This three-year program is unique in its ability to provide the trainee with a dedicated year working on research in surgical simulation, as well as clinical innovation in such areas as robotics and telesurgery. The fellow will work intimately with a world-renowned expert in simulation (Roger Smith, PhD) through a military grant from the Department of Defense. During this year, the fellow will be required to not only develop and implement research protocols, but also present their work at national/international meetings with the ultimate goal being publication of research in peer-reviewed journals. The dedicated research year, which comprises year one of the three-year fellowship, takes place at The Nicholson Center in Celebration, Fla. This facility is a nationally-recognized 50,000 square-foot surgical training facility on the Florida Hospital Celebration Health campus that possesses state-of-the-art surgical and simulation technology (e.g. six training robots), as well as cadaveric and vivarium facilities. Finally, preceptees will have the advantage of being exposed to a wide variety of resources available at both the Columbia University Medical Center and the University of Central Florida College of Medicine (affiliated with The Nicholson Center) as research requirements in the areas of surgical simulation, clinical innovation, complex gynecologic pathology, and minimally invasive surgery are pursued.


Upon completion of the dedicated research year, the fellow will then transfer to New York City. The subsequent two years will immerse the fellow in a high volume clinical and surgical experience that will provide diverse exposure to complex gynecologic pathology. The fellow will be trained in advanced hysteroscopic, laparoscopic, robotic, and vaginal techniques in complex benign, adolescent/pediatric gynecology and urogynecology under the guidance of faculty. Our full-time faculty has grown significantly over the last several years, with the addition of new members who are nationally and internationally recognized experts in minimally invasive surgery. Since then, we have seen a steady increase in our surgical case volume and clinical research activities. Also, during this time, longitudinal research projects developed during year one of the fellowship will be continued and new projects started. Protected academic research time is incorporated into the fellowship training program throughout years two and three, as well.


Clinically, the Division of Gynecologic Surgical Specialists is a clinical practice that covers the gamut of advanced hysteroscopic and laparoscopic surgery, as well as complex abdominal and vaginal surgery. Patients will be evaluated at one of four office locations within the Columbia University Medical Center demographic: Herbert Irving Pavilion, Columbia OB/GYN Columbus Circle, Columbia OB/GYN Midtown, and the Audubon Primary Care Practice. These sites are equipped to not only provide surgical consultation, but also office-based diagnostic and treatment procedures. The ambulatory and inpatient-based surgical experience will be concentrated at the Columbia University Medical Center/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital site where the state-of-the-art, minimally invasive surgical infrastructure (including robotics and advanced endoscopy) are located.


The uniquely diverse and high-volume surgical practice of the gynecologic surgery division will shape the experience of the preceptees. The following are key attributes of the divisional members:

  • Dr. Arnold P. Advincula brings to the practice not only a national and international reputation, but also more than 14 years of academic experience and surgical innovation. Previously, Dr. Advincula established and directed the successful AAGL/SRS accredited fellowships at the University of Michigan and, most recently, Florida Hospital Celebration Health.
  • Dr. Jin Hee Kim, a previously graduated AAGL/SRS fellow (University of Michigan 2009) represents one of the busiest surgeons in the division whose practice runs the gamut of minimally invasive surgical approaches, including robotics.
  • Drs. Jody Blanco (board certified in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery) and Cara Grimes (board eligible in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery) will enhance the urogynecology experience for the preceptees.
  • Dr. Beth Rackow, a board certified reproductive endocrinologist, rounds out the surgical experience of the preceptees with a focus on reproductive surgery, as well as pediatric and adolescent gynecology with its associated surgical procedures.


Clinically, post-graduate trainees will have significant involvement in the Center for Endometriosis Treatment & Research in order to gain skills in the management of complex gynecologic conditions, such as advanced endometriosis, pelvic adhesive disease, and ovarian remnant syndromes. Preceptees can expect to be in the office an average of 1.5 days per week.


The office experience will also include incorporation of fellows into the Menstrual Disorders Clinic, which is spearheaded by Dr. Ryntz, and is the anchor for the office-based surgery program, which includes diagnostic as well as operative hysteroscopic capability (global endometrial ablation, sterilization, and minor operative hysteroscopy).


A unique feature of this program is preceptee involvement with the Simulation Center at Columbia University Medical Center, in addition to the robotic surgery program where training and certification in robotics as it applies to specific gynecologic procedures will take place. Fellows will spend on average two to three days in surgery per week. The Simulation Center will serve as a full access site for fellows to hone their surgical skills outside of the operative theater.


Fellows will have teaching responsibilities as they relate to the training of PGY1-4 residents (24 total), in addition to attending level physicians both in the academic and community settings. Post-graduate trainees will serve as assistant faculty in the many minimally invasive surgical programs conducted by the Division of Gynecologic Specialty Surgery. Preceptees will have intermittent practice and emergency room call responsibilities, as well as attending weekly service commitments, but no obstetric duties. Fellows will also be exposed to international travel in order to assist with both teaching and live surgical demonstrations, and therefore must have a current passport.


Fellow Sample Schedule