Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

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Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery

Program Contact Information

Elizabeth Fuller, Program Coordinator

Program Overview

The Indiana University Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery (FPMRS) fellowship training program began in 1988 graduating one fellow per year since its inception. The program was the first in the nation to be officially accredited by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1996. The program is now jointly certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the American Board of Urology. Effective July 1, 2012, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) fully accredited the training program for three fellows (one fellow/year). Effective 4/14/2016, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) re-accredited the training program for three fellows (one fellow/year) until 2019. This process provides assurances to trainees that the fellowship training program and its sponsoring institution meet an accepted set of educational standards.

The Indiana University FPMRS program is designed to train physicians to provide consultative services and comprehensive management including preventive, diagnostic, and therapeutic procedures for women with the following pelvic floor disorders: urinary incontinence, lower urinary tract disorders, pelvic organ prolapse, defecatory dysfunction, and childbirth related injuries.

These objectives are achieved primarily through interaction with patients under the guidance and supervision of faculty members who give value, context, and meaning to those interactions. Supervision assures the provision of safe and effective care to the individual patient while assuring each fellow’s development of the skills, knowledge, and attitudes leading to proficiency in the six (6) domains of clinical competency required to enter the unsupervised practice of medicine.

As the fellow gains experience and demonstrates growth in their ability to care for patients over the thirty six (36) months of training, the fellow assumes roles that permit the fellow to use these skills, knowledge and attitudes with greater independence.

Patient interactions occur at 3 clinical sites within the Indiana University Health care delivery system including IU Health Methodist Hospital, IU Health North Hospital, and IU Health Saxony Hospital.


The Indiana University FPMRS faculty devote sufficient time to the training program to fulfill their supervisory and teaching responsibilities in an environment conducive to educating fellows in each of the six (6) ACGME competency areas.

The core faculty consist of two fellowship trained urogynecologists who are board certified in FPMRS by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG) and one fellowship trained urologist certified by the American Board of Urology (ABU).

Other physician faculty members include qualified colorectal surgeons and gastroenterologists who possess qualifications that are acceptable to the ACGME review committee.

Non physician faculty include physical therapists and a board certified clinical nurse specialist (CNS) who provides administrative support as program coordinator.

All program faculty encourage and support fellows in scholarly activities by maintaining an environment of inquiry with an active research component.

Program Director

  • Michael H. Heit, MD PhD, Fellowship training (FPMRS): Graduated 1994, Rush Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical, Mentor: Linda Brubaker MD, MS

Core faculty

  • Douglass Hale MD, Fellowship training (FPMRS): Graduated 1995, Methodist Hospital Urogynecology Training Program, Mentor: Thomas Benson MD

  • Charles R Powell MD, Fellowship training (Female Urology): Graduated 2009, University of Iowa, Mentor: Karl Kreder MD

Physician faculty

  • Bruce Robb MD, Fellowship training (Colorectal Surgery): Washington University School of Medicine

  • Toyia James-Stevenson MD, Fellowship training (Gastroenterology, Motility Disorders): Graduated 2009, Emory University

Non-Physician Faculty

  • Elizabeth Fuller RN, MSN, CNS, Master’s degree: Graduated 2001, Indiana University School of Nursing

  • Kaylene Hernandez, DPT : Graduated 2014, Duke University School of Medicine

Blocked Diagrams of Training Program

The educational objectives of the FPMRS fellowship training program are accomplished through an appropriate blend of supervised patient care responsibilities, clinical teaching, and didactic conferences. The program does not rely on fellows to fulfill non physician service, moonlighting, or general obstetrics and gynecology night call to cover salaries.

Twenty four (24) of the thirty six (36) months of training is devoted to FPMRS. According to ABOG, beginning academic year 2017, FPMRS fellows who were Ob/Gyn trained are required to have the following in order to meet the minimum requirement:

  • At least 12 months of research

    • Must occur in twelve (12) one-month blocks

    • No more than four hours per week averaged over four weeks may be spent in non-research activities (this includes all non-research related clinical activities)

Therefore, each fellow has eight (8) months of clinical service and four (4) months of research time for each of three (3) consecutive academic years as outlined below:

Blocked monthly diagram of FPMRS clinical service rotations


Didactic Sessions

The FPMRS fellowship training program includes regularly scheduled journal clubs, case/urodynamic/ /surgical video seminars, didactic lectures, and morbidity/mortality conferences consistent with ACGME program requirements as follows.


Scholarly activity

The FPMRS fellowship training program allocates adequate educational resources to facilitate our fellows’ involvement in scholarly activity.

