residents stand together holding small trophy
OBGYN Residency Curriculum & Clinical Rotations

At U-M Medical School, we recognize that residents are first and foremost physician learners and strive to ensure that learning is at the center of every experience. Our goal is to train leaders to deliver the highest level of healthcare.

Traditional Didactics

Core lectures occur every Wednesday afternoon during strictly protected education time. The topics and content are primarily based on the Council on Residency Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology (CREOG), Educational Objectives, 12th Edition.

Surgical Skills Curriculum

The Obstetrics and Gynecology Surgical Skills Curriculum is a competency-based task-oriented curriculum with training programs for open, hysteroscopic, vaginal, laparoscopic, and robotic basic surgical skills with procedure-specific training programs for core OBGYN procedures.

OBGYN Resident Surgical Skills Benchmarks
Year 1: Open & Hysteroscopic Year 2: Laparoscopic Year 3: Vaginal Year 4: Robotic
  • Basic skills for open surgery
  • Psychomotor skill required for basic hysteroscopic & laparoscopic surgery
  • Basic skills including knot tying & precision cutting
  • Advanced psychomotor skill development requiring tactile feedback & manual dexterity
  • Basic skills including knot tying & pedicle ligation
  • Advanced psychomotor skill development requiring ambidexterity, accurate depth perception, & ergonomic positioning
  • Surgical skill development on the da Vinci platform
  • Docking & troubleshooting
  • Tips & tricks for optimal use of the robotic platform


Resident Research Curriculum

Our structured resident research curriculum offers residents the opportunity to explore their research interests with support from faculty mentors, a dedicated statistician, as well as other learning and funding opportunities. Residents are required to complete at least one research project culminating in a presentation at our annual Resident Research Day.

OBGYN Resident Research Timeline
Year 1: Research Orientation Year 2: Develop a Plan Year 3: Analyze & Interpret Year 4: Disseminate Findings
  • Meet your team
  • Find your mentor
  • Identify your project
  • Begin departmental statistical curriculum
  • Identify data
  • Write study protocol
  • Identify analyst
  • Complete data collection
  • Complete analysis
  • Submit abstract
  • Present at local and national meetings
  • Outline manuscript
  • Write manuscript
  • Submit manuscript to peer-reviewed journal
  • Complete research close-out meeting
  • Ethical conduct of research, including the role of the Institutional Review Board and human studies protections and procedures
  • Formulation of hypothesis-driven experiments or analyses
  • Orientation to scholarly resources and software for the conduct of research
  • Training in statistical software for data management and analysis
  • Fluency in public health study design and methodological research considerations
  • Critical appraisal and evaluation of peer-reviewed literature
  • Oral and written communication for research
  • Training in basic grant structure and manuscript writing

Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Curriculum

The Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency Quality Improvement/Patient Safety (PS/QI) Curriculum is a comprehensive, progressive learning experience providing our residents with the necessary tools to be actively involved in PS/QI efforts in residency and beyond. The PS/QI curriculum is built on a strong educational foundation and provides residents with a structured timeline for task completion and project management support. The experience culminates in a formal presentation of resident QI/PS projects at Departmental Grand Rounds.

OBGYN Resident PS/QI Timeline
Year 1: QI/PS Orientation Year 2: QI/PS Training Year 3: Design & Implement Year 4: Disseminate
  • Introduction to quality improvement/patient safety
  • IHI Open School modules
  • Root cause analysis & action (RCA2) course
  • Case presentation
  • Identify topic
  • Design project
  • Implement project
  • Present QI/PS project at departmental grand rounds


  • Demonstrates knowledge of institutional surveillance systems to monitor patient safety (e.g., surgical site infection, medical error reporting)
  • Demonstrates knowledge of the epidemiology of medical errors and the differences between near misses, medical errors, and sentinel events
  • Demonstrates knowledge of national patient safety standards, as well as their use/application in the institution
  • Recognizes when root cause analysis is necessary and is capable of participating in root cause analysis
  • Demonstrates a commitment to self-evaluation, lifelong learning, and patient safety
  • Demonstrates understanding of the basic concepts of quality improvement
  • Understands the level of evidence for patient care recommendations
  • Identifies quality of care issues within one’s own practice with a systems-based approach

