Explore This Fellowship

The Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery (FPMRS) Fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital emphasizes the development of clinician-scientists who will develop and implement relevant and important basic science, as well as translational and clinical research in the field of FPMRS.

The FPMRS Fellowship is a three-year program, which includes:

  • One year of dedicated research
  • Two years of clinical experience

One position is offered each year. We accept urology and gynecology resident applicants.

Applicants considered for an appointment are invited to visit Mass General for a personal interview with the program director and selected faculty.

The fellowship started in 2012 and is ACGME accredited, with the next self-study site visit in 2020.

Location

The primary location of the fellowship is Massachusetts General Hospital's main campus in Boston, MA. Mass General is a tertiary care center with approximately 1,000 beds and more than 1,000 physicians. Fellows will evaluate and manage patients in the outpatient setting on the main campus, as well as Newton-Wellesley Hospital. Major surgical cases and same-day surgical cases are performed on the main campus. Same-day surgical cases can also be performed at Newton-Wellesley Hospital.

Curriculum

As a fellow, you will learn how to evaluate, manage and treat patients with primary pelvic organ prolapse and bladder control problems as well as complex pelvic floor disorders, including urethral diverticulum, vesicovaginal or rectovaginal fistula, and pelvic floor myofascial pain.

Fellows are trained to perform the full scope of surgical procedures, including:

  • Laparoscopic & robotic sacrocolpopexy
  • Vaginal hysterectomy
  • Vaginal apical suspension procedures
  • Slings
  • Bulking injection procedures
  • Sacral neuromodulation
  • Peripheral nerve stimulation
  • Fistula repair
  • Vaginal laser therapy

In addition, we perform concomitant surgical procedures with our colorectal colleagues, such as laparoscopic sacrocolpopexy with rectopexy.

Fellows will also work within our active Center for Pelvic Floors Disorders, which is a multidisciplinary service comprised of FPMRS, colorectal, urology and gastroenterology faculty and physical therapists. We work closely with our colleagues to manage patients who have complex pelvic floor disorders. We meet monthly to discuss the evaluation and management of patients with complex pelvic floor disorders.

During the third year of fellowship, fellows rotate through colorectal, urology and physiatry electives. Fellows can also spend time with pelvic floor physical therapists.

Clinical Experience

Call

Fellows are on pager call every weekday and weeknight for FPMRS patients. Fellows take weekend pager call with FPMRS patients. Fellows do not have any in-house call. Fellows do not do any obstetrics.

Mass General complies with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) duty-hour requirements.

Moonlighting

Moonlighting is allowed with permission of the program director and must comply with ACGME duty-hour requirements. Moonlighting must not interfere with any fellowship responsibilities.

Partners Handbook

Clinical support is available via the electronic “Partners Handbook” from every computer terminal within the hospital and includes immediate access to evidence-based clinical tools such as DynaMed, Up-to-date and MD consult as well as Micromedex and patient education resources. Hospital policies and guidelines are available for a complete range of concerns, including topics such as pain management, urinary catheter protocols, patient safety policies and intensive care admissions.

Partners Health System Clinical Fellows Retreat

Fellows attend the annual Partners Health System Clinical Fellows’ Retreat.  Topics are presented based on the educational needs of fellows and include topics such as giving and receiving competency-based feedback and evaluation, quality improvement projects, medicolegal issues, health policy, improving healthcare through communication, work-life balance and mentorship.

International Academy of Pelvic Surgery Annual Course (IAPS)

Each year the first-year fellow will attend the IAPS course designed specifically for fellows. The course includes a cadaver lab exploring the anatomy of the pelvis as it relates to specific pelvic surgeries, as well as lectures and expert discussions regarding a variety of topics unique to FPMRS, including neovagina formation and use of mesh in vaginal surgery.

Course at AUGS

Each year fellows will attend the annual meeting of the American Urogynecology Association. They will be asked to participate in a post-graduate course each year on the topic of their choice. Fellows may attend other scientific meetings if their abstract has been accepted.

Evaluation

To ensure that fellows progressively acquire requisite knowledge and technical skills, performance is monitored on a regular basis according to ACGME guidelines. Fellows are evaluated formally by the program director biannually. Additionally, fellows evaluate faculty and the program regularly to provide feedback to allow us to continually improve our training program.

