Fellowship in Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery

Through University Hospitals (UH) Urology Institute, the Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) Department of Urology offers the Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery (FPMRS) Fellowship. Each year we train one FPMRS fellow, alternating annually between urology and gynecology candidates. Urologists are required to complete two years of training, while gynecologists complete three years of training.

FPMRS fellows are exposed to a variety of clinical problems, large patient volume, and the full breadth of pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery. Fellows work alongside a diverse group of fellowship-trained and FPMRS board certified faculty in female urology, urogynecology, and minimally invasive gynecologic surgery and spend their time split between two large, busy medical centers, University Hospitals Case Medical Center (UHCMC) and Metro Health Medical Center (MHMC).

Faculty Members:

  • Sherif El Nashar, M.D. (UHCMC)
  • Adonis Hijaz, M.D. (UHCMC)
  • Sangeeta Mahajan, M.D. (UHCMC)
  • Jeff Mangel, M.D. (MHMC)
  • Rob Pollard, M.D. (MHMC)

FPMRS Curriculum

Our educational program is strongly rooted in hands-on experience in the operating room and clinic setting.  Fellows maintain teaching responsibilities, perform independent research, lead conferences and participate in workshops and lectures. Additionally, all FPMRS fellows have the option to complete a master’s degree in a field of their choice.  

Fellows receive extensive surgical training in:

  • Vaginal reconstructive surgery
  • Robotic surgery (including sacrocolpopexy)
  • Open abdominal surgery
  • Complex laparoscopic surgery
  • Mesh and autologous fascia sling
  • Interstim®
  • Management of anatomic disorders and surgical misadventures

By program completion, graduates demonstrate complete anatomical knowledge of the female pelvis and mastery of surgical and non-surgical treatments for pelvic floor disorders.

All fellows are required to produce a thesis of publishable quality and to successfully defend their thesis in front of the division at completion of their fellowship in order to qualify for graduation.  This thesis will also be required for FPMRS boards. 


Teaching Duties

Inpatient and outpatient teaching duties occur within the UH Urology Institute's Female Pelvic Medicine and Surgery Center, as well as the Female Pelvic Surgery Clinic at MetroHealth Medical Center.

During each rotation, trainees serve as the primary surgeon or first assistant for all cases performed by the designated attending physician. As leader of the inpatient care team, fellows supervise residents and medical students during daily work rounds. In the outpatient setting, fellows participate in all aspects of patient care, including initial history and physical examination, counseling, pre- and post-operative care, medication, physical therapy follow-ups and annual visits.

Off-Service Rotations

Off-service rotations in colorectal surgery, neurology and multidisciplinary pelvic pain clinic maximize complementary learning experiences. Fellows gain and expand their skills in anal ultrasound and manometry (colorectal surgery rotation); electromyographic testing and pelvic nerve testing (neurology rotation); and pain management (multidisciplinary pelvic pain clinic).

On the University Hospitals rotation, fellows spend one am per week mastering urodynamic testing performance and interpretation.

Each fellows spends one-third of their fellowship in protected research time, usually in 2 month blocks.

Ambulatory and Operating Room Supervision

Fellows are assigned to University Hospitals or Metro Health or Research for 2 month blocks throughout the year. Each week, trainees will spend at about half of their time in the OR and the other half in clinic with an attending. During this time, fellows receive one-on-one supervision from their  clinic attending.

Research Program

Education and intellectual growth are imperative to our fellowship program. Therefore, fellows are closely mentored in their research endeavors by faculty members.  Fellow projects receive appropriate financial support from the division as needed. All fellows must declare a thesis project and mentor by the end of their first year of fellowship.

First year fellows attend an intensive daily half-day statistics course during July as a primer for research methodology.


FPMRS fellows give four to six lectures throughout the year on a topic selected from the Guide to Learning in Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery. This exercise aids fellows with public speaking at scientific meetings and assists in their development as educators within their communities.

