Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery Fellowship

The Michigan Medicine Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology fellowship in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery provides fellows with the necessary knowledge, skills, and experience vital to the field.

Program Overview

Our program is structured to provide 12 months of research experience and 24 months of clinical training. During this time our fellows engage in high complexity surgery in a single, coordinated site with robust surgical volume. Each fellow performs surgery on 150 to 200 patients per year, with 40% of our operations being recurrent disease so that fellows become comfortable with complex surgery. Fellows also receive diverse training in surgery including robotic, laparoscopic, open surgery, with an emphasis on vaginal methods. To support surgical training, fellows can engage in our advanced simulation center, equipped with multiple training consoles for straight-stick laparoscopy, as well as the entire DaVince SI training system (including docking console, OR table, and mannequin patient) to enhance laparoscopic skills.

Mentorship is at the heart of our program and fellows work alongside distinguished faculty members with outstanding clinical and academic experience who are passionate about teaching fellows in the operating room, clinic, and in research. In addition, we foster a close, collegial environment and collaborate with the Urology program to provide cross-disciplinary training. 

Our goal is to help fellows identify their paths as future leaders in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery and to provide them with resources for their individual success.

Core Program Components

Clinical Training

  • Clinical and Surgical Experience: Fellows are trained in a wide variety of clinical settings and specialties and are able to build a diverse set of skills relevant to the field. Our surgical training program includes a large volume of high complexity cases with substantial educational benefits. Our national reputation in gynecologic surgery results in the referral of patients with complex problems that provide ideal learning opportunities. You will rarely see anything after fellowship that you have not seen during training.
     
    Fellows are not required to cover obstetrical call or non-FPMRS clinics. The fellows take call from home on a rotating basis for service patients and are available to help with calls from other services, such as obstetrics, if a bladder injury or difficult perineal laceration could benefit from sub-specialty assistance. In addition, fellows are involved in teaching obstetric care. View the Rotation Schedule.
  • Urology Partnership: Michigan Medicine has benefited from a great collaboration between Urology and Gynecology (first program to be jointly approved for both Gynecology and Urology) and is often considered the exemplar of cooperation. The Neurourology and Pelvic Reconstruction (NPR) fellowship in Urology accepts one urologist per year and there is extensive interaction between the programs to maximize education for both specialties. Our philosophy is not to train everyone to do everything, but to train sub-specialists in each program who are able to handle the most challenging problems that are likely to be referred to them. By spending time on the NPR service, each fellow gets firsthand experience with operations and diagnostic testing that they may not choose to offer, but will need to know about to collaborate in the future. In addition, specialized knowledge such as management of spinal cord injured patients is maximized.
  • The Michigan Bowel Control Program: This is a multidisciplinary program with gynecologists, gastroenterologists, colorectal surgeons, physical therapists, and specialized nurses working together that provides a great opportunity for fellows to gain experience in the management of the posterior compartment problems and comprehensive knowledge of the inter-relationship of GI function and gynecologic disease. Experience in this clinic provides a deeper understanding of the clinical aspects of bowel problems. Patients from this clinic frequently undergo concomitant surgical treatments by faculty from Colorectal Surgery and FPMRS, providing the fellows with the opportunity to participate in colorectal procedures. Learn more about the Michigan Bowel Control Program.
  • Michigan Healthy Healing After Delivery Program: This unique program involves physicians, specialized nurses, social workers, physical therapists, and more to provide comprehensive postpartum care to new mothers. Fellows will learn how to evaluate and manage a multitude of pelvic floor issues in the postpartum period including 3rd- and 4th-degree perineal tears, complications of perineal wound healing, urinary and fecal incontinence, urinary retention, and dyspareunia. Learn more about the Michigan Healthy Healing After Delivery Program.

Research

The active research program here provides ample opportunities for fellow research in areas that interest them. The fellows in our program have established a strong tradition of excellence. Each has completed award-winning projects during fellowship and had productive publication records during training. During the fellowship, each trainee has authored 7 to 11 original scientific peer-review papers with 4 to 9 of these being first author publications. In addition, they gain first-hand experience in writing review articles and chapters in books.

Fellows will have access to the University of Michigan’s robust research infrastructure, which includes excellent pre- and post-grant award support, as well as a variety of centers and specialized research programs, including:

  • Pelvic Floor Research Group: The Pelvic Floor Research Group at Michigan Medicine is an award-winning group of investigators devoted to discovering new insights important to advancing pelvic floor treatment and prevention. Its investigators have received over $20 million dollars in NIH funding over the last 20 years which provides a strong infrastructure for research.
  • Michigan Surgical Quality Collaborative (MSQC): Another unique resource available to fellows is access to the Michigan Surgical Quality Collaborative (MSQC), a statewide surgical improvement collaborative that includes over 60 community and academic hospitals across the state. The ongoing database collects data on hysterectomies done in the state of Michigan. With over 500 variables abstracted per hysterectomy case, this database offers ample research opportunities regarding gynecologic surgery as well as experience using a large database.

Additional Training Opportunities

  • Core Teaching Conference: Thursday afternoon is reserved for teaching and service issues. We review all cases for the next week and teach about surgical planning and operative strategy. The fellows take pictures and videos of interesting cases which are reviewed at this time. Topics rotate to include the following each month: topic-specific lecture/book chapters, journal club, quality improvement, and fellows' research "round-up." The latter is an opportunity for fellows to present research ideas and get help with protocol design, abstract writing, presentation preparation, and manuscript development.
  • Fellow Didactics: Didactic sessions occur following the core teaching conference on Thursday afternoons. They consist of chapter and literature review following the ABOG guide to learning in FPRMS. The goal is to optimally prepare fellows to understand the existing knowledge and sentinel research studies of our specialty, as well as board examination preparation.
  • Michigan Medicine Didactic Curriculum: The Department is home to 10 Board-certified and non-Board certified clinical and research fellowships in obstetrics and gynecology. To promote cross-specialty collaboration, all trainees take part in our Michigan Medicine Didactic Curriculum. These are ½ day educational seminars on numerous topics relevant to clinical research and academic leadership.  Topics include research design and implementation, identifying funding opportunities, manuscript timelines and preparation, how to be an effective teacher, and employment contracts. In addition, the department sponsors social events for fellows and advanced trainees across all specialties to further encourage collaboration and to help fellows build both a professional and personal network.
  • Video and Presentation Skills: Fellows get extensive training in skills both for presenting at postgraduate lectures and national meetings, as well as for producing surgical videos. Check out the videos created by past fellows:

Application Information

  • ERAS  application
  • Personal statement
  • Letters of recommendation - a minimum of 3 (ERAS can hold up to 4)
  • USMLE/COMLEX scores
  • Medical School Transcript
  • Medical School Performance Evaluation (MSPE)
  • Photo

Fellowship applications are accepted via the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS).

The application deadline for a July 2022 start date is January 31st. Interview invitations will be sent on February 15th and virtual interviews will be held on Thursday, April 15th, and Thursday, April 29th.

Salary

The University of Michigan offers highly competitive salaries and generous benefits to our fellows and advanced trainees. Trainee salary will be commensurate with that of a House Officer at an equivalent level of training based on the HOA contract. More information about trainee salary, benefits, and employment eligibility are available on the University of Michigan House Officers Association website.

Program Leadership

Dee E. Fenner, M.D.

Department Chair

Pamela Fairchild, M.D.

Program Director

Maeve Sullivan

Program Manager
L4000 University Hospital South
1500 East Medical Center Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5276
(734) 764-7261