Meeting Recap: 2017 CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting

More than 1,100 ob-gyn educators and administrators from the United States and Canada gathered in sunny Orlando, Florida earlier this month for the annual joint meeting of the Council on Resident Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology (CREOG) and the Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics (APGO). The theme of the 2017 CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting, “Medical Education: Wizardry, Innovation and Magic,” delivered new insights, techniques and tips for enhancing medical training throughout the educational continuum and facilitating career advancement for academic physicians and administrators.

Program Co-Chairs Patrice M. Weiss, MD (Carilion Clinic, Virginia Tech) and Steven E. Swift, MD (Medical University of South Carolina), in concert with CREOG & APGO faculty and staff, organized a program spanning a wide spectrum of timely topics: burnout, wellness, enhancing the role of community-based physicians in teaching medical students and residents, simulation training, academic promotion, international opportunities, implementing Milestones in teaching and evaluation, diversity and cultural awareness, educating learners on sexual abuse, tools for learning in rural environments, dealing with dysfunctional behavior in residents, the ever-changing healthcare economic environment and its impact on medical education, and challenges in fellowship education.

Enchanting Keynotes
The meeting began with Sanjeev Arora, MD, Director, Project ECHO delivering his keynote address “ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) Project.” Doctor Arora introduced a new model for enhancing access to treatment for patients in rural and urban areas, thereby improving chronic and complex disease care in underserved regions. Attendees learned about the various technologies employed by Project ECHO to leverage scarce health care resources, ultimately enabling clinicians to gain competency and expertise in the delivery of specialized complex care to patients with chronic health conditions.

The Warren H. Pearse, MD Lecture, the second opening keynote of the meeting, focused on the new ACGME duty hour requirements, which take effect July 1. In his address, ACGME Senior Vice President John R. Potts III, MD spoke on the historical context in which duty hour requirements evolved in ob-gyn programs over the years, as well as the role new requirements will play in the fabric of resident and fellow learning, physician well-being and patient safety. Doctor Potts’ presentation provided participants with a holistic overview of this widely discussed topic and prepared educators and administrators for changes to the medical education and healthcare environments that will be prompted by the new ACGME requirements.

On the final day of the program, meeting attendees participated in a new hands-on educational workshop. The “Transition to Residency: Education and Simulation Workshop,” opened with a plenary presentation by Atul Grover, MD, PhD, Executive Vice President, Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), who articulated challenges and opportunities for programs, schools and students in the transition from undergraduate to graduate medical education, and identified tools to improve the transition to residency process for programs, schools and students. Together, participants brainstormed new ideas for strategically advising and assessing applicants to residency. Following Doctor Grover’s talk, workshop participants rotated through three hands-on breakout sessions: gynecology simulation, obstetrics simulation and an overview of APGO’s Step Up to Residency program. The workshop was very popular among meeting attendees, and participants enjoyed Doctor Grover’s presentation as well as the participatory breakout sessions.

Animating the Meeting
Throughout the program, key leaders, influencers and innovators in the field of women’s health education led panels, breakout sessions, discussion dens and shared their educational films in the annual CREOG & APGO Film Festival. While this meeting – the largest conference for women’s health educators in the country – is a gathering place for the most distinguished and respected ob-gyn academic physicians and administrators to exchange ideas and develop strategies to instruct the next generation of women’s physicians, the element of fun is never far from reach. Just as the topics of wellness and work-life balance occupy important positions in contemporary professionalism literature, organizers of the CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting are always thinking of unique and interesting recreational activities to balance the intensive learning sessions.

This year, attendees were treated to a talk by best-selling author Gary Chapman, PhD. Doctor Chapman’s The Five Love Languages series discusses how individuals respond to one primary “love language,” and understanding the their own language and that of others allows them to communicate better with the people in their lives. During the Medical Student Educators’ Luncheon, attendees were introduced to this concept and how they might use its principles to enhance the emotional climate in relationships with family, staff and patients.