Research Experience

As a fellow, you will be given an opportunity to pursue basic science research with the Mass General Vincent Center for Reproductive Biology (VCRB). Bo Rueda, PhD, and Caroline Mitchell, MD, supervise the fellows' research. Dr. Rueda has designed a program specifically intended to train fellows in basic science research techniques. The VCRB provides highly trained research technologists to train and assist the Mass General fellows in their research endeavors. The strong bonds formed between the technologists, post‐docs and clinical fellows have allowed the clinical fellows to become involved in more projects and successfully complete their own.

Fellows attend a comprehensive schedule of didactic lectures and conferences: 

  • Grand rounds
  • M&Ms
  • FPMRS city-wide quarterly journal club meetings
  • FPMRS region-wide biannual meetings (very complex FPMRS patients are discussed)
  • Pelvic Floor Disorder Center conference
  • Fellow-led weekly chapter reviews
  • Harvard School of Public Health

Each fellow will be provided tuition reimbursement to attend two graduate courses at the school of public health. One course will address biostatistics, and an additional course will cover research design or another topic pertinent to the specific research interests of the fellow.

Catalyst

Harvard Catalyst/The Harvard Clinical and Translational Science Center is dedicated to improving human health by enabling collaboration and providing tools, training and technologies to clinical and translational investigators. Harvard Catalyst is a shared enterprise of Harvard University, its 10 schools and its 17 Academic Healthcare Centers (AHC), as well as the Boston College School of Nursing, MIT, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and numerous community partners. Harvard Catalyst offers more than a dozen courses and training programs, ranging from short courses on translational and clinical research to degree-granting multi-year advanced education and training programs.

Mass General Clinical Research Program

The Mass General Clinical Research Program (CRP) provides support for investigators and study teams and education for all involved in clinical research to ensure best clinical research practices. Courses ranging from hour-long seminars to semester-long commitments are available on a wide range of topics such as IRB submission, obtaining informed consent, basic biostatistics, human genetics, clinical trial design, grant writing and research budget management. Most of these courses are free of charge, but for those with fees, the fellowship will provide tuition on a case-by-case basis.

Libraries/Online Journals

The Treadwell Library, health sciences library for the Mass General community, is easily accessible through its vast electronic resource center. In addition, fellows have access to Harvard Medical School’s Countway Library, which offers major journals from all medical specialties, as well as specialty-specific journals including the International Urogynecology Journal, Urology, the Journal of Urology, and Neurourology and Urodynamics.

For fellows interested in retrospective reviews, our electronic medical records provide ample opportunity for this type of research, as well as the available staff at the Medical Records offices.

In addition, each fellow is given a stipend of $3,000 per year to fund the purchase of books, software programs, personal laptops, society memberships and travel to meetings.

Applicant Requirements

Applicants must have satisfactorily completed either an:

  • Obstetrics and gynecology or urology residency accredited by the ACGME
  • Obstetrics and gynecology or urology program located in Canada and accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) (ACGME FPMRS Requirement III.A.1.)

How to Apply

For 2020 applicants, the deadline for our program is Monday, March 18, 2019. Candidates should apply through the ERAS Fellowships online application service.

Interview dates will be May 10 and May 17, 2019, and the fellowship position begins in July 2020.

All applications through ERAS Fellowships must include:

  • ERAS Common Application Form: professional societies, publications, other relevant information about your education or experience. Any information you put on your curriculum vitae should be included
  • Personal statement of professional goals
  • Official transcripts: Each graduate school and/or medical school you attended. Please provide certified or notarized English translations of documents if the documents are not written in English. We do not need undergraduate transcripts
  • Dean's letter/Medical School Performance Evaluation (MSPE)
  • Official test transcripts for all applicable examinations (USMLE, LMCC, COMLEX, NBOME, FMGEMS, FLEX, or NBME)
  • Valid ECFMG certificate. Required if you graduated from a medical school outside the United States or Canada
  • Three original letters of recommendation from physicians or faculty members who are familiar with your work. One letter must be from your residency program director. You may submit more than three letters of recommendation if you wish

The following items should be sent via email to Amy Ribak (aribak@partners.org) to be added to your ERAS Fellowship Application locally, as they not accepted by ERAS for scanning:

  • Copy of completion certificate(s) from each of your prior residency and/or fellowship training programs. Required if you have completed a residency and/or fellowship program previously.
  • CREOG annual examination scores. Include score reports from PGY 1-3 if you are still in residency and PGY 1-4 if you have completed residency training
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