ACGME Program requirements for Graduate Medical Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology include scholarly activities. The curriculum must advance residents` knowledge of the basic principles of research, including how research is conducted, evaluated, explained to patients, and applied to patient care. Residents should also participate in a scholarly activity with the Program allocating adequate educational resources to facilitate resident involvement in scholarly activities.

Specifically, the resident will be required to be familiar with the development, execution, data analysis, interpretation and presentation of a research project by active participation in at least one research project during residency training, to understand the basic principles of basic and applied clinical research, and to be able to critically appraise and summarize the literature on a given subject, and judge whether a research project or publication is sound, ethical, unbiased and clinically valuable.

Departmental Background

The Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of Columbia University Medical Center has as an important part of its mission providing a clinical, basic science and technology-based research environment in women’s health. The overarching goals are:

  • To develop and evaluate new and cutting edge technologies to improve the healthcare of women
  • To perform clinical research leading to evidence based changes in practice
  • To train and develop research scientists
  • To either independently or in collaboration with other leading investigators perform work to translate basic discoveries into clinical care

The Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of Columbia University Medical Center performs “world class” basic, translational and clinical research involving women, their pregnancies and their reproductive health as well as on their newborns. Resources have been dedicated to create a smoothly operating department-based research infrastructure composed of experienced, well-established investigators and a dedicated support staff. This has led to the creation of a formal research structure within the department and the recruitment of additional expertise to develop programs in perinatal/reproductive epidemiology, biostatistics, and database creation and management. These resources complement the existing staff of over 40 clinical research personnel. This environment assures continued research growth, positions us to remain the dominant OB/GYN thought leader in the metropolitan New York area and beyond, and creates an environment rich with resources to train residents, fellows and junior faculty in research.

The Columbia University’s Department of OB/GYN has worked diligently to create, on the New York Presbyterian Hospital (NYPH) campus, a culture where research is an integral part of patient care. This has required that all attending physicians, fellows, residents, medical students and staff become accustomed to following clinical investigational protocols and all patients are seen as potential study subjects. This culture transition has been driven by a critical mass of academic full-time faculty with sufficient interest and skill to perform clinical research, the presence of a diverse and educated patient population willing to participate in research initiatives, and the emergence of an environment in which all staff accept participation in research initiatives as a major role of a teaching institution. This environment not only improves care but enhances Columbia’s and NYPHs longstanding reputation for excellence in clinical care and research and has produced a large volume of publications and presentations.

General gynecology, reproductive genetics, maternal-fetal medicine, gynecologic oncology, family planning and prenatal diagnosis are all areas of active clinical research. These areas of interest, coupled with a strong clinical base and top-notch researchers, position us to be the leaders in our field and provide a rich environment for resident education in the area of research.


The goal of the research curriculum is to improve resident education in research and stimulate residents to become life-long active learners and scientific participants by enhancing their participation in clinical or basic science investigation and scholarly activities. The research curriculum will offer residents a conducive and supportive environment for scientific investigation, education and scholarship under the supervision of a chosen mentor and training from our researchers. The primary requirement is that residents plan and demonstrate a significant contribution to the project and deliver a coherent presentation of their work and research findings.

At the completion of the residency program, each resident will be able to:

  • Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the scientific basis of his or her project
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the applicable scientific design methodology
  • Interpret data appropriately, under the supervision and with the support of his/her mentor and/or epidemiologist and biostatistician
  • Will be able to identify appropriate statistical methods to effectively conduct the project
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the validity and applicability of the results and be able to translate research findings to individual patient care
  • Retrieve literature independently and appraise and apply the relevant scientific literature
  • Demonstrate professional scientific writing skills in preparing manuscripts, abstracts, and/or presentations
  • Demonstrate professional oral presentation skills
  • Work effectively on a scholarly project as part of a team – the resident will be receptive and responsive to constructive criticism. He/she will create ethically-sound relationships with mentors and other investigators involved in the research project
  • Participate in local, regional and national professional meetings and publications
  • Demonstrate consistent professionalism at all times, including: Honestly and trustworthiness; punctuality and attendance at all meetings; maintenance of confidentiality, recognition of responsibility for the safety and well-being of patients and/or participants, colleagues and staff, effectively obtaining and using informed consent and engaging in self-directed learning
  • Practice in accordance with external regulations and expectations such as those of appropriate Institutional Review Boards, and IACUC? etc.