Clinical Rotations
Sample Block Schedule
OB Days High Risk OB GYN Surgery (Midland) OB Days
OB Ambulatory OB Ambulatory OB Ambulatory GYN Surgery (Brighton/Chelsea)
OB Nights OB Surgery Service OB Nights OB Surgery Service
GYN Surgery GYN Surgery GYN Surgery GYN Surgery
Gynecologic Oncology Gynecologic Oncology Gynecologic Oncology OB Days
GYN Ambulatory Elective Elective GYN Ambulatory
OB Nights GYN Nights OB Nights GYN Nights
GYN Surgery GYN Surgery GYN Surgery GYN Surgery
Gynecologic Oncology Gynecologic Oncology Gynecologic Oncology GYN Surgery (Brighton/Chelsea)
OB Ambulatory OB Surgery Service Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery
GYN Ambulatory REI/MIS or FPMRS Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility GYN Ambulatory

Provide ante/intra and postpartum care for patients with uncomplicated pregnancies (e.g, spontaneous vaginal deliveries, primary cesarean deliveries, common medical presentations, and diagnostic operative gynecology, including hysteroscopy and laparoscopy).

  • 6 Rotations in Obstetrics (2 day time, 2 night, 2 ambulatory)
  • 4 Rotations in Gynecology (2 surgery, 2 ambulatory)
  • 2 Rotations in Gynecologic Oncology

Provide care for patients with common obstetrical complications (e.g, previous Cesarean section, abnormal fetal growth, multifetal gestation, preterm labor) and common peripartum medical comorbidities (e.g., hypertension, diabetes, infectious diseases). Manage urgent and emergent gynecologic concerns. Supervises and educates senior medical students.

  • 3 Rotations in Obstetrics (2 surgery, 1 ambulatory)
  • 2 Rotations in High-Risk Obstetrics
  • 3 Rotations in Gynecology (2 surgery, 1 night)
  • 2 Rotations in Gynecologic Oncology
  • 1 Rotation in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI)/Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery (MIS) or Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery (FPMRS)
  • 1 Elective Rotation

Leadership focus: Building and supporting a clinical team

Provide care for patients with atypical presentations of medical and obstetrical complications; identify indications for consultation, referral, and/or transfer of care for patients with medical and obstetrical complications. Able to recognize surgical complications and formulate an initial management plan. Supervise and educate lower-level residents.

  • 3 Rotations in Obstetrics (1 ambulatory, 2 night)
  • 3 Rotations in Gynecology (3 surgery)
  • 2 Rotations in Gynecologic Oncology
  • 1 Rotation in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery (FPMRS)
  • 1 Rotation in Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery (MIS)
  • 1 Rotation in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI)
  • 1 Elective Rotation

Provide care for patients with complex and atypical medical and obstetrical complications. Independently perform gynecologic procedures and demonstrate good intraoperative decision making, including the ability to modify a surgical plan based on operative findings, and recognize and manage surgical complications. Lead a multidisciplinary healthcare team and coach lower levels to optimize professional expectations.

  • 3 Rotations in Obstetrics (2 days, 1 surgery)
  • 7 Rotations in Gynecology (1 night, 4 surgery, 2 ambulatory)
  • 1 Rotation in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery (FPMRS)
  • 1 Rotation in Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery (MIS)
Elective Experience

Elective experience begins as early as the second year of residency and continues throughout the fourth year. In the last few years, residents have gone to Ghana, Nigeria, Ecuador, Ethiopia, and China. Dr. Tim Johnson, the former chair of the department, has had a long-standing relationship with Ghana, and there is a continuous exchange of students and physicians between Ghana and the University of Michigan. In addition to numerous residents studying abroad, we frequently have visiting medical students, residents, and faculty.

