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The Annual Symposium is designed to bring together MD-PhD students from multiple institutions to receive training on career development skills, share experiences, and build a diverse professional peer network.  While the first two Symposiums included attendees from seven different universities, the third included students from 12 institutions, and we would like to see this Symposium grow each year to reach a larger population of MD-PhD trainees  from all across the nation. Importantly, like our group, these symposiums are open to advocates of all genders interested in career development, and working towards equality.

Association of Advocates for Women in Science and Medicine (AAWSM) – Tulane – 2019

The keynote was “Women, Leadership, and Academic Medicine” by Marie Kronsel-Wood, MD/MSPH. She structured her advice into 7 lessons.
1. Love your work. 25% of success is due to “book smarts.” The rest is due to your belief that what you do makes a difference and viewing stress as a challenge rather than a threat.
2. Say yes to new projects.
3. Build credibility by publishing and diligent follow-up/follow-through.
4. Model the best.
5. Be yourself. Know your own strengths and weaknesses.
6. Take risks, make mistakes, and learn from them.
7. Be adaptable.

Other pearls:
Conference receptions can be more useful than the conference itself. You can practice networking for these by going to bars or meet-ups by yourself, book clubs, etc. Anything to get experience meeting people quickly.

Interviews are like tennis, and you should serve the ball back. In a residency interview, you might be asked why you like this particular specialty. The answer could be, “Here’s why I love this specialty… Why did the residents here choose this specialty?” Get your interviewer talking as well because a large part of the interview should be recruitment.

In negotiating, always make sure you look up the published median salary.

How to determine if a job is not working for you: Am I still learning from this? Is the work out of proportion to fulfillment (burnout)? Do you have purpose and connection with the people you work with? Can you go to your boss/mentors?

Symposium Website

Symposium Agenda


Fourth Annual Symposium for Advocates of Women Physician-Scientists – UVA – 2017

120 participants from 9 institutions (UVA, Duke, UNC, VCU, MUSC, Emory, Columbia, University of Alabama, and Stony Brook)

Career development workshops addressed: Physician-Scientists Clinic and Running a Lab, Navigating a Job Search, Interprofessional Collaboration in a Healthcare and Academic Environment, and Work-Life Balance.

Keynote address was given by Dr. Vivian Pinn.

Symposium Website


Third Annual Symposium for Advocates of Women Physician-Scientists – MUSC – May 14, 2016

Attended by 52 students from 12 institutions (MUSC, UNC, UVA, Emory, UAB, Duke, Penn State, U of Rochester, Mt. Sinai Icahn School of Medicine, College of Charleston, UC Irvine, NIH)

Career development workshops addressed: Balancing Research & Clinical Responsibilities, Resolving our Differences, What to know about Leading Physician-Scientists, and the new Biographical Sketch format

Keynote address given by Dr. Anna Han entitled “The Science of Diversity and the Impact of Unconscious Bias” perfectly highlighted why AMPWIS and similar groups need to exist

Symposium Information Packet

Made possible through support from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund


Second Annual Southeast Symposium for MD-PhD Women in Science – Duke – May 16, 2015

Attended by 27 students from 6 institutions (UNC, Duke, MUSC, UVA, VCU, Johns Hopkins)

Career development workshops addressed: Building High Valued Relationships, Nailing Your Elevator Pitch, & Women in Leadership

Keynote address given by Dr. Sallie Permar entitled “A Formula for a Successful Career as a Physician-Scientist”

Symposium Flyer

  1. Made possible through a Kenan-Biddle Partnership


First Annual Southeast Symposium for MD-PhD Women in Science – UNC – May 3, 2014

Attended by 32 students from 6 institutions (UNC, Duke, Wake Forest, MUSC, UVA, VCU)

Career development workshops addressed: Work-Life Harmony, Successful Negotiating, & Residency Options for MD-PhD Students

Keynote address given by Dr. Etta Pisano entitled “Work-Life Satisfaction as a Women Physician-Scientist”

Symposium Flyer

Made possible through support from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund