Who is a woman physician?

December 17, 2010

The American Medical Women's Association is the oldest multispecialty organization for women in medicine.

The AMWA is the oldest multispecialty organization for women in medicine. Bertha Van Hoosen, MD, a prominent Chicago surgeon, founded the AMWA (then known as the Medical Women's National Association [MWNA]) on November 18, 1915, to bring "medical women into communication with each other for their mutual advantage and to encourage social and harmonious relations within and without the profession."2 Van Hoosen was chosen to be the first president, and Eliza Mosher, MD, honorary president.

Early on, through the work of the AWH, the AMWA established strong international ties, and in 1919, Lovejoy founded the Medical Women's International Association (MWIA) to promote the fellowship of women physicians from all over the world. An international congress was held every 2 to 3 years; in August, the 28th congress was held in Muenster, Germany. Today, MWIA members represent women physicians from 90 countries on 5 continents.4