Meeting Recap: 2018 CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting

The Council on Resident Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology (CREOG) and the Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics (APGO) welcomed more than 1,100 obstetrics and gynecology educators and administrators February 28 – March 3 in National Harbor, Maryland for the 2018 CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting. This year, the theme “Anchors Away: Navigating Your Course in Medical Education,” offered attendees fresh insights for taking the helm of clerkship and residency programs, tips for navigating through common medical education challenges, and guidance for making headway in their careers.

Together with CREOG and APGO faculty and staff, Program Co-Chairs Maria Manriquez, MD (University of Arizona College of Medicine) and Hope Ricciotti, MD (Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School) planned an engaging program encompassing many current topics in medical education, including: diversity and cultural awareness, opioid use disorder and management, tools for teaching in rural environments, burnout, wellness, simulation, academic promotion, international educational and training opportunities, Milestones, EPAs, dysfunctional student behavior, standardized evaluation systems, health care systems economics and fellowship education. By sharing cutting-edge research and tried-and-true techniques, meeting faculty equipped participants with the tools needed to navigate contemporary medical education hot topics.

We’re Underway!
Anna Lembke, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, delivered the opening plenary session, “Drug Dealer, MD: The Opioid Epidemic as a Symptom of a Faltering Health Care System.” Doctor Lembke discussed the opioid epidemic as a product of overprescribing, as well as the invisible forces driving overprescribing. Keynote participants learned about what can be done at the prescriber and systems levels to address the problem.

Later in the meeting, Jed Gonzalo, MD, MSc, Associate Professor of Medicine and Public Health Sciences and Associate Dean for Health Systems Education, Penn State College of Medicine, presented “Health Systems Science Education: At the Nexus of Academic Health System Missions.” Doctor Gonzalo discussed the increasing need for clinical learning environments to achieve competency-based education, specifically regarding Health Systems Science competencies. He also reviewed strategies for educating learners about Health Systems Science principles during clinical clerkships and for allowing students to add value to care delivery.

On the final day of the meeting, ACOG President Haywood Brown, MD, presented “Redefining the Postpartum Visit: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Improving Women’s Health.” Doctor Brown explored the concept of a new postpartum visit model, transforming it from a compulsory visit to the annual well preventative health visit in undergraduate and graduate medical education. He offered strategies for integrating compliance with regulations of preventative health and insurer compensation, and for assembling a team of experts in the clinical education setting for common ongoing medical needs (e.g. obesity, hypertension, diabetes, etc.).

One of the most popular and inspiring sessions among attendees was the Medical Student Educators’ Luncheon, at which Oluwaferanmi Okanlami, MD, MS, presented “Disabusing Disability: Striving for Diversity, Health Equity, and Inclusion in Medicine.” In this session, which was moderated by APGO Undergraduate Medical Education Committee Chair B. Star Hampton, MD, Doctor Okanlami sought to expand participants’ definition of what “diversity” can mean in medicine and get them to acknowledge their own implicit stereotypes when it comes to diversity and disability. Sharing some of the current literature related to providers with disabilities, he showed how this population may, in fact, benefit the entire health system. Finally, Doctor Okanlami shared examples of how many health systems are focusing on increasing diversity, health equity and inclusion in medicine, and how individuals are working to prove that disability does not necessarily mean inability within their departments and institutions.

Changing Tack
With physician and educator wellness being an important theme in contemporary research, institutional initiatives and, of course, many of this year’s sessions, meeting organizers balanced the educational program packed with plenary sessions, breakouts, discussion dens, abstract presentations, posters and film festivals, with recreational activities meant to encourage relaxation and connection among fellow attendees. The Academic Scholars and Leaders and Surgical Education Scholars Alumni Bash, a celebration marking the 20th year of the APGO Academic Scholars and Leaders Program, was held at Bobby McKey’s Dueling Piano Bar in National Harbor, where partygoers enjoyed live music, dancing and networking opportunities. Proceeds from the event benefited the APGO Academic Scholars and Leaders (ASL) Frank T. Stritter, PhD, Endowed Faculty Fund, which was named to honor Doctor Stritter’s contributions during his 18 years as ASL director and established to help maintain the scholastic excellence of the program for years to come.

Maiden Voyages
There were several new initiatives at the 2018 CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting. This year, Show & Tech Sessions – informal and interactive gatherings held during meeting breaks in the exhibit hall – offered attendees the opportunity to share their original and innovative education apps with colleagues. Also on the topic of apps, the first-ever CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting app was introduced at the 2018 meeting, allowing participants to navigate the program right from their smartphones or tablets. Finally, a new session gave medical students and residents the chance to network with CREOG & APGO leaders. The Medical Student and Resident APGO/CREOG Leadership Meet & Greet was a great way for future ob-gyns to explore academic medicine as a career and make lasting connections with leaders in the field.

