What is APWIMS?

APWIMS stands for the Association for Professional Women In Medical Sciences. Our mission is to support equitable practices and facilitate the professional development of all women in the school of medicine through information sharing, networking, and career development opportunities.

  • to provide support for professional women in the School of Medicine;
  • to facilitate communication among women faculty, graduate and medical students;
  • to increase awareness in the School of Medicine with regard to issues that significantly impact women;
  • to promote the recruitment and retention of women in the School of Medicine;
  • to promote equality for all people at all levels in the School of Medicine;
  • to work with the administration in the accomplishment of gender equity at this institution; and
  • to promote interaction between other health affairs schools on campus.

APWIMS meets on a bi-annual basis.

The Art of Mentoring


Mary Shen is a third year medical student. She’s been a leader of the Association of Women Surgeons and worked to build a bidirectional mentoring program where medical students offer guidance to pre-med students, but also receive mentoring from residents and faculty.

Susan Girdler, PhD, professor and associate chair for junior investigator development in the Department of Psychiatry, UNC School of Medicine, has helped build a mentoring network for female faculty members.

Both Shen and Girdler have been honored for their work, earning UNC’s University Award for the Advancement of Women in 2016 and 2017, respectively. The two award winners recently discussed their experiences and insights about mentorship. Their discussion appeared in the April 13, 2017 edition of Vital Signs. Read more.