Two evening events were held at the meeting: the APGO Annual Reunion Bash and the Joint CREOG & APGO Fundraiser. APGO’s Annual Reunion Bash allowed meeting attendees to catch up with old friends and network with new connections. With community and collaboration being important to our members and key elements of APGO’s Brand Promise, this event was a rousing success. CREOG and APGO also held their first joint fundraiser at this meeting. The theme “Rejuvenate, Invigorate, Celebrate,” encouraged guests to unwind, connect with friends and colleagues, and celebrate women’s health education. To foster wellness and counterbalance the information-packed meeting program, the event featured music, dancing, fitness and special cocktails with a healthy twist. Attendees also bid on several exciting vacation packages and items in the always popular silent auction.

APGO Action and Adventure
At its annual Business Meeting, APGO updated the membership on projects completed during the previous year. The organization recently completed a two-year project to update its website, The new site, which was launched in December 2016, features a sleek modern design, improved navigability, mobile responsiveness, a personalized membership portal and a stable and scalable infrastructure to keep up with the consistently growing traffic to the site. To acquaint members with new features and facilitate the creation of individual member portals, APGO created instructional videos which can be found on their YouTube page.

APGO also announced a new grant-funded resource available for free to both members and non-members. The project, “Religious Ethical and Cultural Impacts on the Delivery of Reproductive Healthcare: A Program for lnterProfessional Education (RECIPE),” was created by Western Michigan University Homer Stryker, MD, School of Medicine through an educational grant from the APGO Medical Education Endowment Fund. The online curriculum features 16 cases with videos and facilitator guides, and explores attitudes of healthcare providers and patients with a variety of backgrounds about topics such as contraception, decisions involving pregnancies, gender identity and abortion. Click here to access the new resource.

A second new grant-funded resource will be available soon on the APGO website. Companion videos to the APGO Effective Preceptor Series are currently in production, covering topics like learner-centered education, hidden curriculum, and effective operating room teaching. Click here to view samples of the videos.

MedEd Superheroes
Several APGO award recipients and program graduates were recognized at the CREOG & APGO Awards and Graduation Luncheon.

The APGO Lifetime Achievement Award honors APGO leaders who have made noteworthy contributions within the specialty of obstetrics and gynecology. This year, APGO honored Dee Fenner, MD, University of Michigan, for her excellence as a women’s health educator and leader. Doctor Fenner graciously donated her award to the APGO Surgical Scholars program. Click here for a list of past award recipients.

As one of the capstone programs of the organization, the APGO Academic Scholars and Leaders Program serves to improve education in obstetrics and gynecology by preparing ob-gyn physician faculty to possess the skills and knowledge necessary to be outstanding teachers and educational administrators. The 2016-2017 class of the program graduated at the 2017 CREOG & APGO Awards and Graduation Luncheon. Click here for a list of program graduates.

CREOG and APGO awarded prizes for the best oral abstract and poster presentations at the meeting. The 2017 winners are as follows:

Oral Abstract Presentation, First Place:
Brian Wagner, MD
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
“Resident Wellness Initiative to Reduce Burnout and Mitigate Stress”

Oral Abstract Presentation, Second Place:
Alexandra Friedman, MD
Brown University
“The Impact of a Postpartum Rounding Video Module on Medical Student Learning During the Obstetrics and Gynecology Core Clerkship”

Oral Abstract Presentation, Third Place:
Bunja Rungruang, MD
Medical College of Georgia Augusta University
“Teaching Vaginal Hysterectomy: Low Fidelity Trainer Provides Effective Simulation at Low Cost”

Oral Abstract Presentation, Best APGO Academic Scholars and Leaders Alumni Oral Abstract Presentation:
Laura Baecher-Lind MD 
Tufts University School of Medicine
“Is Night Float a Poison Apple to Shelf Exam Performance? Evaluating the Impact of Night Float During the Last Week of the Clerkship on Shelf Examination Score”

