National Institutes of Health

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

2015 Annual Report of the Division of Intramural Research

Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Training Program

  • Alan H. DeCherney, MD, Program Director
  • Nicole Banks, MD, Clinical Fellow
  • Matthew T. Connell, DO, Clinical Fellow
  • Katherine Green, MD, Clinical Fellow
  • Mae W. Healy, MD, Clinical Fellow
  • Terrence D. Lewis, MD, PhD, Clinical Fellow
  • Carter Monique Owen, MD, Clinical Fellow
  • George Patounakis, MD, PhD, Clinical Fellow
  • Torie Plowden, MD, MPH, Clinical Fellow
  • G. Donald Royster, IV, MD, Clinical Fellow

The Intramural NICHD Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Training Program sponsors three-year clinical fellowships in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, which are accredited by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The objective of this graduate medical education program is to train clinicians to serve as researchers and future leaders in the field of reproductive endocrinology with a view toward advancing basic, translational, and clinical science in reproduction. The program was started in 1978 and has since trained over 65 physicians in reproductive endocrinology, many of whom have become leaders in the reproductive sciences. Upon completion of the rigorous scientific, clinical, and surgical curriculum, fellows may apply to the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology for certification in the subspecialty of Reproductive Endocrinology. Faculty for the fellowship program is drawn from four institutions: the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS), Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC), and the Shady Grove Fertility Center. The program accepts graduates of U.S. residencies in Obstetrics and Gynecology and has the mission to train reproductive endocrinology and infertility fellows who will serve as faculty in military, government, and academic institutions in order to establish and maintain high standards of training for students and residents in obstetrics and gynecology and to provide evidence-based, cutting-edge treatments to couples with infertility. Program graduates have become assistant, associate, and tenured professors and departmental chairs.

Fellows in the program rotate on clinical services of NICHD–supported intramural graduate medical programs in Medical and Pediatric Endocrinology as well as in Medical Genetics. The clinical training is robust. Thus, within the unique environment of the NIH, fellows participate in evaluation and management of rare and challenging endocrine conditions on the NIH Reproductive Endocrine Teaching Service. Clinical and surgical rotations take place at the WRNMMC and the Shady Grove Fertility Center. Research is strongly emphasized. Trainees in the program must complete a thesis project and may choose among any research laboratory in the Institute’s intramural research program. To complete the research project, fellows are given 20 months of protected research time. The curriculum includes two university-based graduate courses: one in biostatistics and the other in reproduction. In the past year, faculty and fellows published 70 peer-reviewed articles. Over the past five years, graduates of the program published an average of five peer-reviewed manuscripts associated with the training program, and several trainees have received national recognition for excellence in research.

The three-year training program is structured to capitalize on the particular strengths and resources of each participating institution. Specifically, infertility services and operative care are provided by the busy clinical services at Walter Reed Bethesda Hospital, the NIH Clinical Center, and the Shady Grove Fertility Center. Experience in the Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) is provided by rotations in the newly renovated, state-of-the-art Walter Reed Bethesda ART facility and at Shady Grove Fertility Center. Fellows also obtain medical endocrine, pediatric endocrine, and genetic clinical training through rotation on the active inpatient services at the NIH Clinical Center. The program staff and fellows see 1,500 patients in the NIH Clinical Center in addition to conducting 40 surgeries and 50 oocyte retrievals per year. Outstanding research training is available either though NIH intramural laboratories at the NICHD or at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. The program is intended to achieve synergistic interaction between the four sponsoring institutions and provide fellows with an experience and resources not available from a single institution.

Requirements for enrollment include graduation from a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology in the United States that is accredited by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and an active medical license in the United States. Selection is competitive, and prospective candidates must register with the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). Three positions are approved for a complement of nine fellow trainees. Trainees may meet criteria for the NIH Loan Repayment Program (LRP) for outstanding educational debt.

Didactic instruction

Structured training includes a series of introductory seminars geared to the first year fellows that takes place from July to September of the first year. These introductory seminars provide a historical perspective and basic understanding of the practice of Reproductive Endocrinology. There is a weekly NIH teaching rounds conference where challenging cases are reviewed and discussed with faculty and fellows. In addition, all faculty and fellows of all years are expected to attend the weekly Pre-operative and Fellows' conference. Fellows also attend weekly Branch research conferences sponsored by the Program in Reproductive and Adult Endocrinology (PRAE) at NICHD and present updates on thesis work at the weekly "Research in Progress Conference" at NIH. Core ACGME training objectives are covered in special NIH grand rounds and through courses at NIH or Walter Reed Bethesda. NIH Endocrine Grand Rounds provides additional training in medical, pediatric, and reproductive endocrine conditions. Regular attendance at a monthly journal club is expected. Finally, fellows regularly attend ART clinical meetings where management of patients pursuing ART is discussed and outcomes are reviewed. Furthermore, fellows are encouraged to participate in didactic training offered at national meetings, such as the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the Society for Reproductive Investigation and the Society for the Study of Reproduction. Moreover, fellows are encouraged to attend specialty meetings in their chosen interest areas, such as a Keystone meeting on hormone action.

Publications

  1. Chaiworapongsa T, Romero R, Korzeniewski SJ, Chaemsaithong P, Hernandez­-Andrade E, Segars JH, DeCherney A, McCoy MC, Kim C, Yeo L, Hassan S. Pravastatin to prevent recurrent fetal death in massive perivillous fibrin deposition of the placenta (MPFD). J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med 2015;28:1-8.
  2. Connell MT, Szatkowski JM, Terry N, DeCherney AH, Propst AM, Hill MJ. Timing luteal support in assisted reproductive technology: a systematic review. Fertil Steril 2015;103(4):939-946.
  3. Devine K, Mumford SL, Wu M, DeCherney AH, Hill MJ, Propst. Diminished ovarian reserve in the United States assisted reproductive technology population: diagnostic trends among181,536 cycles from the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology Clinic Outcomes Reporting System. Fertil Steril 2015;104(3):612-619.
  4. Hill MJ, Royster GD, Healy MW, Richter KS, Levy G, DeCherney AH, Levens ED, Suthar G, Widra E, Levy MJ. Are good patient and embryo characteristics protective against the negative effect of elevated progesterone level on the day of oocyte maturation? Fertil Steril 2015;103:1477-84.
  5. Yu B, Russanova VR, Gravina S, Hartley S, Mullikin JC, Ignezweski A, Graham J, Segars JH, DeCherney AH, Howard BH. DNA methylome and transcriptome sequencing in human ovarian granulosa cells links age-related changes in gene expression to gene body methylation and 3′-end GC density. Oncotarget 2015;6:3627-3643.

Contact

Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Training Program
NICHD, NIH
Building 10CRC, Room 1-3140
10 Center Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892-1109
Phone: 301-496-5800
Fax: 301-402-0884

Program Director: Alan H. DeCherney, MD; decherna@mail.nih.gov

Program Coordinator: Marilyn Minor; minormar@mail.nih.gov

Online Application: https://www.aamc.org/services/eras/

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