre­ventive care visit annually for adult women to obtain the recommended preventive services, including preconception and prenatal care.
What can we do right now?
The HHS will be accepting comments on their ruling until the end of September.  Of concern is an amendment to the new regulations that would allow certain religious employers that offer insurance to their employees a choice of whether or not to cover contraceptive services, which the HHS describes as being “modeled on the most common accommodation for churches available in the majority of the 28 states that already require insurance companies to cover contraception.”1
Planned Parenthood® has been quick to respond again, this time with a letter of thanks to the HHS that includes a message of support for coverage of contraceptive services regardless of employer.  To send a letter of thanks and support of uniform contraceptive coverage, please visit www.plannedparenthood.organd click the link to the HHS letter on the homepage!
Questions?  Comments?  Contact Advocacy at!
[1]“Affordable Care Act Ensures Women Receive Preventive Services at No Additional Cost,” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, August 1st, 2011.  Link.
[2]“Clinical Preventive Services for Women: Closing the Gaps,” Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, July 19th, 2011. Link.

Spotlight On... AMWA Membership Benefits

Our National Student President, Adrienne Clark, makes a strong argument for why women medical students should join AMWA, citing that "the journey for women in medicine and women's health advocacy has been a long one, but our march is not yet over."  Since 1915, AMWA has provided a network for women medical students, residents, and physicians to collaborate and promote our role in health care.  And while we are proud of the advances we have achieved professionally and in women's health, AMWA continues to be relevant as we advocate for equality in salary, research funding, and access to career specialties, as well as promoting research in women's health and educating physicians on providing the best care for our women patients.  As an AMWA member, you are helping to promote our mission... and you also have access to bunch of member perks that can benefit your career as a woman in medicine.  We are very pleased to share them with you!

  • Eligibility to apply for $1000 needs-based tuition scholarships, the $2000 Anne C. Carter Student Leadership Award, Anne C. Carter Global Health Fellowship awards, and travel grants to attend our national conference.
  • Opportunity to attend the Women's Empowerment Symposium (WES) for career and leadership development on Friday, Oct. 14 at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD.
  • Global health opportunities, including eligibility to apply for the Anne C. Carter Global Health Fellowship, automatic membership to the Medical Women's International Association (MWIA), and access to medical mission trips to clinics affiliated with the American Women's Hospital Service.
  • Access to member discounts on Kaplan courses and GL Advisor financial planning services (new this year!).
  • AMWA Bed & Breakfast Program that provides a home away from home for MS4s applying for out-of-town residency programs.
  • Free access to the Journal of Women's Health.
  • Opportunities to advocate on women's health issues and effect real change with the backing of a strong organization.
  • Leadership opportunities at the local, regional, and national levels.
  • Local and regional programming, including educational talks and symposia, community service projects, and social and networking events.
  • Opportunity to attend the annual AMWA National Conference on April 13-15, 2012 in Miami, FA, where members can hear from leading women physicians from around the country, hear about cutting-edge research in women's health, meet other students and physicians interested in women's health, and run for regional and national leadership positions.
  • Access and opportunity to publish or be featured in the monthly AMWA Student NewsFlash newsletter, which advertises AMWA events, scholarship opportunities, conferences, women's health news, exemplary local and regional programming, and more.  Email National Secretary Lauren Wolchok at to be included! 

Apply for the Women's Empowerment Symposium (WES) for career and leadership development

Lissa Yu and Nupur Agrawal, AMWA WES Coordinators
Interested in Women's Empowerment? Join us on Friday, October 14th, for the Women's Empowerment Symposium, a pre-conference event held in conjunction with American Medical Student Association (AMSA). A fun-filled day of speakers, workshops, and discussions about women as leaders in medicine and beyond, the Symposium will be held the day before AMSA's Empowering Future Physicians Conference at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. You must be an AMSA member to attend the full conference (events held through Sunday) but may attend the Symposium as a member of either National AMWA or National AMSA. TRAVEL GRANTS available for AMWA members!
Please click here for more info.
Or email Nupur Agrawal, AMWA WES Coordinator.

Women in Health Care More Ready for Interprofessional Collaboration, Research Shows

We thought you might be interested in this recent article showing that women medical and nursing students might be more willing and prepared to work with other health care professionals. The authors suggest that such interprofessional collaboration is key to providing high-quality patient care.

Wilhelmsson M, Ponzer S, Dahlgren LO, Timpka T, Faresjo T. Are female students in general and nursing students more ready for teamwork and interprofessional collaboration in healthcare? BMC Med Educ. 2011 Apr 21; 11: 15. PMID: 21510872. Click here to see the full article.

AMWA Accolades

We recognize and congratulate the amazing accomplishments of AMWA members and branches across the country, and we'd love to share yours!  Email AMWA Secretary Lauren Wolchok at to be included.

  • Amanda Wingle, a student at Albany Medical College,  has recently made a breakthrough in incorporating women's health into the medical school curriculum.  AMC administration expressed interest in the Violence Against Women Awareness Week lectures that AMC AMWA had put together.  Some tireless advocacy by Amanda Wingle has led to the "Sexual Assault Awareness & Treatment" lecture now being a required part of the second-year curriculum.  This is a huge stride forward for AMWA!  Encourage your local branch to follow suit, and look out for ways that you can help Amanda Wingle in future editions of AMWA Student NewsFlash as she continues her work.
  • Lauren Clough, National Student Treasurer and a student at Johns Hopkins Medical School, has been working hard to set next year's budget and is advocating to increase the number of needs-based scholarships we offer.
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