A diverse, dynamic group of resident physicians from various social, ethnic, geographic and academic backgrounds comprises the Detroit Medical Center / Wayne State University Obstetrics and Gynecology residency program. The Department also offers eight-week internships to all Wayne State University third year medical students, elective senior clerkships to third and fourth year medical students, and rotations to residents and physician assistant students from other programs.
Early resident training in our program, described by Dr. Bertha VanHoosen in 1886, details responsibilities of a maid, nurse, laboratory assistant and obstetrician assistant. Residents needed to be available twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week. They performed all medical procedures except for high-risk cases. In these situations, residents contacted on-call obstetricians and gynecologists.
Residents receive their didactic, clinical and research education from an exceptional faculty including several internationally renowned physicians. Today’s residents care for the large population surrounding the Detroit Medical Center by rotating through varied settings that fulfill the educational objectives established by the Council on Resident Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Residents train in continuity clinics, outpatient ambulatory settings in the Detroit Medical Center and metropolitan areas, private practices, an urban university hospital and community hospitals. In addition to basic obstetrics and gynecology, residents are instructed in all subspecialty areas, including Gynecologic Oncology, Maternal Fetal Medicine, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Genetics, pelvic reconstructive surgery and incontinence surgery, and primary care for women. Opportunities include but are not limited to: the treatment of challenging cases; the responsibility for the management of 36,000 patient visits in the Ob/Gyn outpatient clinics, and participation in over 8,000 deliveries annually. Interaction with other health disciplines (e.g., nurse midwives, certified nurse clinicians, physician assistants, physical therapists, medical specialties) reinforces the team approach found within the department.
Learning occurs within a broad spectrum of formal and informal experiences. The program offers residents the ability to study with departmental faculty, university scholars, invited, international guest speakers, and the approximately 900 plus other residents and fellows training in the Detroit Medical Center. Faculty and residents work together in daily morning reports and rounds. Journal clubs, conferences, weekly Grand Rounds, web-based self-tutorials, American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology review materials, and mortality and morbidity conferences provide forums for educational advancement or a basis for discussion to nuture clinical expertise. An annual allowance for educational materials (e.g., books, software, and chief resident course support) is budgeted for each resident. Regular classroom teaching sessions remain an integral part of the curriculum and are protected on a weekly basis. The department supports an annual in-house OB/GYN Board Review Course for PGY-4 residents as well.
Research continues to be an essential component of the curriculum. Residents are required to participate in clinical research. This results in every resident completing and presenting an original research project by the end of the program. Faculty and fellows serve as mentors with an emphasis on submitting papers to national meetings and journals. The department sponsors residents to attend national conferences when they are first author of a poster or oral presentation. Several residents’ present posters or papers at major women’s health conferences across the country annually and still others have won honorariums locally and nationally for the quality of their research. Our residents also regularly publish in professional journals as primary or co-authors with departmental members.
In sum, the Detroit Medical Center / Wayne State University Obstetrics and Gynecology residency program provides comprehensive, high-quality, university-based, educational opportunities for a large number of post-graduate medical students originating from diverse settings. Upon graduation, our residents are well-equipped to choose from a variety of career paths, ranging from private practice to subspecialty fellowship training to academic medicine as a generalist.