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Fellowship in Complex Family Planning

Program Description

We offer exceptional opportunities for highly motivated Obstetrician/Gynecologists (OB/GYNs) to become future leaders in any aspect of the field of family planning. All training programs at the University of Utah Department of OB/GYN strive for excellence in clinical care, education, and research. The Family Planning Fellowship builds on this great tradition of offering trainees a rich mix of both hands-on clinical experience and quality investigative exposure.  Fellows develop outstanding clinical skills, superb teaching abilities, and make significant contributions in both research and advocacy.  While excellence is expected in these areas, the faculty understands that each fellow will have unique career aims. This program uses its flexibility to create the ideal training experience for each fellow, targeting the expansion of reproductive options for the population they will eventually serve. This program's rapid expansion offers unique opportunities and responsibilities for fellows.

Additional information can be found on the Fellowship in Family Planning website.

Clinical Training

The Utah Family Planning Fellows are active generalist OB/GYN clinicians in settings that maximize exposure but minimize time expenditure. One great advantage for training programs in the Department of OB/GYN at the University of Utah is tremendous patient volume. A wealth of clinical opportunities exists for Family Planning Fellows. Clinical abortion training up to 22 weeks occurs at the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah (PPAU) Metro Clinic. This center performs in excess of 2,000 medical and surgical terminations per year and is the only clinic offering second trimester procedures in the state.

PPAU also provides preventive medical care and contraception to the people of Utah. This affiliate supplies contraception to 30,000 women each year. PPAU is also the State’s leading provider of affordable vasectomy services. All Fellows are encouraged to obtain training in vasectomy at this site. The Fellowship-Planned Parenthood relationship in Utah extends beyond mere clinical training. We are active partners in maximizing reproductive options in the State.  As such, we have a research collaboration that focuses on improving care for women in Utah.

Fellows participate as members of the General Division within the Department and supervise resident clinics and fulfill on-call obligations as the attending for inpatient services. Fellows, with faculty support, are in charge of the Contraception for High Risk Patients (CHRP) Clinic. This service provides consultation and provision of contraception for patients with complex medical problems and those with complications associated with contraception. The Department’s REI Division has a particular interest in developing clinical leaders in family planning who have an in-depth understanding of reproductive biology and provide independent instruction to meet this aim. 

Clinical Training Sites

  • University of Utah Health Sciences Center
  • Planned Parenthood Association of Utah
  • LDS Hospital

Advanced Research Education Options

As an NIH-sponsored Center for Clinical and Translational Science the University of Utah offers research courses, as well as a degree program for the Masters in Science of Clinical Investigation (MSCI). Family Planning Fellows are encouraged to audit courses to support their research development, which are taught by internationally recognized investigators. The program offerings consist of formal didactic coursework, a longitudinal seminar series and a mentored clinical research project. Additionally, the Office of Research Education provides comprehensive training and learning opportunities.

Research Opportunities

The Utah fellowship truly shines with its availability for clinical research opportunities where fellows are expected to complete their training with 5-10 publications.  The two main reasons for this are the Department’s clinical research infrastructure, the Obstetrics and Gynecology Research Network (OGRN), and the Division of Family Planning Research team which includes MD and PhD researcher leads.  The synergy of these two entities has created a Departmental commitment to a research agenda that prioritizes Family Planning research and maximizes opportunities for Family Planning Fellows. The 40 administrators and staff of the OGRN provide support for all aspects of research planning and execution from grant submission to IRB submission, clinical trial enrollment and analysis. Fellows play an integral part in group activities contributing to all aspects of current projects. This allows Fellows the opportunity to maximize their exposure to all aspects of research while directing their own research effort.  In addition, Fellows consistently work with PhD faculty members and methodology experts in the Family Planning Division.  This relationship allows Fellows day-to-day mentoring for all research endeavors.

The University of Utah Department of OB/GYN receives considerable NIH research support, ranking 6th among U.S. Obstetrics and Gynecology departments in NIH research funding. The Department is a member of seven NIH multi-center clinical trials networks including the Contraceptive Clinical Trials Network. The NIH, private foundations, and the pharmaceutical industry fund Family Planning research.  Industry sponsorship is limited to non-profit corporations and projects with a focus on increasing access to highly effective methods of contraception. In addition, the Department is a NIH designated Center of Excellence in Women’s Health Care. The department has an active research program in novel drug discovery and has productive University-wide collaborations. The division also has numerous collaborations with other Fellowship sites. 


Fellows will work closely with the Fellowship Directors and clinical faculty weekly. In all cases, Fellows will pursue a mentored relationship with University faculty researchers with experience in their area of focus. A tremendous array of research resources exist within the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the most important of which is a large group of easily accessible NIH-sponsored researchers. This group of potential mentors can provide advice not only on study design and execution but also on local and national research resources, funding and career development. 

International Opportunities

The University has Global Health Programs in Thailand, Ecuador, and Ghana. Members of the University’s OB/GYN Department initiated One H.E.A.R.T., a program to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality in remote areas of Nepal and Mexico. Outside the University, the Hope Alliance, a local non-profit with global reach, promotes public health in Guatemala, Haiti, Kenya, Nepal, and Peru. The Hope Alliance funnels external resources into communities with documented desire for change that have a high maternal/child mortality rate and a local sponsor willing to work with the group.

In addition to these opportunities, Fellows have access to the national fellowship community and their list of contacts for international experiences.  Our Fellows have traveled to Nepal, South Africa, Thailand, Haiti and Central Africa.

Applicants Corner

One position is available each year in our Fellowship in Family Planning on a competitive basis. Candidates may apply through Fellowship in the Family Planning Website.

The Fellowship in Family Planning is open to physicians who have completed an accredited United States or Canadian OB/GYN or family medicine residency program.

Graduates of the Fellowship go on to work in academic departments as family planning specialists, internationally with NGOs, or domestically in clinics, government, policy, and non-government agencies. Fellows graduate with preparation to conduct family planning research, teach evidence-based medicine, and become leaders in national or international family planning.


Additional Program Highlights

  • Phenomenal research support focused on Family Planning Fellows that includes immediate incorporation into an efficient and highly productive family planning research community with full-time support staff and access to a host of seasoned researchers.
  • Yearly Family Planning Visiting Professor – Two days devoted to Fellow career development featuring visiting national leaders in family planning, local non-profit leaders, artists, and adventurers.
  • Training in vasectomy, the safest, cheapest and most effective method of sterilization.
  • A personalized public speaking training program.
  • Focus on Fellow success with individual attention from Fellowship Directors and a multidisciplinary faculty.
  • The opportunity for hands-on advocacy training directed at local and state family planning policy and practice.
  • Immediate access to Utah’s outdoor splendor, including 22 million acres of public land and the country's best skiing.