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The Division of Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery, part of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, established an AAGL-approved fellowship in 2010.
The Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery Fellowship is a two-year program, structured to provide the fellow all aspects of minimally invasive gynecologic surgery, research endeavors and educational opportunities. Fellows graduate with a strong surgical and academic base, and have pursued successful positions in academic centers.
Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is an academic medical center in Hershey, Pa. The hospital is equipped with 35 operating rooms, including eight laparoscopic suites. The medical campus boasts an outpatient surgical center housing six operating rooms. The Clinical Simulation Center is a 9,500-square-foot facility that combines the services of anesthesia, surgery and nursing into a single, state-of-the-art simulation center with the latest in surgical virtual-reality simulators.
The Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery service offers a high-volume surgical program utilizing both conventional laparoscopy and the robotic daVinci Surgical System. The consultative surgical service focuses on laparoscopic hysterectomy, laparoscopic myomectomy and endometriosis surgeries, with a particular specialization in daVinci robotic surgery.
Surgical training is a key component of the Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery Fellowship. The program offers a robust surgical experience in advanced laparoscopic surgery, both conventional laparoscopy and robotic surgery, hysteroscopy and vaginal surgery.
Each fellow averages more than 400 cases per year, with approximately five to six surgical cases per operating room day. The program includes opportunities for in-office hysteroscopy as well. Laparoscopic experience is divided into approximately 50 percent robotic and 50 percent conventional. High surgical volumes ensure more than adequate cases for fellow experience and resident surgical experience, but also provide an excellent resource for research studies and initiatives.
Fellows interact and operate with skilled mentors not just in minimally invasive surgery, but also gynecologic oncology, reproductive gynecology and female pelvic floor surgery. Fellows also function as junior faculty, and take one weekend call per month.
Research is another core element of the fellowship. Research opportunities range from basic science to clinical trials. The division’s current research interests include clinical and basic science applications to management of pelvic pain and endometriosis, innovative surgical techniques and the treatment of post-operative pain. The division has developed an endometriosis tissue bank and prospective database as part of its translational research efforts. Faculty members hold primary research appointments, which provide the opportunity for fellow participation in ongoing studies. Fellows are also encouraged to create and develop their own projects, and are expected to either submit a final manuscript to a peer-reviewed journal or present an original work at a national conference.
The program fully supports academic pursuits to include education and attendance at national meetings. Fellows lead educational sessions for medical students and residents in addition to interdepartmental conferences that take a multidisciplinary approach to learning. The division gathers for monthly journal clubs. Additionally, fellows earn a Fundamental in Laparoscopic Surgery (FLS) certificate and also enroll in an intensive biostatistics course.
Learn More about the Fellowship
The Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery Fellowship participates in the AAGL fellowship application and match program.
Applications must be completed on the AAGL website.