The Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery (FPMRS) Fellowship is a three-year subspecialty training program for obstetrics and gynecology physicians and a two-year program for urology physicians who wish to specialize in urogynecology and reconstructive pelvic surgery.
The program includes 12 months of research.
Our program offers unprecedented training opportunities for complex pelvic floor reconstruction given our unusual level of faculty expertise in:
- Female urology
- Colorectal surgery
In addition, opportunities for cutting-edge translational research are provided by the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
Why Train at Wake Forest?
The Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery Fellowship at Wake Forest is truly one of the few training programs in the US where reconstructive urology and gynecology is completely integrated into one division that spans two departments. The fellowship is co-directed by Dr. Gopal Badlani and Dr. Catherine Matthews and is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.
The Female Pelvic Health division is housed within a dedicated, state-of-the-art Pelvic Health Center that hosts four board-certified female pelvic medicine specialists, two of whom perform complex bowel diversion procedures and two who concentrate on pelvic organ prolapse and incontinence repair.
Fellows in our program become proficient in all modes of surgery including open, robotic and transvaginal approaches. Our clinical team also includes a general urologist who specializes in UTI treatment, a geriatric medicine specialist who collaborates in an aging and incontinence clinic, a full-time pelvic floor physical therapist and two nurse practitioners. In our center, we perform a full array of diagnostic and therapeutic interventions, including video urodynamic testing, anorectal manometry, pelvic floor ultrasound, flexible cystoscopy, intravesical injections and installations, vaginal laser therapy and pelvic floor physical therapy. Residents in Obstetrics and Gynecology as well as Urology rotate through Female Pelvic Health and have awarded one of our faculty members with the Outstanding Teaching Award.
In addition to our unique and robust clinical training program, Wake Forest School of Medicine offers a once-in-a-lifetime research opportunity through our world-renowned Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Led by the chair of Urology, Dr. Anthony Atala, the institute provides an exceptional opportunity for fellows to participate in cutting-edge translational research, including the development of an autologous neovagina, novel treatments for interstitial cystitis, and stem cell therapies for stress incontinence. Our pelvic health research team collaborates with two PhDs who are conducting NIH-funded trials on bladder pain syndrome. Our faculty is also engaged in several funded surgical clinical trials and is supported by a research manager and a research coordinator. Dr. Candace Parker-Autry has established herself as an expert in aging research and the impact of sarcopenia on the pelvic floor.
Dr. Matthews and Dr. Badlani are both passionate about Global Health and have established collaborations with institutions in India and South Africa. Opportunities exist for fellow participation in educational and philanthropic missions to these sites.
We welcome your interest in our program and wish you all the best in your search. Winston-Salem ranks as one of the most affordable and likeable places to live, nestled between the mountains and beaches of North Carolina with beautiful greenways, running and biking trails, a bustling downtown and lively music scene.
The primary goals of the fellowship are to:
- Provide advanced multidisciplinary clinical training in the care of patients with pelvic floor disorders including:
- Comprehensive outpatient evaluation and management
- Ambulatory procedures
- Complex pelvic floor surgical reconstruction using vaginal, laparoscopic and robotic-assisted techniques
- Urinary tract diversion and reconstructive procedures
- Ureteral injury management
- Complex urogenital fistula care
- Post-operative care
- Teach primary research methodology to prepare fellows for the pursuit of an academic career
- Provide basic science and clinical research platforms to promote innovative basic science, translational and clinical trial research opportunities
- Advance postgraduate medical education by involving fellows in the education of medical students and residents
- Produce future leaders in the field of FPMRS
Educational Program Objectives
Some specific objectives of our educational program include:
- Acquire a comprehensive mastery of currently established female pelvic health clinical information through didactic conferences, guided self-study and monthly delivery of prepared lectures
- Develop validated clinical decision-making skills for urologic, medical and surgical treatments through observation, mentored participation in clinical care and supervised independent decision-making
- Enhance the lifelong learning skills of data acquisition, analysis and interpretation through an understanding of the role of continuous evaluation of the developing medical literature and local prospective clinical outcomes assessment
- Introduce and then reinforce the acquisition of both basic and advanced surgical techniques through repetitive mentored practice, simulation and documentation of appropriate metrics.
- Expose individuals to the formal process of scientific inquiry such that cognitive bias may be overcome through the practiced exercise of deep analysis
- Challenge individuals to become medical leaders with reflective writing programs, group discussion and formative feedback and mentored self-evaluations
- Teach research methodology and data analysis skills that would support a career as a physician-scientist