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Curriculum

Our curriculum provides a comprehensive framework in which residents explore general and subspecialty topics. Residents engage in both traditional and non-traditional learning activities in a variety of instructional formats to optimize their professional development. The structured inquiry-based didactic program provides residents with flexibility to individualize their learning activities. Clinical training provides progressive levels of responsibility for clinical management in the provision of patient-centered care.

Curriculum Components

Didactic Program

Our formal didactic series includes the lecture-based Community Education Series, quality improvement conferences, large and small group discussions, simulation and skills workshops, and self-directed learning.

Community Education Series

Designed as a series of interactive lecture-based sessions by the Department of Women’s Health, the Community Education Series invites visiting and local faculty to present the latest evidence-based medical information and techniques relevant to current and future clinical practice in an all-inclusive, interprofessional learning environment.

Patient Safety Conference

This monthly quality review of the gynecology and obstetrics services was developed as a forum for interprofessional discussion focusing on patient safety, systems performance and quality improvement.

Journal Club

Each month, Journal Club engages residents, medical students and faculty members in small group discussions as they review selected articles to enhance evidence-based practice.

Pre-Op Conference

Designed to cultivate clinical reasoning skills and optimize patient outcomes, this resident-led weekly conference focuses on surgical planning and fosters inquiry and dialogue for upcoming operative procedures.

Simulation/Surgical Skills

Taught in the classroom environment and via in situ drills, monthly simulation activities focus on emergent care, rare events, fostering communication and working within interdisciplinary teams. Surgical skills are enhanced through training in open and minimally invasive procedures, as well as robotic surgery. A combination of low- and high-fidelity equipment is used to train both surgical and procedural skills, including ultrasound.

Wellness Series

Each month, residents participate in our wellness curriculum. This humanistic approach to learning focuses on creating self-sustained physical and psychological well-being for continued resilience throughout training and into practice.

Resident Didactic Series

Presented in an interactive environment, these weekly learning sessions expand the residents’ knowledge base in all topics across the spectrum of obstetrics and gynecology and subspecialties. Knowledge retention is increased by presenting traditionally lecture-based topics using a variety of active instructional methods including flipped classroom, small group discussions, problem-based scenarios or case vignettes. We also cover topics such as residents-as-teachers, team building and leadership.

Longitudinal Research Curriculum

Residents participate in formalized learning sessions designed to enhance their research knowledge and skills. Topics within this four-year curriculum include epidemiology, study design, manuscript writing and critical appraisal of the literature.

Self-Directed Learning

Residents are provided protected time each week to engage in individualized, autonomous learning. Examples of activities residents may use this time for include upcoming didactic preparation, research studies or quality improvement projects, mentorship sessions, reflective writing and self-assessment exercises, presentation of medical student lectures, surgical skills practice, completion of asynchronous learning modules, or preparation for in-service or board examinations.

In addition to our weekly series, our fifth Thursday conferences convene periodically throughout the academic year. They begin with Resident Town Hall with the program leadership and are followed by Resident Wellness, which is discretionary time provided to each resident to enhance his or her own personal well-being.

Clinical Training

The academic year is divided into 10 blocks of five weeks each. The final two weeks are designated “flex” weeks, allowing residents to supplement their experience as needed based upon the quantity and quality of their unique experiences.

New residents matriculate with a paid program orientation in late June just prior to beginning their first block in July. Advancing residents simultaneously transition to new leadership and clinical roles, while graduating PGY-4 residents dedicate this time to prepare for their written Board examination and then help to orient new interns.

  • 2 blocks: Obstetrics
  • 2 blocks: Gynecology
  • 2 blocks: Night Float
  • 1 block: Family Planning Clinics
  • 1 block: Integrated Practice Units
  • 1 block: Private Office
  • 1 block: Surgical ICU

Obstetrics: Residents are introduced to labor and delivery at Seton Medical Center Austin (SMCA), where they focus on normal obstetrics in a busy tertiary care setting. This rotation builds a solid foundation for the development of complex obstetrical skills through participation in obstetrical triage, intrapartum management, vaginal and primary cesarean deliveries and postpartum care.

Gynecology: Residents on the Gynecology Service at Dell Seton Medical Center are introduced to basic inpatient gynecologic care in a major urban hospital. This rotation focuses on building foundational operative skills, management of post-surgical care and exposure to the Emergency Department under the supervision of senior residents and faculty.

