Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship
The fellowship training program in gynecologic oncology at the UC Davis Medical Center is a three-year program that includes 24 months of clinical training and 12 months of mentored focused research. There will be one fellow accepted annually into the program, with a total of three fellows. The clinical training includes instruction in gynecologic cancer surgery and complex benign surgery, under the direction of the members of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology. Each fellow will complete six months of clinical training in areas outside the core Gyn Oncology rotations, including medical oncology, radiation oncology, surgical oncology, and the surgical ICU. The twelve months of research experience will have either a basic science research focus or a clinical research focus, with intensive mentorship in either area.
Applicants interested in applying for the fellowship training program in gynecologic oncology can submit their application through the ERAS website. Individuals interested in obtaining additional information should contact Bailey Mathews, Fellowship Coordinator for the Division of Gynecologic Oncology, at (916) 734-6978 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to the ERAS application, applicants are requested to send copies of CREOG scores directly to Bailey Mathews. This program requires a minimum of three letters of recommendation. If a rotation was completed at MD Anderson or Memorial Sloan-Kettering and that letter is not included as one of the letters of recommendation please send that to Bailey as well.
The UC Davis Gynecologic Oncology fellowship starts on July 15 and will conclude three years later on July 14.
- Applications must be completed and turned in by Monday, April 5, 2021.
- Invitations to interview will be sent to applicants on Monday, April 26, 2021.
We aim to train:
- Excellent surgeons, independently competent in the breadth of complex surgical procedures a gynecologic oncologist should be able to perform including open, laparoscopic, robotic, and vaginal surgery.
- Outstanding clinicians with an expansive knowledge of tumor biology, the principles of gynecologic malignancies, treatment, and associated medical conditions.
- Oncologists with a strong understanding of chemotherapy drugs including standard cytotoxic chemotherapy, targeted and experimental agents, with an understanding of the indication, mechanisms, administration, expected response and toxicity to such agents.
- Physicians competent in the principles of palliative care and able to communicate effectively with their patients about goals of care and end of life issues.
- Compassionate providers who can recognize patients as people, put patients’ needs ahead of their own, exercise ethical practice, and utilize systems based learning to continue to improve the care of patients and move the field of gynecologic oncology further ahead.
- Gynecologic oncology educators, committed to training including the next generation of gynecologic oncologists, expanding the knowledge of their staff and allied health professionals, and providing their patients with an understanding of their disease and health related conditions.
- Physicians who recognize the importance of continued lifelong learning, with a commitment to staying current in practice and the related literature as the field moves forward.
- Oncologists with an appreciation for research, either in their own academic careers as clinician scientists, or with an appreciation for and understanding of ongoing investigation that allows critical interpretation of the literature and application to patient care.
- Gynecologic Oncologists that are excellent in practice but also recognize their own limitations and know when to ask for help.
Rebecca Brooks, M.D.
Division Chief and Fellowship Director, Gynecologic Oncology
Professor and Chair, Obstetrics and Gynecology
|Vanessa Kennedy, M.D.
Assistant Professor, Gynecologic Oncology
|Rachel Ruskin, M.D.
Assistant Professor, Gynecologic Oncology
Hui "Amy" Chen, M.D. Assistant Professor, Gynecologic Oncology
The clinical training includes instruction in gynecologic cancer surgery and complex benign surgery, under the direction of the members of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology. Each fellow will complete three months of clinical training in areas outside the core Gyn Oncology rotations: Radiation Oncology, Surgical Oncology and Colorectal Surgery, Surgical Intensive Care Unit, and Palliative Care Service.
The primary location for the program is at the UC Davis Medical Center (UCDMC) in Sacramento, California. The Division of Gynecologic Oncology also provides services in the Northern California region that extends north to the Oregon border, south to the San Joaquin Valley, east to Reno, Nevada, and west to the Bay Area. All Division members are on the faculty of the UC Davis School of Medicine.
