November 30, 2016

UAB AMWA chapter wraps up 2016 with networking event

Written by
AMWAFaculty, students and trainees gathered at the AMWA Networking event, held at the Wine Loft on Nov. 29. The UAB chapter of the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) concluded a year filled with seminars, workshops and lectures with a networking event on November 29. Open to faculty, trainees, and students alike, the event gave women in the School of Medicine an opportunity to connect with one another and form new professional relationships.

“This event is, in many ways, what being a part of AMWA is about,” said chapter president Lauren Walter, M.D., assistant professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine. “AMWA is designed to engage women in all parts of their professional journey, and to provide them with the tools and support they need in order to realize their full potential. Networking to form connections and mentoring relationships is an integral part of that.”

The event took place at The Wine Loft, where attendees enjoyed refreshments before being assigned tables with other attendees. Each group would converse and get to know one another before the groups were re-shuffled and participants moved on to meet other people – much like a speed-dating set-up, with the formulation of professional connections as the goal. Faculty interacted with trainees and students, as well as each other; women interacted both with peers and colleagues and with potential mentors and mentees.

AMWA is an organization which functions at the local, national, and international level to advance women in medicine and improve women’s health. The UAB Chapter of AMWA was re-launched in November 2015, and engaged in comprehensive programming throughout 2016. Primarily through a series of lunch meetings and seminars, UAB AMWA addressed crucial topics such as negotiation strategy, promotion and tenure, professional development, burnout and mentoring.

“AMWA is an organization where you can find solidarity and sound advice,” said Paula Warren, M.D., assistant professor in the Department of Neurology. “It also provides practical guidance in advancing your career. The guest speakers we’ve had have been particularly helpful. On a practical, day-to-day level, we’ve gotten guidance on how to navigate difficulties and achieve our goals.”

AMWA has a busy year planned for 2017. The monthly meetings, lectures, and panel discussions will be accented with additional events, all with the goal of providing meaningful career support to women within the UAB School of Medicine.

“I think that since AMWA held its first 'official' meeting, we've made great strides in connecting professional women in medicine and science—and supporters of women and medicine in science— across the medical campus,” Walter said. “Monthly meetings and other events have focused on topics important to all women in medicine, as well as networking, like the networking mixer.  UABSOM AMWA has provided a unique, local venue for interdepartmental and intergenerational sharing, collaborating, and coordinating on important issues for the benefit of everyone, not just women.”

Both a faculty and student chapter of AWMA are in operation. Membership is open to all faculty, trainees and students within the School of Medicine. For more information on how to become involved, contact Dr. Lauren Walter at