Night Float: Based at SMCA, residents gain further exposure to obstetrics. Experiences include obstetrical triage, intrapartum management, vaginal and primary cesarean deliveries and postpartum care.

Family Planning Clinic: Residents on the family planning clinic rotation also participate in a wide array of outpatient experiences that include routine gynecologic and obstetrical care, colposcopy/LEEP, gynecologic ultrasound, and first and second trimester pregnancy termination. Patient care is provided in our Regional Care Clinics and at Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas.

Integrated Practice Units: Residents working in the integrated practice unit clinics will work with physicians, mid-level providers, nursing staff, other residents and medical students. They will practice patient-centered care in a multi-disciplinary, interprofessional, value-based clinical model for women with complex gynecologic conditions including pelvic pain and vulvodynia. The rotation is designed to provide an introductory experience in both the surgical and non-surgical management of women with these conditions.

Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI)/Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology: The REI rotation introduces residents to the basic evaluation and management of infertility, ovulation induction and various assisted-reproduction techniques, along with care of pediatric and adolescent gynecologic patients with a fellowship-trained specialist. REI care is located at Reproductive Medicine Associates of Austin, where residents refine their understanding of transvaginal ultrasonography and learn about the medical and surgical management of infertility. Pediatric and adolescent gynecology is located at Capital Plaza and focuses on common pediatric and adolescent gynecologic conditions such as vulvovaginal disorders, congenital abnormalities of the hymen, vagina, cervix and uterus; ovarian masses, sexually transmitted diseases and adolescent health.

Private Office: Residents rotate with two different private practices during this outpatient experience: University Physicians Group and Women’s Partners in Health. Residents are exposed to a variety of practice patterns of individual physicians and actively participate in basic obstetric and gynecologic procedures.

Surgical Intensive Care Unit: Residents care for critically ill patients in the SICU at Dell Seton. Residents build their knowledge of critical care medicine, which will prepare them to take care of acutely ill gynecologic and obstetrical patients throughout their careers.

  • 2 blocks: Obstetrics
  • 2 blocks: Gynecology
  • 2 blocks: Night Float
  • 2 blocks: Gynecologic Oncology
  • 1 block: Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility
  • 1 block: Family Planning Clinics

Obstetrics: Second-year residents return to labor and delivery at SMCA to focus on managing abnormal labor, performing operative vaginal and repeat cesarean deliveries, and caring for more complicated patients during the postpartum period. PGY-2 residents are also introduced to inpatient management of high-risk obstetrical patients.

Gynecology: Residents develop more complex surgical skills during their second-year gynecology rotation. Procedures performed include operative hysteroscopy, straight-stick laparoscopy, robotic surgery and basic laparotomy. Each second-year resident participates in backup gynecology pager call one evening per week, during which they manage Emergency Room consults and inpatient issues under the guidance of an attending physician.

Night Float: Based at SMCA, residents gain further exposure to obstetrics. Experiences include the management of medically complicated pregnancies, admission of antepartum patients, and supervision of Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine interns.

Gynecologic Oncology: PGY-2 gynecologic oncology residents participate in the initial evaluation of women with gynecologic malignancies as well as medical, surgical and radiation therapy. They manage oncologic care in both the inpatient and ambulatory settings and are introduced to palliative care. These residents will take backup pager call one night per week, during which they manage emerging inpatient issues under the guidance of an attending physician.

Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility: The second-year REI rotation introduces residents to more complicated concepts in reproductive infertility as well as endocrinology. Residents perform transvaginal ultrasonography and participate in patient care planning. Each week, this resident is responsible for presentations to the fertility center staff.

Family Planning Clinics: Residents on the Family Planning Clinic rotation train in a variety of broad-based outpatient experiences that include routine gynecologic and obstetrical care, colposcopy/LEEP and pregnancy termination. Patient care continues in our three regional care clinics in addition to Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas.

  • 2 blocks: Private Obstetrics
  • 2 blocks: Maternal-Fetal Medicine
  • 2 blocks: Gynecology
  • 1 block: Gynecologic Oncology
  • 1 block: Urogynecology
  • 1 block: Integrated Practice Units
  • 1 block: Elective

Private Obstetrics: Residents on this rotation care for obstetrical patients in collaboration with our partners at Women Partners in Health at their private office as well as Labor and Delivery Seton Medical Center Austin. Residents learn to balance the responsibilities of outpatient private practice with management and delivery of laboring patients.