UC Davis Medical Center
UC Davis Medical Center is a 625-bed acute-care teaching hospital with the only level 1 trauma center in inland Northern California. UC Davis has the only National Cancer Institute designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in the region (excluding the Bay Area), with an active program of clinical trials. Facility expansion over the last 15 years in Sacramento has resulted in more than 3 million square feet of buildings over a 140-acre campus, which includes a recently completed 14-floor hospital tower, state of the art outpatient facility (where the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology is located), and research buildings. A new pavilion was completed in the Fall of 2010 that includes 48 state of the art operating rooms, plus ICU’s and Emergency Department. The Cancer Center is recently underwent an expansion that doubled the clinic capacity by 100% and was completed in the Spring of 2012. The UC Davis Medical Center has an active robotic surgery program with both Si and Xi robotic systems.
The fellows will run the Gynecologic Oncology services at all facilities under the guidance of the faculty. Team members include OB/GYN residents and medical students. The faculty performs oncologic and complex gynecologic operative procedures including radical, bowel and urologic surgery. Fellows will receive training in chemotherapy with Dr. Vanessa Kennedy, Dr. Rachel Ruskin and Dr. Sidney Scudder. The fellows are actively involved in creating chemotherapy treatment plans and managing chemotherapy side effects for all gynecologic oncology patients. Separate clinical rotations are scheduled with Surgical Oncology, Radiation Oncology, Palliative Care, and the Surgical ICU service. Some reconstructive services are provided by members of the Division of Plastic Surgery and Dr. Jennifer Rothschild in Urology.
1st Year Fellowship
The first year is devoted to clinical service. The 1st year fellow will begin the year on the Gynecologic Oncology service (with the 3rd year fellow). The off-service rotations during the first year of fellowship are Surgical ICU and Palliative Care.
2nd Year Fellowship
The second year of fellowship is the designated research year and clinical activities will therefore be kept to a minimum. The fellow will continue rotating weekend call. Clinical duties cannot exceed 10% of total work hours (per ACGME guidelines). Rarely, the research fellow will be asked to cover a surgical case, and may do so if this does not conflict with the duty hours described by ACGME.
The research fellow is expected to attend OB/GYN grand rounds, department morbidity and mortality conferences, and the weekly tumor board. Expectations for the research year include the completion of the thesis project with at least one manuscript to be submitted for publication, plus one quality improvement research paper.
3rd Year Fellowship
The senior fellow will spend 10 months of the year on the Gyn Oncology service. The senior fellow will go to Kaiser Permanente Sacramento once a week and San Joaquin General Hospital twice a month to manage Gyn Oncology patients and perform complex surgeries. The off-service rotations during the third year of fellowship include one month of Surgical Oncology service (where they will function at the level of a chief resident - there are no surgical oncology fellows at UCDMC) and one month of Radiation Oncology.
During all 3 years of fellowship the fellows will rotate on a one-in-three weekend schedule to cover the Gynecologic Oncology service.
Overview of Fellow Didactic Expectations
Fellows will be expected to provide some lectures to residents and medical students during the training program. The fellows are responsible for running the weekly Gynecologic Oncology Tumor Board, which is a forum for case management discussions, as well as a review of Gynecologic Pathology, and eligible clinical trials. There is a weekly teaching session in Gynecologic Oncology, and a weekly set of Fellow Didactic Lectures (including case reviews and Journal Club). The Fellow Didactic Lectures include pathology and management of gynecologic cancers, landmark trials in gynecologic oncology, chemotherapy review, radiation review, and topics in palliative care. Other conferences include weekly Department Grand Rounds, monthly Departmental M&M conference, and resident didactic lectures. Fellows are required to complete graduate level courses in Clinical Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Clinical Trial Design.
Dr. Ruskin and Dr. Brooks are in charge of fellow didactics and for selecting the topic/articles for journal club.
At the beginning of the academic year a lecture schedule is developed by faculty with the assistance of the 3rd year fellow with the didactic topics and assigned faculty for the year. A topic for the month will be provided with the required reading material (book chapters and selected articles). The format for these sessions consists of an informal question and answer session with the assigned faculty and all fellows.
Journal Club / Case List Review
Several times per year the entire division of Gynecologic Oncology meets for journal club/case review sessions. Several weeks prior to journal club, articles will be chosen and assigned to the fellows for presentation. Presentation involves an informal discussion of the background, methods, results, summary of the findings, and the implications for clinical practice should also be discussed. Fellows are expected to have read all the articles and to be prepared to answer questions related to the articles.
