The MedStar Health—Washington Hospital Center Fellowship Program in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery
The MedStar Washington Hospital Center / Georgetown University Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery Fellowship is a comprehensive training program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). The program is sponsored by the department of Ob/Gyn at both MedStar Washington Hospital Center and MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. Fellows benefit from a wide range of clinical cases. Medstar Washington Hospital Center logs almost 2,000 new patient visits and performs greater than 600 major procedures per year. With a full complement of urologic, radiologic and neurodiagnostic testing available, our program is known for its use of state-of-the-art medical technology. Fellows are trained in minimally invasive techniques, including vaginal surgery as well as conventional laparoscopy and robotic-assisted laparoscopy (utilizing the da Vinci® Si and Xi™ Surgical systems).
The curriculum is designed to provide a comprehensive and multidisciplinary understanding of pelvic floor disorders. The clinical curriculum includes experience in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery, minimally invasive and robotic surgery, colon and rectal surgery, and urology. Fellows assume progressively independent clinical responsibilities under the guidance of a multidisciplinary team of experts, including fellowship trained urogynecologists, female urologists, minimally invasive gynecologic surgeons, colon and rectal surgeons, urologists and a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist. We have a track record of training fellows from Ob/Gyn and Urology backgrounds and we have integrated female urology into the fellowship program.
Fellows are actively engaged in research projects and resources at Georgetown University School of Medicine. Fellows have the opportunity to apply for the Master of Science in Clinical and Translational Research Program through Georgetown University School of Medicine and GHUCCTS (http://www.georgetownhowardctsa.org/education). If desired, this can be completed within the three years of fellowship for ob/gyn trained fellows, or would add an additional year to the length of the fellowship for urology-trained fellows.
Why train here
Graduating fellows will have completed an educational curriculum that prepares them for oral and written board certification with a 100% pass rate. They are highly sought after for competitive FPMRS academic positions because of their ability to perform all surgical modalities, as well as their strong research and teaching skills.
MedStar has a state-of-the-art simulation center, SiTEL, where fellows can practice laparoscopic suturing skills and do informed consent simulations with standardized patients for prolapse and stress incontinence surgery. Fellows assist in teaching the residents pelvic anatomy.
There is also an additional opportunity to develop new educational simulations, as well as to teach cystoscopy, hysteroscopy, vaginal hysterectomy, or fundamentals of laparoscopic surgery.
The three-year curriculum is designed to provide a comprehensive and multidisciplinary understanding of pelvic floor disorders. The clinical curriculum includes experience in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery; minimally invasive and robotic surgery; colon and rectal surgery, and protected research months.
Fellows assume progressively independent clinical responsibilities under the guidance of a multidisciplinary team of experts, including fellowship trained urogynecologists and female urologists, minimally invasive surgeons, colon and rectal surgeons, and a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist.
- Urogynecology: 1 month
- Female Urology/Urogynecology: 4 months
- Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery/Urogynecology: 5 months
- Research: 1 month
- Colon and Rectal Surgery: 1 month
- Urogynecology: 2 months
- Female Urology/Urogynecology: 3 months
- Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery/Urogynecology: 1 month
- Research and Participation in the GHUCCTS** training program: 6 months
- Urogynecology: 3 months
- Female Urology/Urogynecology: 2 months
- Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery/Urogynecology: 2 month
- Research: 5 months
* Curriculum is modified for urology-trained residents.
** GHUCCTS – Georgetown/Howard University DC Clinical Translational Research Training Program (http://www.georgetownhowardctsa.org/education)
Fellows have the opportunity to develop and fine-tune clinical skills at our state-of-the-art MedStar Health Simulation Training & Education Lab, SiTEL (http://sitel.org). The center includes a curriculum for skills training and virtual reality modules for endoscopy.
During fellows’ second or third year, they also have the opportunity to participate in a two week Africa fistula mission. Fellows are exposed to international health and cultural competency issues in the developing world. They travel to Kigali, Rwanda, where they learn to perform office evaluations and assist in surgical repair of complex fistulas. These fistula missions are run by the International Organization for Women and Development (www.iowd.org). Dr. Gutman has been participating with this organization for over 10 years and has brought a fellow with him each of the past 6 years. Dr. Richter went as a fellow and now returns annually.
Throughout the program, fellows staff and run the urogynecology resident clinic two half days per month. They are also actively involved in teaching and training residents from MedStar Washington and MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.
Fellows typically rotate on a busy service with two or three FPMRS surgeons during their clinical urogynecology and female urology rotations.
- Female urology is directly integrated into the curriculum; we have a track record of training both urology and OB/GYN residents.
- Urologists doing a two-year fellowship program have six months of protected research time plus another six months integrated into clinical rotations (1.5 days per week of research time).
- OB/GYN trained fellows rotate with colorectal surgery for a month in their first year, as well as the MIGS service for two-three months in their first year.
There are many opportunities to participate in combined FPMRS colorectal surgery cases throughout training.
Fellows also learn to use technologies such as the fractional CO2 laser and participate in multicenter trials using novel surgical devices.
The opportunity to participate in research is an integral component of the training program. Fellows develop a thesis project under faculty tutelage. They are encouraged to develop their own research projects, with emphasis on appropriate study design, understanding of analyses, submission and presentation at national meetings, and paper publication. Fellows must present their thesis at grand rounds for thesis defense prior to graduation and submit a version of the manuscript for publication.
Fellows have the opportunity to apply for the Master of Science in Clinical and Translational Research Program through Georgetown/Howard University School of Medicine and GHUCCTS (http://www.georgetownhowardctsa.org/education). If desired, this can be completed without extending the length of the fellowship. Alternatively, fellows can apply for a Graduate Certificate in Clinical and Translational Research, which involves half the credits of the Master Degree.
Fellows are guided and supported in their projects by faculty mentors, research coordinators and the resources of the MedStar Health Research Institute. The MedStar Health Research Institute coordinates the research activities of all institutions within the MedStar Health system, provides infrastructure to support clinical research and supervises the animal laboratories on site. The Office of Graduate Medical Education also offers each fellow guaranteed research grants and funding to support the presentation of research at conferences or meetings.
There is also the opportunity to make video presentations through MedStar Health Simulation Training & Education Lab, SiTEL (http://sitel.org). Fellows have created several award-winning videos that have been presented at national meetings as well as published online in journals.
The OB/GYN department also funds each fellow to attend the Exxcellence in Clinical Research Course (https://exxcellence.org). This six day renowned research course is run by Drs. David Grimes and Kenneth Schulz with intensive introduction to epidemiology, research methods and analysis.
Fellows attend a variety of conferences to enhance their clinical training, including:
- Weekly preoperative conference
- Bi-weekly FPMRS educational lecture series
- Bi-monthly journal club
- Weekly grand rounds
- Semi-annual multidisciplinary pelvic floor conference
The conferences are a key component of the training program; they support the in-depth discussion of particular cases, the exchange of ideas among professionals involved in the treatment of female pelvic disorders and the review of current literature.
If you have questions or would like further information about our program, please contact:
Academic Program Coordinator