Maternal-Fetal Medicine (MFM): The MFM rotation includes management of the inpatient antepartum service at SMCA and outpatient experiences at the CommUnity Care high-risk obstetrical clinic. Residents participate in obstetric ultrasonography within the Seton Antenatal Testing Unit and are responsible for the teaching and supervision of junior residents and medical students who care for antepartum patients.

Night Float: This SMCA-based rotation includes further exposure to obstetrics such as the management of medically complicated pregnancies, admission of antepartum patients and the supervision of Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine interns.

Gynecology: This rotation exposes residents to advanced gynecologic surgery in private community-based hospitals and surgical centers. The resident has the opportunity to participate in the surgical and postoperative care of patients under the supervision of multiple UT affiliate faculty physicians, allowing for exposure to a variety of advanced surgical techniques. Night call responsibility for this rotation includes one to two days per week of back-up gynecology pager coverage at Dell Seton for emergency consults and surgeries.

Gynecologic Oncology: The third-year resident on this service is responsible for the management of all patients on the gynecologic oncology service. This includes their initial evaluation, medical, surgical and radiation therapy as well as their outpatient and end-of-life care. This resident is responsible for back-up pager call four days per week during which they manage emerging inpatient issues under the supervision of an attending physician.

Urogynecology: Residents advance their skills in the evaluation and treatment of pelvic floor disorders on this PGY-4 rotation. The resident is responsible for the clinical and surgical management of urinary and fecal incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. They will enhance their leadership skills as they manage the CommUnity Care urogynecology clinic and the inpatient urogynecology surgical service. In addition, they will hone their skills in vaginal surgery.

Integrated Practice Units: Residents working in the integrated practice unit clinics will work with physicians, mid-level providers, nursing staff, other residents and medical students. They will practice patient-centered care in a multi-disciplinary, inter-professional, value-based clinical model for women with complex gynecologic conditions including pelvic pain and vulvodynia. The rotation is designed to provide a comprehensive experience in both the surgical and non-surgical management of women with these conditions.

Elective: This rotation was added to the third-year residency schedule by resident request. This block allows time for senior residents to spend time in a focus area of their choosing including clinical care or research. This rotation requires residents to create their own learning objectives and can be accomplished within or outside of the institution, and may include time abroad.

  • 2 blocks: Obstetrics
  • 2 blocks: Gynecology
  • 2 blocks: Night Float
  • 1 block: Gynecologic Oncology
  • 1 block: Urogynecology
  • 2 blocks: Float

Obstetrics: Obstetrical training culminates during this rotation. The chief resident assigned to this rotation supervises all students and residents assigned to the health care team. The chief is also responsible for overseeing all triage, labor, antepartum and postpartum patients at SMCA.

Gynecology: This rotation serves as the culmination of training in gynecology. The chief resident assigned to this rotation will perform and act as a teaching assistant in complicated surgical procedures including vaginal surgery. They are responsible for all gynecologic patients admitted to Dell Seton and supervise the student/resident team assigned to this service. Outpatient experiences include continuity clinic and preoperative clinic. Night call responsibility during this block includes one to two days per week of pager coverage at Dell Seton for emergency consults and surgeries.

Night Float: This rotation provides night coverage for the obstetrical service at SMCA. The PGY-4 assigned to this service is responsible for supervising all students and residents assigned to their team. They are also primarily responsible for admitting new patients to these services.

Gynecologic Oncology: The third-year resident on this service is responsible for the management of all patients on the gynecologic oncology service. This includes their initial evaluation, medical, surgical and radiation therapy as well as their outpatient and end-of-life care. This resident is responsible for back-up pager call four days per week during which they manage emerging inpatient issues under the supervision of an attending physician.

Urogynecology: Residents advance their skills in the evaluation and treatment of pelvic floor disorders on this PGY-4 rotation. Resident are responsible for the clinical and surgical management of urinary and fecal incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. They will enhance their leadership skills as they manage the CommUnity Care urogynecology clinic and the inpatient urogynecology surgical service. In addition, they will hone their skills in vaginal surgery.

Float: This rotation was added to the residency schedule by resident request. Float time allows for coverage of resident vacations, thereby adding flexibility to vacation scheduling and increasing the continuity on other rotations so that residents do not need to be pulled from other scheduled educational activities to cover PTO.