Education: Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery Fellowship: Program Overview

Our Program

Our fellowship in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery (FPMRS) provides a interdepartmental, collaborative approach to clinical training and research, under the auspices of the Division of Reconstructive Urology and Pelvic Health in the Department of Urology and the Division of Urogynecology in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

The fellowship team includes:

  • Five board-certified urologists 
  • Four board-certified gynecologists 
  • One clinical psychologist
  • One minimally invasive gynecologic surgeon
  • Three board certified colorectal surgeons
  • One gastrointestinal board-certified surgeon 

Each year we accept:

  • One Urology resident for a two-year fellowship term
  • One Gynecology resident for a three year fellowship term 

Fellows who complete our program and at least 18 months of clinical experience apply to the American Board of Urology (ABU) or American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG) for certification in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery.

CLINICAL PROGRAM

Our clinical training program includes a large volume of highly complex cases. Fellows in our program learn a broad range of surgical and nonsurgical modes of therapy. As a quaternary referral center for complex urologic and pelvic reconstruction, our fellows are exposed to some of the most difficult clinical scenarios, with unparalleled opportunity for learning. Fellows regularly perform more than 250 surgical cases per year. They spend time participating in outpatient clinics and surgical procedures at a variety of venues, including VUMC Main Hospital, satellite outpatient clinics, and ambulatory surgery centers, including formal rotations in:

  • Reconstructive and Functional Urology
  • Urogynecology 
  • Colorectal Surgery  
  • Gastroenterology 

The program offers exposure to a wide spectrum of female and male surgical procedures, including extensive surgical training in laparoscopic, robotic, vaginal, and open, abdominal approaches for the management of:

  • Urinary incontinence 
  • Voiding dysfunction
  • Neurogenic Lower Urinary Tract Dysfunction (Neurogenic bladder) 
  • Genitourinary Fistula repair 
  • Pelvic organ prolapse 
  • Anorectal disorders
  • Urinary diversion 
  • Prosthesis surgery 
  • Urethral reconstruction  
  • Female sexual dysfunction
  • Pelvic floor dysfunction
  • Advanced grafting and flap techniques
  • Neuromodulation

RESEARCH PROGRAM

Fellows spend 6 - 12 months completing basic or clinical research projects (either in the second year in the urology track or cumulative throughout three years in the urogynecology track). Fellows are expected to prepare and present a thesis project, as required by ABOG and ABU, at the completion of the fellowship. Our program provides ample opportunities for fellow research in areas that interest them, including many productive collaborations beyond FPMRS. Fellows regularly apply for and receive Institutional and extra-mural research grant funding to conduct research projects. Some of the areas in which we have active collaborations and a record of funding and publication are:

  • Clinical outcomes and quality improvement
  • Health services research
  • Urinary microbiology and microbiome
  • Psychology and psychosocial interventions
  • Epidemiology and survey methods
  • Qualitative research 

DIDACTIC ACTIVITIES

In addition to attending courses in biostatistics and clinical epidemiology, all FPMRS fellows and faculty (Urology and Urogynecology) participate in weekly didactic activities presented by program faculty or invited guests including:

  • FPMRS Core Clinical Competency topics
  • Journal club
  • Research presentations
  • Urodynamic conference