Residents routinely use their elective time to participate in research. Elective time also allows residents to expand their clinical knowledge by focusing their time on various specialty clinics of their interest, including our Vulvar Diseases Clinic, Cancer Genetics and Breast Health Clinic, Partnering for the Future Clinic, and Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology Clinic. It also allows residents time to schedule continuity cases or travel to various conferences and workshops.

Quality Improvement Conference (Morbidity & Mortality)

Every Thursday morning, the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology holds a quality improvement (Morbidity and Mortality) conference, led by our residents to review clinical cases with the goal of optimizing patient care.

Quality Indicators (QIs) are standardized, evidence-based measures of health care quality used to measure and track clinical performance and outcomes. The Obstetric and Gynecologic Quality Improvement/Patient Safety committees identify cases with quality improvement indicators. Resident physicians who participate in the case are asked to review the case, consider the quality improvement indicator and discuss how the clinical performance and patient outcomes could have improved.

Learning Objectives:

  • Review perioperative care obstetric and gynecologic surgical cases
  • Identify systems-based issues that may impact perioperative care
  • Reviewed application of current U-M Medical School operational and safety guidelines (e.g. Assessing risk, optimization needed for patients with common comorbidities, antibiotic prophylaxis, blood product transfusions, complications, pain management, etc.)

During this interactive session, residents will be asked to briefly present and review the pertinent components of their cases. They are expected to be prepared to discuss the relevant history and clinical management decisions. Residents are expected to have a full understanding of their cases, demonstrating ownership of the patient care that was received. They are also expected to be prepared by reading appropriate text, practice bulletins, committee opinions, and/or literature pertinent to the case.

Learning Objectives:

  • Develop and practice clear communication of clinical management and decision-making related to the practice of Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Demonstrate learners' understanding and discuss the pathophysiology, diagnostic evaluation, differential diagnosis, and treatment of clinical cases in Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Office Practice

This conference, led by our PGY3 residents, offers trainees an opportunity to discuss patient cases where errors, near-misses, or complications, may have occurred.

The learning objective is to provide a safe venue for residents to:

  • Identify systems-based issues that lead to adverse patient outcomes/near misses
  • Openly discuss medical mistakes
  • Disseminate information learned from experience
  • Reinforce a sense of professional accountability for patient safety
  • Demonstrate competency in QI/PS principles

We believe that confronting structural racism and implicit bias to address health inequities is of the utmost importance. To prepare our residents to do so, U-M Medical School adapted a curriculum from Harvard Children, called Health Equity Rounds (HER). Our PGY4 residents are expected to identify a patient care encounter where structural racism and implicit bias affected patient care.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify and analyze the effects of implicit bias, structural racism and/or other oppressive and discriminatory attitudes or beliefs on patients in clinical scenarios
  • Describe the historical context, impact, and present-day role of structural racism and/or other oppressive and discriminatory attitudes or beliefs on the health care system
  • Highlight the intersectionality of race and other sources of implicit bias and discrimination in the case presentation
  • Identify evidence-based tools to recognize and mitigate the effects of personally held implicit biases

It’s been said that effective grand rounds should disseminate knowledge, change physician behavior, and improve patient outcomes. Our PGY4 residents are expected to identify and delve deeply into a topic of interest, develop expertise in the topic, and present at Departmental Grand Rounds.

Examples Topics from Recent Resident Cohorts:

  • A Journey for Joy: Musings of a Self-Help Junkie, Marisa Sturza, MD
  • Why Does My Husband Make More Than Me?: Evaluating Differences in Medical Compensation by Gender, Erin Inman, MD
  • Clinically Competent, Fiscally at Risk, Jasmine Ebott, MD
  • Women's "Health" in Rural America, Ann Lozier, MD
  • Vague Reassurances: The Evidence Around Common Pregnancy Restrictions and Why These Questions Matter, Cindy Lee, MD

Journal Club is an opportunity for residents to critically appraise and engage in discussions on recent articles from the medical literature.

Learning Objectives:

  • Appraise the study design and statistical methods used
  • Interpret and discuss the applicability of results to our patient population
  • Identify how social determinants of health impact health outcomes and patient experiences