Fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility

An accredited Fellowship program in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI) was created in 2009 at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center with the goal of preparing fellows for productive careers in academic medicine. The program takes advantage of the breadth of research interests of the active faculty and the educational opportunities available to postdoctoral fellows at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center and the co-located Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and School of Graduate Studies. By design, it provides a progressive program of scientific inquiry, clinical competence, and didactic learning based on the educational objectives published by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, which accredits the fellowship. Graduates of the program will possess the full range of clinical, educational and investigative competencies necessary to become successful clinician-scientists.

The REI Fellowship program is structured to provide each fellow with a progressive experience in the conduct of clinical or basic research, depending on each fellow’s background and interests. This progressive approach is predicated on the fact that the majority of new fellows have had limited exposure to the entire research process. During the first year, the fellowship training structure begins with a clinical focus which evolves to a primary research emphasis during the second year. The third year will be a balance of clinical and research responsibilities in preparation for productive research careers in academic medicine

First-Year Fellows: Clinical

The first year is predominantly dedicated to the acquisition of basic clinical skills in REI. Except for participation in Fellow’s Clinic one half day each week, the Fellow is encouraged to do whatever on the given day will be of best educational value.  This includes participation in our sizable Reproductive Endocrinology practice, as well as exposure to related areas such as andrology, medical endocrinology, and pediatric endocrinology. Fellows learn all aspects of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) monitoring, oocyte retrievals and embryo transfers by daily participation in our ART program, which performs over 300 cycles of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) - embryo transfer annually. The fellow is an active participant in daily ART Team meetings—where the care for all patients undergoing IVF, frozen embryo transfer, or ovulation induction is reviewed. The Fellow assists in the very large number of surgeries done by the REI faculty.  In addition, formal REI Teaching Rounds are conducted on Tuesdays for 2 hours by an REI faculty member. To broaden their education, fellows participate in off-service rotations one-half day per week during the first year. These rotations include Medical Endocrinology, Pediatric Endocrinology, and Male Infertility.

First-Year Fellows: Research

Scientific effort in the first year is devoted primarily to identifying a research question and choosing a research mentor. During the first year, each fellow designs a research project that can be completed within the next two years. The project is written as a research proposal and submitted to the UHCMC Institutional Review Board for approval if appropriate. The first-year fellow spends the month of February off the clinical service in order to do preparation for the research project which will start in July.

First Year Fellows - Didactics

During the first year, the fellow will take two graduate courses:

  • CRSP 402: Study Design and Epidemiologic Methods
  • CRSP 403: Biostatistics for Clinical Research.

Second- and Third-Year Fellows: Clinical

During the second and first half of the third fellowship year, clinical activity will be limited to 10 percent (four hours per week). They will continue to rotate on weekend call every three weeks. During the second half of the third year, the fellow can allocate time between research and clinical depending on the fellow’s needs at that time.

Second- and Third-Year Fellows: Scientific Writing

An essential aspect of a successful academic career is the ability to write clearly and concisely. Writing requirements are an important part of all three fellowship years. Each fellow will be given a basic writing textbook (Zeiger, M. Essentials of Writing Biomedical Research Papers. 2nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2000) and individually mentored in the art of medical writing by various faculty members.
Fellows focus on writing manuscripts and grant applications. They are required in the second year to submit one or more abstracts containing preliminary data for possible presentation at a regional or national scientific meeting. In the third year they write and submit at least one manuscript for publication in a peer-reviewed journal based on data generated during the fellowship. This manuscript, with the fellow as first author, is written as a defensible thesis for ABOG certification purposes. In addition, all fellows present their research at the Annual Departmental Paper Day and present Grand Rounds to the department at least once during their fellowship. In addition to research abstracts and manuscripts, each fellow also chooses a case report or a clinical topic on which to write a review paper. Upon completion, these papers will be submitted to the appropriate journal for publication.

Optional Master’s Degree: Clinical Research Scholars Program

Fellows have the option of applying to participate in the Clinical Research Scholars Program (CRSP) at Case Western Reserve University during their second and third years.

Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility Fellows

2010-2013 Mohamed A. Bedaiwy, MD, PhD

  • MD: Assuit School of Medicine, Egypt
  • Residency in Ob/Gyn: University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center
  • Present Position: Professor and Division Head Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, British Columbia Women's Hospital

2011-2013 Sonia Elguero, MD

  • MD: Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada
  • Residency in Ob/Gyn: Albany Medical Center, New York
  • Present Position: Head Reproductive Endocrinologist and Infertility Specialist, Boston IVF, The Albany Center

2012-2015 Bansari Patel, MD

  • MD: Medical College of Georgia
  • Residency in Ob/Gyn: University of South Carolina
  • Present Position: Assistant Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology/Reproductive Medicine, Wake Forest Baptist Health

2013-2016 Suruchi Thakore, MD

  • MD: University of Buffalo
  • Residency in Ob/Gyn: University of Buffalo
  • Present Position: Assistant Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology, University of Cincinnati Health

2014–2017 Gretchen Garbe Collins, MD

  • MD: Loyola University Medical Center
  • Residency in Ob/Gyn: Loyola University Medical Center

2015–2018 Thalia Segal, MD

  • MD: Albert Einstein College of Medicine
  • Residency in Ob/Gyn: North Shore - Long Island Jewish Hospital

2016–2019 Kristen van Heertum, MD

  • MD: Drexel University College of Medicine
  • Residency in Ob/Gyn: Abington Memorial Hospital 

2017–2020 Valerie Libby, MD, MPH

  • MD: University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
  • Residency in Ob/Gyn: University of Texas at Southwestern Medical Center 

2018–2021 Channing Burks, MD

  • MD: Indiana University
  • Residency in Ob/Gyn: Rush University