Captains of the Med Ed Ship
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 Robert Rebar, MD, Western Michigan University-Homer Stryker School of Medicine, for his excellence as a women’s health educator and leader. Click here for a list of past award recipients.

The second class of APGO Surgical Education Scholars also graduated at the 2018 CREOG & APGO Awards and Graduation Luncheon. The 18-month program teaches ob-gyn faculty how to develop and implement surgical education curricula at their home institutions. Click here for a list of program graduates.

Each year, CREOG and APGO awards prizes for the best oral abstract and poster presentations at the meeting. The 2018 winners are as follows:

Poster Presentation, First Place
Feliz Martir, Medical Student, Robert Larner College of Medicine
“How Clerkship Students Learn Procedural Skills”

Poster Presentation, Second Place
Anjali Martinez, MD, The George Washington University
“Retention of Knowledge Learned During a Resident Didactic Session About Billing”

Poster Presentation, Third Place Overall, Best APGO Academic Scholars and Leaders Alumni Poster Presentation:
Celeste Royce, MD, Harvard Medical School, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center 
“Experiences in DOCS Clinic: Direct Observation of Clinical Skills”

Poster Presentation, Student or Resident Award for Excellence in Educational Research
Alexandra Melnyk, MD, MEd, Resident, Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC
“Impact of Operating Room Etiquette Video on Medical Student Comfort in the Gynecologic OR”

Oral Abstract Presentation, First Place
Jema Turk, MPA, MA, PhD, Research and Evaluation Manager, Ryan Residency Training Program, UCSF
“Abortion Practice After Routine Training: A Prospective Cohort Study”

Oral Abstract Presentation, Second Place
Bethany Skinner, MD, University of Michigan Medical School
“The Current State of Residency Preparatory Courses in Obstetrics and Gynecology”

Oral Abstract Presentation, Third Place
Stephanie Zuo, MD, Resident, Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center
“Creating a Win-Win: Medical Students as Assets in the Ambulatory Clinic”

Oral Abstract Presentation, Best APGO Academic Scholars and Leaders Program Alumni Oral Abstract Presentation
Abigail Winkel, MD, New York University
“Thriving in Scrubs: Understanding Ob-Gyn Resident Resilience”

Also recognized at the CREOG & APGO Awards & Graduation Luncheon was the recipient of the 2018 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 member for the best use of a Foundation program, book or course. The 2018 award went to Kevin Schuler, MD, Trihealth Bethesda Hospital, for the project titled “Describing Surgical Skill Learning Curves in Ob-Gyn Residency: A Process Using myTIPreport.”

Finally, a new award was given this year: the APGO Award for Excellence in Student Educational Techniques surrounding the Diagnosis and Management of Endometriosis and Uterine Fibroids. The award, which is sponsored by AbbVie, was given to Miller Singleton, Medical Student, Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, for the project, “Validation of a Simulation Model for Laparoscopic Myomectomy Developed with 3D-Printed Molds.”

APGO Advanced Clerkship Directors’ School: Your Compass for Navigating Undergraduate Medical Education
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 leadership 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 professional development, grading systems, developing teachers, and the learning environment. 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.)

Homeward Bound
It is truly energizing to witness the energy among attendees at the meeting – their passion for women’s health education is contagious. And it doesn’t end here, because the real influence and lasting effects of the meeting come once the program has ended and participants return home to their institutions. This is when the mission of APGO is carried out across the country by its esteemed and talented membership.

Every year, we ask attendees to share their meeting takeaways or favorite thing about the CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting experience. It’s always inspiring to see how a session – whether it’s an official meeting session or an impromptu gathering of colleagues – impacted an attendee, or that a piece of shared wisdom is just the thing to take a program to the next level. Here are some of the responses shared on Twitter:

A Boatload of Thanks
APGO would like to thank the 2018 meeting faculty for sharing their research and wisdom with attendees through creative and engaging presentations, and for inspiring meeting attendees to further APGO’s mission of improving women’s health through education. Thank you to the meeting co-chairs, Maria Manriquez, MD, and Hope Ricciotti, MD, and the rest of the CREOG & APGO Program Committee, for planning a memorable and impactful meeting. Thank you to the CREOG and APGO staff for working around the clock – in the months leading up to the meeting and onsite – to ensure the success of the 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 Journey
The 2019 CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting will take place February 27 – March 2, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans in New Orleans, Louisiana. Please follow @APGOnews on Twitter for the latest information about next year’s meeting.

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