Approximately half of this session is dedicated to case list review. These sessions are used to reinforce understanding stemming from the didactic lecture series, and focuses on the topics that were recently presented. The case reviews are done in a Q & A format, based on the fellows’ recent clinical cases.
Each fellow must complete 12 months of focused research training and experience. The Division members are fortunate to have active collaborations with both basic scientists and clinical researchers. Each fellow will be required to declare a focus in either basic science or clinical research, and complete a minimum of two manuscripts, one of which will be from the thesis project and should be publishable. The second can be either a clinical research project or a quality improvement project.
The UC Davis Division of Gynecologic Oncology is proud to offer collaboration and training under the mentorship of Dr. Jeremy Chien, PhD. Dr. Chien was recruited in 2018 for his excellence in ovarian cancer translational research. His lab focuses on pathways involved in the molecular carcinogenesis of ovarian cancer, and on developing effective therapies targeting vulnerabilities in ovarian cancer. Previous fellows have also worked with Dr. Kit Lam, the Chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, and with Dr. Lloyd Smith MD, PhD, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
The research year occurs in the second year. The second year fellow takes coursework in Epidemiology, Clinical Research design, and Medical Biostatistics through the Mentored Clinical Research Training Program (K-30 program).
It is expected that a topic for the research year will be decided during the first clinical year, in consultation with the Program Director and designated mentor.
Basic Science Research
Dr. Jeremy Chien, PhD is the designated research basic science mentor. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, with a joint appointment in the of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He has a proven track record of successfully training fellows and a vast portfolio of peer reviewed publications as well as an established laboratory.
The majority of Fellows have chosen a basic research experience, and all were able to generate a thesis suitable for the ABOG subspecialty oral exam. Fellows who choose this research tract will take formal coursework in research (see above), plus seminars in Tumor Biology.
Fellows choosing the clinical research track will work with one of the core faculty and another mentor specific to the type of research they are involved with. The majority of Fellows choosing this option have performed clinical outcomes research and epidemiology studies, and all were able to generate a thesis suitable for the ABOG subspecialty oral exam.
Mentored Clinical Research Training Program
UC Davis Health has established a K-30 intensive training in Mentored Clinical Research, which includes formal graduate level course work in epidemiology, clinical study design, and statistics. The Mentored Clinical Research Training Program (MCRTP) provides a solid foundation for clinical/patient-oriented research for junior faculty, clinical and pre-clinical fellows, and post-doctoral scholars. The MCRTP centers around three core elements: didactic instruction, mentored research, and special experiences.
The didactic instruction provides scholars a standardized set of skills critical to all types of clinical and translational research. The instruction includes a 12 week summer curriculum followed by a two year core curriculum and electives that can be tailored to best meet each scholar’s career development needs. The didactic curriculum is a combination of established and new courses explicitly designed for the MCRTP. Gynecologic Oncology fellows are required to complete only the fall curriculum Epidemiology and Study Design, and Medical Biostatistics. Other courses are available as time permits.
The UC Davis gynecologic oncology fellowship places value on trainees with diversity of thoughts, experiences, and perspectives. Care is taken to interview candidates who come from a variety of backgrounds including geographic, socioeconomic, racial, cultural, gender identity, sexual orientation, and training. These factors are considered when evaluating the pool of applicants, as diversity is core to the mission of our program.
The UC Davis Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion works to create a climate of inclusion reflected in structures, policies and practices; the demographics of UC Davis Health community; the attitudes and values of its members and leaders; and the quality of personal interactions.
For the ninth consecutive year, UC Davis has been recognized as a leader in LGBTQ health equality in the Healthcare Quality Index, an annual survey conducted by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the educational arm of the country’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization.
Sacramento is one of the most ethnically and socially diverse cities in America. Throughout your training here you will learn to care for patients from around the world and prepare yourself to provide quality healthcare to women who need it.
