With the Stern-Gattiker Prize, launched in 2018, the SAMS is making female role models more visible, so as to motivate young women to pursue an academic career. The prize, which carries an award of CHF 15,000, is named after two women with distinguished medical careers: Lina Stern (1878 – 1968), a Russian emigrant who was in 1918 the first woman to hold a professorship at the Faculty of Medicine in Geneva, and Ruth Gattiker (1923 – 2021), who in the 1970s was among the first female professors appointed at the Faculty of Medicine in Zurich.
In 2022, 60% of human medicine graduates in Switzerland and 58% of those who completed successfully their postgraduate education were women. However, this proportion changes over the course of a career. As one moves up the hierarchy of medical schools and hospitals, the number of women in leadership positions decreases drastically. To ensure that sufficient medical scientists are available over the medium and longer term, more women will need to pursue a career in academic medicine.
An Oxford University study explored the question of why, when entry to medical schools is evenly split between men and women, those working in university medical departments are predominantly men. One of the main factors cited was a lack of role models for women. This provides the rationale for the Stern-Gattiker Prize, which is to be awarded every two years to a female medical scientist who:
- has obtained her postdoctoral qualification within the past ten years,
- holds a permanent position as a senior hospital physician, and
- is suitable, for reasons to be explained in each case, to act as a role model.
The proximity to young doctors and the commitment to gender equality are a plus.
Last prize winners (2022)
Next deadline for submissions: 21 March 2024
Nominations may be submitted either by individuals (in particular, female junior and senior physicians), by several people or by institutions. Institutional nominations must be signed by the management. Self-nomination is not possible. Members of the SAMS Senate are not eligible.
Information on the documents required can be found in the online nomination form. Please do not forget to join your cover letter and the CV of the candidate.
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