Progressive Responsibility

The fellowship experience is transformative. Fellows begin with one-on-one instruction and close monitoring by the faculty, with a focus on acquiring basic knowledge and skills. As the fellowship progresses, senior fellows mentor junior fellows, residents and medical students. By the completion of the program, fellows have significant autonomy and clinical care responsibilities.


Every three months, 360-degree evaluations will be utilized for fellows, attending physicians, nurse practitioners and residents. This enables constructive feedback on all members of the FPMRS team.


Biomedical and Translational Research Methodology Seminar Series

This weekly dynamic course provides fellows with the fundamental principles of clinical research. Participants read, discuss and present findings from seminal textbooks on research methodology. These didactic conversations test and hone critical evaluation skills of all trainees to practice grant writing skills and practice effective research presentations.

Responsible Conduct of Research Training

All CWRU trainees are required to attend responsible conduct training, as well as supplementary monthly workshops provided by the School of Medicine Research Administration Office.

Grand Rounds

Grand rounds are performed weekly by an attending, fellow or visiting professor from urology and obstetrics and gynecology.

FPMRS Conference

This weekly conference includes activities, such as discussion of division-specific research projects, journal club, lectures by FPMRS faculty, fellows and residents and case conferences.

Seminars and Lectures

Fellows attend FPMRS educational lectures Tuesday afternoons from 4:30 to 6 pm—not including grand rounds hosted by the urology and obstetrics and gynecology departments.  The division also hosts monthly journal clubs at an outside site devoted to a FPMRS topic.

Scientific Meetings

Fellows will receive full funding to attend the annual meeting of the American Urogynecologic Society.


Fellows master the research process and incorporate research into their everyday lives. Fellows choose a mentor from FPMRS faculty based on their basic science, translational or clinical research interests. Fellows devote three months to a dedicated research rotation each year. In addition, fellows complete and formally defend a research thesis toward the master's degree requirement. Fellows are encouraged to submit their original research for publication and for presentation at national or regional meetings by the end of their fellowship.

Research Resources

FPMRS fellows benefit from the resources of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine—one of the top biomedical research institutions in the country—and University Hospitals Urology Institute, which includes the Female Pelvic Medicine and Surgery Center, Research & Innovation Center, Outcomes Research and Quality Care Center, Education and Communication Center and Disease Prevention Center, among others.

Trainees also have access to cutting-edge research facilities, which comprises the UH Urology Institute and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology laboratories’ nearly 10,000 combined square feet of research space with several individual bench areas, tissue culture rooms, chemical fume hoods and a dedicated cold room.

Other resources available include:

  • Electrophoresis and chromatographic equipment
  • Kodak digital imaging system
  • ELISA plate reader
  • Liquid scintillation and gamma counters
  • Fluorescent, confocal, polarizing and light microscopes
  • Napco double CO2 incubator
  • High-pressure cell disruption system
  • PosiFlow 2 pump and 4-chamber pump

Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery Fellows

2009-2012: Sara Kane, MD

  • Residency: Metro Health Medical Center
  • Current position: Private practice Louisville, KY.

2011-2014: Bogdan Orasanu, MD

  • MD: Carol Davila University of Medicine, Bucharest, Romania
  • Residency:  The State University of New York, University at Buffalo
  • Current position: Academic practice, Summa Health System, Akron, Ohio

2012-2014: Aisha Taylor, MD

  • MD: Harvard Medical School
  • Residency in Urology: Northwestern University
  • Current position: Academic practice, University of Pittsburgh

2013–2016: Rebecca James, MD

  • MD: Texas A&M School of Medicine
  • Residency in Ob/Gyn: University Hospitals Case Medical Center
  • Current position: Private practice Midland, Texas

2014–2017: Welles Henderson, MD

  • MD: Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University
  • Residency in Ob/Gyn: University of Utah

2015-2018 - Andre Petrikovets, MD

  • MD: St. George’s University, Grenada, West Indies
  • Residency in Ob/Gyn: Rutgers, New Jersey Medical School

2016-2019 David Sheyn, MD

  • MD:  University of Cincinnati
  • Residency in Ob/Gyn: University Hospitals Case Medical Center