The gynecologic oncology fellows attend an annual trainee (fellows and residents) 1 1/2 day retreat sponsored by the Division of Hematology/Oncology that is geared towards wellness and resilience. This off site multidisciplinary retreat provides opportunities for peer and social networking. Fellows are given two half days off each year for preventive health appointments. The Institution has named a GME Director of Wellness and has an additional full time Psychologist dedicated to GME who provides night and weekend clinical hours. Wellness has been included in orientation activities, to talk about ways to maintain wellness during training, and to emphasize to incoming residents and fellows that this is an institutional priority. Faculty development for mentoring and support skills is also an ongoing initiative of the department. Grand rounds and workshops exist to develop these skills, and mentoring is reviewed at the annual faculty review with the department chair.
UC Davis strongly promotes that health and well-being can be learned and continually practiced to enhance quality of life. Individual health and well-being include awareness, commitment, and open-mindedness. Community health and well-being includes collaboration, integrity and inclusion. UC Davis Health has a focused Staff and Faculty Health and Well-being program to provide support for physicians when personal or work issues arise, with confidential and free services. More information is available at https://safetyservices.ucdavis.edu/units/occupational-health/health-well-being.
Professional liability insurance is provided by the Regents of the University of California. Fellow benefits include medical, dental, and vision insurance as well as disability insurance; life/accidental death and dismemberment insurance; physician lab coats, laundry services; and maternity/paternity leave. Annual vacation leave (20 working days per year) plus protected conference and fellowship-specific educational workshops are included.
Salaries are set at the level of PGY-5 (first year fellow), PGY-6 (second year fellow), and PGY-7 (third year fellow). Salaries are established annually and are subject to change from union bargaining.
Sacramento, California’s capital, is the sixth largest city in California and the ninth largest capital in the Unites States. We are located in the confluence of the American and Sacramento rivers. We are known for our large urban parks, including a 26-mile river parkway and bike trail along our rivers. California has a lot to offer! Be sure to check out what there is to discover in "Gold Country."
As of 2017, Sacramento was the fastest-growing city in California with a vibrant sports scene. The Sacramento Kings basketball team plays in the new state-of-the art Golden 1 Center in downtown Sacramento. The city received a new MLS designation with Sacramento Republic FC and will build a stadium starting 2020.
We have a large running community that appreciates the surrounding even terrain. Every December, UC Davis Health System sponsors the California International Marathon. Our residents, fellows and faculty participate in the relay with 4-5 teams running alongside each other.
Sacramento is the Farm-to-Fork capital of America with an ever-increasing food scene. We are fortunate to have some of the best produce in the world all year round, with numerous farmers markets throughout the city. We have the largest certified organic market in the country.
Sacramento is known for its love of beer, with over 50 breweries in the surrounding area. Take the ‘brew bike’ and participate in beer week to get a taste of our nationally recognized breweries. But, don’t be fooled that beer is “king.” Wine country abounds to the east, south and west. Downtown Napa is slightly more than one hour’s drive from Sacramento and only 20 minutes south are the closest wineries in Clarksburg. Further south, Lodi, is the largest producer of grape juice for wine production in the world. To the west are rolling hills of wineries mixed with Orchards in “Apple Hill” region half-way to Lake Tahoe. Whatever your preference, beer and wine abound.
We also have, per capita, an inordinate amount of independently owned coffee shops. Three of our favorite coffee houses (Temple Coffee, Old Soul Co. and Chocolate Fish) were selected nationally as the Top Coffee in 2018.
There are many quaint neighborhoods, with old town Sacramento giving you a glimpse to the past and the gold rush days.
Despite being in California, we have 4 seasons. Winters are mild and rainy. Summers are sunny, hot and dry. Spring and fall weather is among the most pleasant in the state with beautiful foliage. You have easy access to beautiful Lake Tahoe or the Pacific Coast, all day trips from Sacramento.
10 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT SACRAMENTO BEFORE MOVING HERE
1) It’s One of the Most Diverse Cities in America
Sacramento was once named the most diverse city in America by TIME. Los Angeles and New York City might be called the great melting pots of America, but the multiplicity of cultures in Sacramento blend together smoothly to create more of a cultural mosaic than a melting pot. This makes Sacramento one of the most integrated cities in America.
