Obstetrics & Gynecology
A Strong Independent Academic Medical Center that Values Residency Education
WellSpan York Hospital's residency in obstetrics and gynecology is a four-year categorical program approved for four residents at each level. Our Program is fully accredited by the ACGME (Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education). We are a primary affiliate of Drexel, Penn State, and Jefferson medical schools, and it is our mission to train physicians for the practice of obstetrics and gynecology, as well as to provide a solid foundation for residents interested in pursuing subspecialty fellowships. WellSpan York Hospital is a tertiary-care and regional referral center, serving a population base of over 620,000 as part of the WellSpan Health System. WellSpan York Hospital has been a fully accredited training site since 1944 and supports seven other residency programs and six fellowships. Medical students from several schools rotate here for both primary care and subspecialty clerkships.
Faculty and Leadership that make education their highest priority
The OB/GYN Residency program is organized by the Program Director, Dr. Paul Burcher and Associate Residency Program Director, Dr. Patricia Reddy.
The teaching staff consists of six Perinatologists, two Maternal Fetal Medicine Fellows, two Reproductive Endocrinologists, three Gynecologic Oncologists, three Gynecologic Oncology Fellows, eight robotic surgeons, a laborist group, four clinic preceptors, two Urogynecologists, and an Adolescent/Pediatric Gynecologist. In addition, the residency program has 15 highly-trained and dedicated clinical teaching faculty, six midwives, and two CRNPs.
While residency is a time where patient care and education are occurring simultaneously, we understand that residents need to learn by doing, but also by having time to learn in didactic sessions as well. Residents have education sessions every morning as part of morning report, and a half day of protected didactics every Wednesday. Two senior residents work with leadership to design and organize the teaching schedule based upon the CREOG 11th edition curriculum. We incorporate both problem and case-based learning, as well as having skill sessions, multidisciplinary simulations, journal club, and patient communication education sessions. We have a robust “boot camp” curriculum for incoming residents to prepare them for functioning and learning efficiently in the clinical environment.
WellSpan has made the commitment to residency education because it wants well trained physicians as part of its communities and organization. Many of the faculty, including subspecialists, did some part of their training here, and chose to stay or return. Every service is capable of functioning safely without residents, which is why we are able to offer educational time every week, in addition to several full day educational and community building experiences throughout the year. Our residents work hard, but our resident surveys confirm that they recognize that we are prioritizing education over service.
A Well-Balanced Approach to Quality Education
The first two years of residency concentrate on obstetrics and gynecology with rotations in obstetrics (6 months), gynecology (6 months) and night float (4 months). In addition, PGY-1 residents spend one month of Critical Care in an ICU setting, one month in Special Gynecology where they are introduced to Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, Breast Surgery, and Geriatrics, and a one-month introduction to Pathology and Ultrasound. PGY-2 residents have rotations with time spent in REI, Gynecologic Oncology, Family Planning, and Urogynecology. A Clinical Research and Genomics rotation augments their knowledge of research, statistics and evidence-based medicine.
In the program’s third year, emphasis is placed on the four subspecialties with a two-month Maternal Fetal Medicine rotation, a two-month rotation in Gynecologic Oncology; a two-month rotation in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI); and a two-month rotation in Urogynecology. There is one month of research and elective.
The final year of the program is divided between Gynecology, Obstetrics and Ambulatory Medicine. The Chief Residents take on a supervisory and leadership role and assume full responsibility for the Obstetrics Service, Gynecology Service and Ambulatory Women's Health Clinic. There are also two months of elective rotations.
Exceptional Surgical Training
Our residents have exceeded ACGME minimums in most surgical categories before starting their last year of residency. First year residents gain significant surgical experience in minor gynecologic cases and cesarean sections. Second year residents increase their proficiency with laparoscopy, begin doing hysterectomies, and complete their robotic simulation training. Third year residents are performing open, vaginal and robotic hysterectomies, as well as more specialized urogynecology and oncology cases.
We expect our graduating residents to meet the new standards for laparoscopic and vaginal hysterectomy, while still surpassing the previous, higher standard for open hysterectomies. Our surgical volume continues to exceed our capacity to cover every surgical case with a resident, so residents have some flexibility in tailoring their surgical experience to their own future plans.
For surgical patients from the resident outpatient site, the chief resident truly acts as a teaching assistant taking a junior resident through the surgery in most cases.
Empowered Residents with a Voice
Our residents are involved in decision making regarding their residency education at every level. Residents help design the two-year rotating didactic schedule, plan the educational activities of morning report, and lead problem-based learning sessions. Monthly resident business meetings are an opportunity for residents to suggest changes in the residency and identify problems.
