Clinical Research

There is a core of knowledge and skills common to all areas of clinical research that should form the foundation of the well-trained, independent clinical researcher.  There are numerous opportunities to receive formal training and mentorship in clinical research.  Clinical research activities include 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 fellow can learn to balance the demands of clinical care with those of scholarly pursuits, including ongoing clinical research and manuscript preparation.

In the first month of fellowship training, all fellows will complete a 3 week intensive course in biostatistics and epidemiology.  This coursework will provide the foundation to complete an independent clinical research project that will result in presentation at a national meeting and publication in a peer-review journal.  Protected research time is granted throughout the fellowship, and ample research opportunities are available within the division.  Clinical fellows within the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology may also have the option to enroll in a master’s program in public health (MPH) or a Masters in Clinical Research and Statistical Analysis (  Additional master’s opportunities are available, and may be more appropriate depending on the fellow’s particular interest.

Formal course work may include:

  • design of clinical research projects
  • hypothesis development
  • biostatistics
  • epidemiology
  • legal, ethical, and regulatory issues related to clinical research

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 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.

Research Opportunities within the Minimally Invasive Surgery Program:

  • The role of the central nervous system in endometriosis-associated chronic pelvic pain
  • Neurobiological predictors of persistent pelvic pain in women undergoing hysterectomy for chronic pelvic pain
  • Surgical simulation and methods of teaching laparoscopy in gynecologic surgery
  • Quality of life and fertility outcomes following robot-assisted myomectomy

Under the supervision of Dr. As-Sanie, fellows will be expected to complete 2 independent research projects in collaboration with the MIS faculty and/or faculty within the University of Michigan.  These projects should result in presentation at a national meeting and publication in a peer-reviewed journal.  Research time will be allocated on a weekly basis according to the service month, and semi-weekly MIS division research meetings will serve as the forum to discuss and review the progress of faculty and fellow projects.  A sample timeline for appropriate progression for our two-year fellowship is as follows:

Phase 1: Year 1, August – September

  1. Identify Research Question
    1. Review literature and establish relevant and important research question
    2. State testable hypothesis and specific aims of study

Phase 2: Year 1, October – November

  1. Design research study and methods
  2. Submit IRB

Phase 3: Year 1-2, January – December

  1. Collect data

Phase 4: Year 2, January – June

  1. Analyze results
  2. Prepare manuscripts for publication