Women’s Health Fellowship Track

The BU General Internal Medicine Fellowship is proud to offer a formal Women’s Health Track providing research, teaching, and clinical experiences in Women’s Health. In 1994, funding from the Department of Veterans Affairs made it possible to create this track designed to train physicians for academic careers in Women’s Health.

Research is conducted in the broad field of Women’s Health, under the supervision of faculty with national reputations in this area. Although fellows are free to pursue research on any feasible topic, some examples of ongoing research projects include:

• Patient navigation to improve outcomes following abnormal cancer screening

• Exercise intervention to improve cardiovascular outcomes

• Investigation of Women’s Health delivery systems

• Haitian Health Study: a community-based survey looking at screening practices of Haitian women

• Evaluation of cultural competence curriculum

Clinical experiences include two half-day sessions of continuity care, and additional time for elective experiences in areas such as:

• Breast health — including training on needle biopsy and aspiration procedures

• Obstetrics and gynecology

• Osteoporosis

• Women’s cardiology

• Post-traumatic stress disorder

• Military sexual trauma

Fellows will develop other skills such as:

• Administrative: organizing a monthly Women’s Health Conference Series for the VA Medical Center

• Teaching: co-teaching lectures and seminars to house-staff and other health care providers

The Women’s Health Unit at Boston Medical Center was founded in 1986 as one of the first academic comprehensive health care practices for women. Primary, preventive, gynecologic and mental health care is provided by a team of general internists, nurse practitioners, and psychologists. In collaboration with Surgical Oncology and Radiology, the Women’s Health Unit created the Breast Health Center in 1989, which provides state-of-the-art, coordinated care for women with benign and malignant breast disease.

In early 1994, the Boston VA Medical Center became one of only eight sites nationally to be funded for a Comprehensive Women’s Health Center, which, like the Women’s Health Unit, is interdisciplinary and patient-centered in its clinical approach. The Women Veterans Health Center profits from a close affiliation with the Women’s Health Science Division of the National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, the first of its kind nationally. Regular team meetings include mental health professionals which fosters a holistic, biopsychosocial approach to patient care.

Boston University has been designated as a National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the longest standing Center of Excellence in New England. The Women Veterans Health Center has been named a VA Clinical Program of Excellence.

The Women’s Health Fellow has access to all the resources of the entire fellowship program. Likewise, fellows not identified as the women’s health fellow also have access to the women’s health training resources.

Fellows who have completed the women’s health fellowship have gone on to academic careers in women’s health research, women’s health education, and administration of women’s health clinical programs. Recent graduates are currently faculty members at Boston University, Rush Medical Center, Vanderbilt Medical Center, Wake Forest University, Emory Medical Center, and Hershey Medical Center.