Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery Advanced Training Program

Program Overview

2020 FMIGS Logo

The University of Michigan Advanced Training Program in Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery is a two-year American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists (AAGL) accredited program.  The AAGL Fellowship in minimally invasive gynecologic surgery was established in 2001 for gynecologists seeking subspecialty training advanced endoscopic procedures in gynecology. The University of Michigan established its Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery Advanced Training Program in 2003 and became accredited by the AAGL in 2005. 

The comprehensive goal of the Program is to train academic trainees who are outstanding clinicians, teachers, and research contributors. 


Clinical Objectives

The clinical educational objective is to provide trainees with the necessary knowledge, skills, and experience to independently manage complex gynecologic patients that may benefit from advanced endoscopic procedures. Specific educational goals for each trainee include the development of the following:

  1. Sufficient understanding, experience, and proficiency to perform advanced laparoscopic, robotic, hysteroscopic, abdominal and vaginal surgery for complex, benign gynecologic conditions.  These conditions include uterine fibroids, advanced endometriosis, benign ovarian neoplasms, ovarian remnants, and chronic pelvic pain.
  2. To evaluate and appropriately select the appropriate medical and/or surgical treatment plan for women presenting with complex, benign gynecologic conditions such as abnormal uterine bleeding, symptomatic uterine fibroids, chronic pelvic pain, and/or endometriosis.

Teaching and Research Objectives

Each trainee will be provided with resources and experience to develop academic skills. Specific objectives for the teaching and research curriculum include the following:

  1. Ability to use appropriate methods and educational aids to teach medical students, residents, and allied health care professionals in clinical or classroom environments.
  2. Sufficient understanding and proficiency to complete clinical and/or health-services research projects, in addition to the development of collaborative skills with others that foster ongoing research activities.
  3. Ability to write scientific articles and grant applications, and to contribute in an academic setting.

Core Program Components

Clinical Experience

Trainees actively participate in all aspects of inpatient and outpatient care of patients seen by the MIGS faculty.  This includes the evaluation, planning, treatment and follow-up of patients seen in the Minimally Invasive Surgery Referral Clinic, the Michigan Medicine Endometriosis Center and the Pelvic Pain Consultative Clinic.  Through this experience, trainees will become proficient in the minimally invasive approach to common gynecologic complaints such as abnormal uterine bleeding, uterine fibroids, and adnexal masses.  Trainees will also gain valuable and extensive experience in the multi-system and multidisciplinary approach to the evaluation of chronic pelvic pain and endometriosis.  Trainees will spend approximately 1 – 1.5 days in the clinic.

Learn More about Clinical Responsibilities

Over the course of the program, all trainees will participate in weekly didactic sessions.  Reading material on a clinical topic is assigned to the trainees and is supervised by the MIGS faculty.  Particular attention will be given to areas of controversy and new research and include the AAGL core reading articles.  Topics to be discussed will closely follow the AAGL FMIGS educational objectives and will utilize the most recent literature and/or textbooks, including but not limited to the AAGL FMIGS reading list.

Teaching Experience

Michigan Medicine is recognized as one of the premier residency programs in obstetrics and gynecology in the United States and MIGS trainees play an integral role in the education of residents and medical students within the department.  One resident (PGY3 or PGY4) and one or more medical students are assigned to the division for each rotation.  Residents and medical students function as important members of the health care team under the direction of the MIGS trainees.  In addition to teaching on daily work rounds and in the operating room, trainees are asked to prepare and deliver formal lectures and seminars for the resident core curriculum and to lead the discussion at department journal clubs.

Research Experience

Trainees have numerous opportunities to receive formal training and mentorship in clinical research.  Clinical research activities may include participation in institutional studies and NIH-funded projects.  An important ancillary goal of the two years of clinical training is to provide a framework in which the trainee can learn to balance the demands of clinical care with those of scholarly pursuits, including ongoing clinical research and manuscript preparation.

The University of Michigan has created a structured statistical curriculum developed for ACGME fellows and non-ACGME trainees. This course in applied statistics provides learners the skills necessary to carry out common statistical analyses employed in health sciences research. This course is equivalent to a three-credit-hour graduate-level applied biostatistics course and allows learners to study at their own schedule. After completing the course modules, learners will be able to:

  • Understand the data management and statistical analysis techniques used in health sciences research
  • Implement various data management and statistical analysis techniques using statistical software
  • Identify advanced statistical issues that require further study or statistical consultation

The department provides an educational fund for each trainee to help cover the cost of approved research courses.  This coursework will provide the foundation to complete an independent clinical research project that will result in a presentation at a national meeting and publication in a peer-review journal.  Protected research time is granted throughout the program, and ample research opportunities are available within the division.  Within the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the Fellowship Advisory Committee has also developed a biannual Common Fellowship Curriculum.  These are ½ day seminars that provide all ObGYN fellows and trainees educational seminars in 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.

Learn More About Research Opportunities 

Weekly Didactic Conferences

Advanced trainees participate in weekly didactic conferences on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays.

Learn More and View the Didactic Conference Schedule

Application Information

  • Completion of a residency program accredited by ACGME, College of Family Physicians of Canada, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, or National Joint Committee on Accreditation of Pre-registration Physician Training Programs of the Canadian Medical Association
  • Completion of all three USMLE exams
Due to Department of Labor prevailing wage regulations, we are unable to consider applicants that possess any type of visa.

Applications are only accepted through the AAGL.

To complete the application process, please visit the AAGL website.  

The 2020 application deadline has been extended to July 1, 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, interviews will be held virtually on August 11th, 18th, and 25th. 

Program Leadership

Sawsan As-Sanie, MD, MPH

Program Director

Courtney Lim, MD

Associate Program Director

Maeve Sullivan, BS

Program Manager
L4000 University Hospital South
1500 East Medical Center Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5276