Department of OBGYN

Complex Family Planning


The two-year ACGME-accredited fellowship in Complex Family Planning is designed to include training in family planning clinical care, experience in gynecologic surgery and related family planning procedures, participation in the design and performance of clinical trials, and opportunities to gain exposure to low-resource family planning settings. During the two years, the fellow will complete coursework on the fundamental skills of clinical research, including clinical research methods and statistics.  The goal of the fellowship is to train subspecialists capable of high-level expertise in management of complex problems related to pregnancy prevention, abnormal pregnancy, early pregnancy loss, and pregnancy termination, and capable of providing patient-centered care for people with complex medical needs.  

Family Planning Clinical Care

The fellow will be specially trained in counseling about a variety of contraceptive methods, including all of the long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs). Complex contraceptive implant and intrauterine device (IUD) insertions and removals will be emphasized. Additionally, the fellow will gain expertise treating side effects and problems with hormonal contraception. Although these skills may have been learned during residency, a concentrated experience in a variety of clinical settings will enable the fellow to become proficient with unusual or complicated cases in order to become an expert on complex contraceptive care.

The fellow will receive specialized training and become highly experienced performing first trimester abortions including manual vacuum aspiration and medical abortions. In addition, the fellow will have similarly specialized and intensive experience with second trimester dilation and evacuations (D&E) for management of pregnancy terminations and miscarriages. The fellow will also gain expertise in management of non-tubal ectopic pregnancies such as cesarean scar pregnancies.

Center for Contraception and Family Planning

The Center for Contraception and Family Planning at UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital serves individuals whose concerns range from dissatisfaction with birth control to medical or social factors that complicate their contraceptive options. The goal is to balance each person's medical history with their desire or need to avoid or delay pregnancy. The fellow will gain expertise in caring for adults and adolescents with complex medical histories, including management of hormonal and non-hormonal contraception, placement and removal of intrauterine devices (IUDs) and implantable contraceptives, and surgical sterilization.

Contraceptive Research 

The Center for Family Planning Research, part of the Magee-Womens Research Institute, was established in 1994 and has become one of the leading family planning research centers in the United States. Clinical trials involving medical abortion, hormonal contraceptives, new barrier methods of contraception, emergency contraception, new contraceptive technologies, microbicides, and social issues related to contraceptive practice are just some of the projects that have been performed to date. The fellow will be an active participant in ongoing clinical and translational research studies, and will also be expected to design and conduct their own research study. The fellow will also gain experience in grant writing, budgeting, contracts, and other administrative aspects of clinical research.

Low-Resource Setting

The fellow will have an opportunity to spend time working in a low-resource setting, which is designed to further the fellow’s understanding of issues regarding differences in access to reproductive health services for contraception and pregnancy care.

Research Education

The fellow will participate in REACH (Research Education in Advancing Investigative Careers for Housestaff and Fellows), an intensive 8-week program that teaches fundamental skills of clinical research to UPMC trainees. Fellows may also apply for departmental funding of a Master’s degree or Certificate program in clinical research.


Applications for the academic year 2022-2023 will be accepted via ERAS and NRMP Match.  Please be sure to register for ERAS and NRMP prior to applying.  Applications will be accepted through May 1, 2023 and interview notifications will be sent on June 5, 2023.  Interviews will be held on July 28, 2023 and August 4, 2023.

Meet our Current Fellows:

Monica Kao, M.D.
Kathyrn Thomas, M.D. 

For more information, please contact:

Beatrice Chen, MD, MPH
Director of Family Planning
Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC
300 Halket Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3180


Family Planning and Reproductive Genetics - Combined (3 Years)

A three-year program is available for individuals with an additional interest in Reproductive Genetics. In addition to the Family Planning Fellowship curriculum, individuals in the combined fellowship with genetics will also achieve competency in CVS, genetic amniocentesis, and reproductive and cancer genetic counseling. The combined fellowship will allow fellows who have completed to satisfy requirements for American Board of Medical Genetics Certification.

Family Planning and Reproductive Infectious Disease - Combined (3 Years)

Those individuals with an additional interest in reproductive infectious diseases will gain experience in sexually transmitted diseases (STD) management and inpatient adult infectious disease services, perform duties in the outpatient perinatal reproductive infectious diseases clinic involving perinatal infections, and acquire comprehensive knowledge of gynecologic infectious diseases including chronic vaginitis, STDs, PID, and pelvic infections.