Each year residents spend a half-day with faculty doing a “deep dive” into the residency experience and provide input for larger residency projects and changes. Residents write both the call schedule, and assign the operating room schedule each week.
Residents sit on numerous hospital committees in quality improvement, ethics, and graduate medical education, as well as local, state and national medical committees. We support our resident participation in these activities as it establishes a pattern of engagement that we hope will continue throughout their careers.
Comprehensive Outpatient Experience
Over 13,000 outpatient visits in the residents’ state of the art clinic provide a vast range of clinical cases and resident experience. Residents are responsible for the ambulatory and follow-up care of their own service patients, who are a diverse group, spanning the age spectrum.
Residents attend continuity clinics during all four years. Visit types and lengths, as well as level of responsibility are tailored to the PGY level. Four dedicated attending preceptors provide graduated supervision and support.
Office procedures such as colposcopy, LEEP, hysteroscopy, and ultrasonography (with one-on-one teaching with a certified ultrasonographer), along with subspecialty patient panels including high risk OB (with MFM attending supervision), gynecologic endocrinology and urogynecology allow our residents to be fully prepared for future ambulatory practice.
Diverse Inpatient Experience
Our inpatient teaching service provides care to both resident service and attending faculty patients.
WellSpan York Hospital's inpatient obstetrical services is housed in a LDR facility which includes two Cesarean section rooms, one intensive care room with the latest computer technology.
Our annual deliveries average 3100, with about 600 deliveries on the residents' service. Ob/Gyn residents manage their own OB residents' service and assist in the Labor & Delivery management of attending OB patients with consulting readily available from the perinatologist. A dedicated laborist faculty team is in place to aid resident teaching and learning.
WellSpan York Hospital has a Level IIIB NICU, caring for the most complex neonatal problems including extreme prematurity.
A Strong Academic Foundation Enhances the Resident Clinical Experience
WellSpan York Hospital is a Regional Medical Campus of Drexel University College of Medicine and a core affiliate for Penn State Hershey, Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University and Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM). Basic clerkships in obstetrics and gynecology, and elective rotations are offered throughout the year, and there are between 4-8 medical students on the rotation at any given time. Our residents have won numerous teaching awards from these institutions, and we expect every resident to be an educator and engaged in teaching of students and junior residents.
Academic teaching is provided through weekly grand rounds and protected didactic time. A Journal Club and Department Case Conference/QA Conference are held monthly. Guest lecturers of national and international reputation are regularly invited.
Every resident has a faculty mentor chosen based upon their interests and future career goals. Residents who identify an interest in fellowship training work with their mentor on research projects and other scholarship to build their CV for a fellowship application.
A Clinical Research rotation and curriculum is in place, and a Ph.D.-level Clinical Research Specialist is available to assist with teaching and performance of research and performance improvement projects. The Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology also conducts an active research program, with residents encouraged to become involved in ongoing research and required to participate in at least one research project during their four years of training. In 2017-2018 for example, the faculty and residents had multiple peer-reviewed publications, book chapters, and national presentations.
Opportunities for Advocacy, Medical Service, and Global Health
WellSpan supports a Global Health curriculum in which many residents choose to participate. This includes two years of monthly meetings, followed by two trips to a medically underserved area. Currently available placements include a surgical elective in Ghana (working with board-certified US trained Ob/Gyns, so your experience counts toward residency surgical experience), or working in an Indian Health site. Residents are also encouraged to seek out other clinical experiences in medically underserved communities during their three months of elective rotations.
Our residents are also involved in community health outreach and education, as well as legislative advocacy both at a state and national level. One senior resident is asked to coordinate advocacy activities each year, and the residency leadership is supportive of this by developing flexible schedules on days where a significant number of residents are participating in an advocacy project.
A Supportive Environment
Despite its large size, WellSpan York Hospital provides a friendly backdrop for your residency. Here, a feeling of community exists. Ancillary assistance abounds, which for the resident translates into no bloods to draw, IVs to start, EKGs to run or patients to transport. Laboratory results are promptly available through electronic records.
The WellSpan health system uses a single electronic medical record (EPIC), and resident evaluations are logged and reported using the myTIPreport website and app.
Are you a Match?
Candidates likely to be ranked highly in our application process are graduates of US or Canadian medical schools, allopathic or osteopathic, with good class standing, and strong letters of recommendation. Board scores (USMLE only) should reflect an ability to pass future exams for board certification. Our residents work and play well with others and tend to be engaged members of the medical and larger community. While many of our graduates have gone on to subspecialty fellowships, we are proud to train obstetric and gynecologic specialists who are interested in clinical or academic practices.