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Development of a Women.s Health Fellowship Curriculum Based in an OB-GYN Department

Carrie Bell, MD
Margaret Punch, Timothy Johnson

Background: The University of Michigan received recognition as a National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health in 1997. A comprehensive program of women-centered services and resources have been developed and maintained. With the goal of excellent clinical training in Women’s Health (WH), coupled with an academic focus, a fellowship in WH was created. Physicians trained in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics or Psychiatry were considered eligible applicants.

Objective: Develop an interdisciplinary, flexible, women-centered curriculum for physicians
committed to a career in Women’s Health.

Methods: As the WH Program forms a cornerstone in the department of OB-GYN, the responsibility for the fellowship was assumed by the department of OB-GYN. A Fellowship advisory committee was formed; including members from ob-gyn, family medicine, internal medicine, and psychiatry. Over the last five years, fellows trained in the program have been added to the committee. The advisory committee steers the fellowship, accesses resources throughout the university, and choses the fellows. University faculty members were identified with a strong commitment to women’s health as well as willingness to train fellows. These persons participate in the clinical and research electives for fellows as teachers and mentors. Mandatory electives include clinics focusing on hysterectomy alternatives, pediatric and adolescent gynecology, pelvic pain, vulvar conditions, breast, urogynecology and reproductive endocrinology and infertility. The clinical, interdisciplinary panel of electives include the following: Women’s Health, Obstetrics (high risk pregnancy and repair for 3rd/ 4th degree lacerations), Gynecology (outpatient procedures and medical gynecology), Endocrinology and Metabolism, Eating Disorders, Women’s Cardiology, Gastroenterology, Pulmonary and Mental Health, Sexual Health, Geriatrics, Complementary/Alternative medicine and WH research. Fellows may opt out of obstetrics. The IM electives may be substituted based on areas of interest or required additional training. Fellows have regular meetings with the fellowship director for mentoring, goal setting, research development and support and feedback on clinical experiences. Fellows have access to the research support in the department of OB-GYN and FM. Additional years of support may be considered for an MPH, a Masters’ of Science (Clinical Design and Statistical Analysis) or faculty development course in medical education. A formal evaluation process is being developed.

Result: Five fellows have been trained to date using this broad-based curriculum. Fellows craft an individual training program with personalized goals, taking advantage of the extensive resources available. Location in OB-GYN provides access to training in outpatient procedures and high risk obstetrics not found as readily in other departments.

Conclusion: The women health fellowship based in OB-GYN offers unique clinical experiences and advances women’s health care. . A fellowship advisory committee is an invaluable resource for a multidisciplinary approach to women focused graduate education.

Topics: CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting, 2012, Resident, Faculty, Osteopathic Faculty, Residency Director, Systems-Based Practice & Improvement, GME, Quality & Safety, Global Health, Public Health, Advocacy, Contraception or Family Planning, Pediatric & Adolescent Gynecology, Infectious Disease, General Ob-Gyn, Sexuality,

General Information

Date Presented
2012 CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting
Poster Abstract

Ambulatory Education, Global Health, Research Methods, Healthcare Workforce, Career Choice, Community Health, Interdisciplinary, Instructional Materials/Methods, Teaching Skills, Leadership & Organizational Development, Curriculum Development/Evaluation, Mentoring, Underserved Communities, Faculty Development

Intended Audience
Resident, Faculty, Residency Director, Osteopathic Faculty

Competencies Addressed
Systems-Based Practice & Improvement

Educational Continuum

Educational Focus
Quality & Safety, Public Health, Advocacy, Global Health

Clinical Focus
Contraception of Family Planning, Infection Disease, General Ob-Gyn, Sexuality, Pediatric & Adolescent Gynecology

Resident,Faculty,Osteopathic Faculty,Residency Director,
Systems-Based Practice & Improvement,
Quality & Safety,Global Health,Public Health,Advocacy,
Clinical Focus
Contraception or Family Planning,Pediatric & Adolescent Gynecology,Infectious Disease,General Ob-Gyn,Sexuality,

Author Information

Primary Author:
Carrie Bell, MD
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Margaret Punch
Timothy Johnson


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