According to ACGME program requirements for FPMRS, each fellow, under the direction of a faculty mentor, must complete a comprehensive written scholarly paper or quality improvement project (thesis) during the program that demonstrates the following:

  1. utilization of advanced research methodology and techniques, including research design and quantitative analysis;

  2. collection and statistical analysis of information obtained from a structured basic laboratory and/or clinical research setting;

  3. synthesis of the scientific literature, hypothesis testing, and description of findings and results.

Each PGY 7 fellow will give an oral presentation of his or her scholarly project (thesis), which will be formally assessed by the faculty, including a written evaluation.

According to the ABOG Bulletin for Subspecialty Certification in FPMRS, documentation of publication or acceptance for publication by a referred journal must be submitted with the scholarly project (thesis) to meet the requirements for application to the oral board examination. Publication or acceptance of a thesis for publication by a refereed journal does not guaranteed acceptance of the thesis for the oral examination.

We are committed to developing well educated clinical investigators with the knowledge of the basic principles of research, including how research is conducted, evaluated, explained to patients, and applied to patient care. This fund of knowledge is developed by each fellow’s participation in the Clinical Investigation and Translational Education (CITE) Program in anticipation of graduation with a Master of Science in Clinical Research degree. Coursework is begins in the PGY 6 year.

Our program has clinical and laboratory research facilities equipped to allow fellows to engage in scholarly activities of their choosing.


Masters of Science Degree Program - Clinical Investigation and Translational Education (CITE)

The Clinical Investigator and Translational Education (CITE) program is partially sponsored be a K-30 grant awarded by the NIH. Following completion of the program, graduates can embark on a career in clinical research with the skills necessary to successfully compete for grant funding, conduct and analyze research findings, and publish their work in scientific journals. The CITE program includes formal training in clinical research methods, biostatistics, grant preparation, scientific writing, clinical trials, clinical epidemiology, and research ethics.

By participating in the program, CITE trainees will accomplish two primary objectives:

  1. Complete a two-year formal clinical research curriculum, at the end of which they will receive a Master of Science in Clinical Research degree.

  2. Conduct clinical research under the mentorship of a faculty scientist whose discipline or area of clinical investigation corresponds to the research interests and career aims of the CITE enrollee.



Visiting Residencies in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery

The Indiana University Office of Graduate Medical Education (GME) facilitates 30 day electives or “visiting residencies” in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery for interested third year Ob/Gyn residents looking to enhance their experience in our sub-specialty during the months of October, November, January, and February. These months have been chosen to insure a fulfilling exposure to the breadth of our sub-specialty without interruption from holidays or annual scientific meetings. It also prepares the selected candidate for application and interview for fellowship training during the months of April, May, and June.

The selected candidate will work with fellows and attending physicians in the diagnosis, non-surgical, and surgical management of women with pelvic floor disorders from our patient population.

The GME office would like to have an advance notification of 60 days so that they can give the trainee plenty of time to gather their documents. GME Accreditation staffer’s work with the trainee’s home institution on processing an affiliation agreement between Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM) and the home institution. Additionally they develop a MEDHUB Enrollment portal for visiting third year residents, so there are no papers to copy or fax. The entire process is electronic.

Requirements for visiting resident / temporary IUSM house staff assignment

  1. Complete the top half of the IU School of Medicine Visiting or Temporary House Staff Assignment form (contact Julie Binhack for form)

  2. Current appointment to a residency position at a teaching institution (You must upload a recent up-to-date CV)

  3. Written approval from home institution (upload letter)

  4. Home institution must agree to continue stipend, benefits and malpractice insurance during the temporary assignment (upload copy of malpractice certificate).

  5. Valid Indiana medical license or fellowship permit (additional instructions/requirements within the Enrollment Portal) NOTE: Temporary Residency Medical Permit is no longer an option.

  6. Certified copy of medical school diploma (upload copy).

  7. If international medical school graduate, valid ECFMG certificate (upload copy).

  8. Immunization records to include Flu Shot (upload copy).

  9. Approval of the IU School of Medicine program director for the program in which the temporary assignment is desired.

  10. Signed IUSM Certification for Use of Personally Owned Devices Form (form fill document within Enrollment Portal)

  11. Verification of a Background Check from Home Institution (upload copy)

Interested third year Ob/Gyn residents should contact:

Julie Binhack
Executive Secretary
Office of Graduate Medical Education
Indiana University School of Medicine
Fesler Hall 318
1130 West Michigan Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202

Indiana University School of Medicine
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
550 University Blvd
Indianapolis, IN 46202

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