association of women student MD-PhDs

As an organization that supports women as an underrepresented group of physician-scientists, we recognize that it is our responsibility to engage in intersectional programming that promotes both racial and gender equality. You can find AWSM’s initiatives for diversity, inclusion, and intersectionality here

Nationally, women are underrepresented among physician-scientists, MD-PhD students and MD-PhD applicants. Our program is committed to organizing and promoting events and resources that support women MD-PhD students around issues that are important to women and/or may affect women differently than men. We also help women students and applicants connect with female role models among physician-scientist faculty at Penn. In addition, the program recognizes that gender disparities affect individuals of any gender identity, and that all people can be invested in working to address gender inequality. We are actively working on our diversity, inclusion, and intersectionality initiatives (see above) to be more inclusive of various intersections of identity that one may experience, such as the interplay between gender and race, sexuality, socioeconomic status, etc. As always, we welcome ALL students to our events, regardless of gender, sexuality, race.


A few examples of topics that have been covered at past events include:

  • Gender differences related to career building skills, such as communication styles, negotiating skills, presentation skills
  • Challenges of training and career advancement
  • Balancing family/personal life with career
  • Overview of the state of women in academic medicine and discussion of the underrepresentation of women
  • Coping with and confronting sexism
  • Importance of mentorship and how to find it

student board

MSTP students are invited to attend our planning meetings, which are led by student board members (elected annually). If you’re interested in learning more about AWSM please contact one of us:

AWSM Board 2023-2024:
New board members: Angela, Ankita, Eren, Leonie, Jo, Vainavi
Continuing board members: Kaitlyn, Margo, Sweta


Dr. Maria Basil
Faculty Advisor to AWSM

Dr. Elizabeth Bhoj
Faculty Advisor to AWSM and MSTP Steering Member

Dr. Audrey Odom John
Faculty Advisor to AWSM and MSTP Steering Member


For more details, check out the AWSM Events or go to our facebook.

If you are interested in taking a look at other helpful resources, check out the AWSM Resources page.

association of women student md-phds