Oral Abstract Presentation, Student or Resident for Excellence in Educational Research
Pooja Mehta, MD, MSHP
Boston University Medical Center
“Evaluation of a Case-Based, Community-Engaged LGB-TGNC Health Training Module for Trainees in Obstetrics and Gynecology”

Poster Presentation, First Place:
Jill Edwardson, MD, MPH
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
“Evaluation of a Combined Neonatal and Obstetric Resuscitation Program in a Resource-Limited Setting”

Poster Presentation, Second Place:
Taylor Freret, MEd
Harvard Medical School
“Effectiveness of the Resident-as-Teacher DVD Training on Clinical Teaching”

Poster Presentation, Third Place:
Jonah D. Bardos, MD, MBE
Mount Sinai Medical Center
“Senior Obstetrician Supervision Improves Resident Labor and Delivery Rotation Experience”

Poster Presentation, Best APGO Academic Scholars and Leaders Alumni Poster Presentation:
Wanjiku Kabiru-Musindi, MD 
Ohio State University
“To Review Student Data Regarding Clerkship Experience with Change in Curriculum Design”

Also recognized at the CREOG & APGO Awards & Graduation Luncheon was the recipient of the 2017 CREOG & APGO Exxcellence Award, sponsored by the Foundation for Exxcellence in Women’s Health Care. This award recognizes an ob-gyn medical student, resident, fellow or faculty for the best use of one of the Foundation programs, books or courses. The 2017 award went to Christopher DeStephano, MD, MPH, Mayo Clinic, for the project titled “Establishing Extrapolation Evidence for the MyTIPreport Feedback Application Using a Contemporary Validation Approach.”

Clerkship School of Advanced Wizardry
Before the start of every CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting, APGO holds Part 301 of the APGO Clerkship Directors’ School, the third and most advanced session of the three-part program. Developed and directed by the APGO Undergraduate Medical Education Committee (UMEC), the Clerkship Directors’ School invites clerkship directors of all experience levels to prepare for the role or brush up on important skills. This year the advanced program, designed to address some of the most challenging aspects of the ob-gyn clerkship, tackled such topics as managing a grading system, turning clerkship innovation into a scholarly project, and engaging all clerkship learners. Program participants who attend all three parts of the school receive a certificate of completion. (Parts 101 and 201 are offered at the APGO Martin L. Stone, MD, Faculty Development Seminar every January.)

Bringing Home the Magic
Throughout the meeting, the passion shared by these women’s health educators was electric. Not only was their enthusiasm palpable in person as they interacted with presenters and fully immersed themselves in hands-on activities, but it was also evident in the digital world. Participants shared session takeaways, speaker quotes and photos of notable slides on APGO’s social media platforms, giving the meeting a new forum for discussion and collaboration, as well as an elevated level of visibility within the health care and medical education communities.

In addition to enjoying numerous educational and networking opportunities on site, for participants, the real excitement comes after the meeting when they return to their home institutions to implement what they have learned. Several attendees shared their plans with us on Twitter:





Roll Credits
APGO would like to thank the 2017 meeting faculty for their creative and though-provoking presentations, and for inspiring meeting attendees to go out and further APGO’s mission of improving women’s health through education. Thank you also to the meeting co-chairs, Patrice M. Weiss, MD, Steven E. Swift, MD, and the rest of the CREOG & APGO Program Committee, for planning such a memorable and successful meeting. And, last but certainly not least, we would like to thank our meeting attendees and the entire APGO membership for their continued support and dedication to our field.

The Next Adventure
The 2018 CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting will take place February 28-March 3, 2018 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. CREOG and APGO will announce the call for abstracts in the coming months. Please follow @APGOnews on Twitter for the latest information about next year’s meeting.

For more information about the CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting, APGO Clerkship Directors’ School and other programs and awards, please visit