2) You’ll Eat the Best Cheeseburgers of Your Life in Sacramento
In N’ Out, Five Guys, McDonald’s….wherever you’ve had your best burger before, forget about it before you move to Sacramento. Sacramento is famous for its burgers. Don’t believe us? Pay a visit to the Squeeze Inn, which serves burgers so famous they’re known all across the state of California. Their secret is to use lots of cheese – you get a slice of cheese that’s about twice as large as the burger bun!
3) We Have More Sports Teams Than You Think
Most people know Sacramento because of the Sacramento Kings. Sure, being a Sacramento Kings fan can be tough, at times, especially as the team goes through a bit of a rebuild. But beyond cheap NBA tickets, Sacramento has plenty of other sports teams to support, including the Sacramento Republic FC pro soccer team, the Sacramento River Cats minor league baseball team, and the Sacramento State Hornets athletics, which play in the Big Sky Conference. In Davis, just a short ride over the “causeway” that leads west out of Sacramento, UC Davis athletic teams are in the same conference, resulting in a great rivalry – the big football game every year is the “Causeway Classic.”
4) We Have a Ridiculous Number of Nicknames
Ask five people on the street about Sacramento’s nickname and they might give you five different answers. Some of the most common nicknames include “City of Trees,” “The Camellia Capital of the World,” and “The Big Tomato.” Well, at least that’s what some tourists call the city. To locals, most people just call it “Sac” or “Sactown”.
5) Being Eco-Friendly is In Our Nature
Sacramento, like many cities in California, is taking a proactive approach to environmental sustainability. Unique eco-friendly features in Sacramento include the SMUD energy distribution system along with a recent $100 million investment into renewable energy. You don’t have to walk far around town to spot solar panels on someone’s roof.
6) One of the Best Hospitals in America
UC Davis Medical Center calls Sacramento home. That medical center was recently ranked as one of the 50 best hospitals in America by News & World Report, which compared 5,000 hospitals across the nation. Key areas of specialization include cancer care (ranked 39th in the nation), as well as orthopedics (ranked 50th). Of course, we are most proud of Gynecology, which ranked 16th in the nation.
7) We Produce a Lot of Almonds
California produces more than 90% of the world’s almonds (and 98.5% of America’s almonds), and many of those almonds pass through Sacramento. Almond maker, Blue Diamond, calls Sacramento home, and that means millions of pounds of almonds are being processed through the factory every day.
8) It Has Snowed Three Times in Sacramento
Don’t like snow? Sacramento might be the city for you. There have been three significant snow fall events in Sacramento since 1900. That’s right: three. Sure, it might snow a couple times in December or January, but it rarely sticks to the ground.
9) Lake Tahoe is a 2-Hour Drive Away
It doesn’t snow in Sacramento, but you can still get your skiing fix on a day trip. Lake Tahoe is just a two-hour drive away. That’s a great way to spend the winter, but it’s also a popular summertime destination for Sacramento residents.
10) Our Region is Known for Farmer’s Markets
Sacramento is the major metropolitan area in the middle of vast amounts of farmland. Of course, that means lots of produce, flowers, meat – you name it. Farmer’s markets about in Sacramento, Davis and around the entire region. Within the last few years, the Davis famer’s market was named one of the Best Farmer’s Markets in the United States by American Express, the only California market on the list, as well as one of the top 25 markets across America by Parade Magazine. Sacramento farmer’s markets are, simply, huge! Sustainable agriculture is an important part of living in the city. As a result, the farm-to-fork movement originated here with most top-end restaurants working with menus that change daily based on what is available locally. Even our renowned Michelin star restaurant, ‘The Kitchen,” completely changes its menu every month. Bon Appetite!
Meet Our Fellows
Alireza Abidi, M.D.
Abby Gonik, M.D.
Vanessa Kennedy, M.D.
Eugenia Girda, M.D.
Kristin Gotimer, D.O., MPH
Susannah Mourton, M.D.
Rinki Agarwal, M.D.
Ruth Stephenson, D.O.
Amanda Shepherd, M.D.
Wiley Fowler, M.D.
Nell Suby, M.D.
Megan Petersen, M.D.
Hui "Amy" Chen, M.D.