Resident & Fellow Research

Residents and Fellows in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Women's Health are encouraged to develop and pursue research areas of interest and relevance with a faculty research mentor. The Fellowship programs both have dedicated blocks of protected research time for further exploration of projects and research interests.


In compliance with the ACGME, all residents must complete at least one research project during their time in the program. The ultimate goal of this research is to publish or present at a national meeting by the resident's fourth year. Residents are encouraged to speak with their research mentors to begin development of project ideas during their first year in residency. More information on the timeline for research projects can be found in the Residency Research Handbook, or by contacting Trisha Pederson, Residency Coordinator, at


When funds are available, each fellow will be awarded $7,500 towards research activities and travel for the three-year term they are with the Fellowship Program. More information can be found in the Fellowship Program Manuals, or in the Fellow Research Handbook or by contacting Deborah Egger-Smith at

Resident and Fellow Research Day

Research DayResident and Fellow Research Day is May 7, 2018 from 8:00am to 3:30pm (Humphrey Center).

This day-long conference was established by the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Women's Health for 2nd and 3rd-year residents, and fellows in the Gynecologic Oncology and Maternal-Fetal Medicine Fellowships, as an opportunity to present their research.

We are pleased to announce the 2017 Awards for Best Resident Research Presentations went to Jonathan Scrafford, MD for his presentation, "Effect of intra-operative glove-changing during cesarean section on post-op complications: A randomized controlled trial" (research sponsor: Buvana Reddy, MD) and Salma Shaker, MD for her presentation, "American college of surgeons surgical risk calculator predicts discharge of postacute care in older gynecologic oncology patients undergoing laparotomy" (research sponsors: Colleen Rivard, MD & Deanna Teoh, MD) 

Current Resident Research

Tana KimDr. Tana Kim, Class of 2017

Research Mentor: Dr. Phillip Rauk

My research project is a multicenter retrospective cohort study evaluating the impact of maternal super super obesity (BMI 60 kg/m2) on composite neonatal morbidity and associated labor and delivery complications.  I came up with this idea after experiencing a complicated delivery with subsequent neonatal demise in a patient whose BMI was 60 at the time of her delivery.  Through our study, we were able to identify a 4x increase in overall neonatal morbidity in super super obese patients compared to cohorts in the lesser BMI categories. 

Amy MillarDr. Amy Millar, Class of 2017

Research Mentor: Dr. Rahel Ghebre (former faculty Dr. Andrea Shields)

My main research project studied the use of contraception in the Somali immigrant population. My mentor, Dr. Ghebre, was absolutely essential in my completion of this project. In Minnesota, we care for the largest group of Somali immigrant patients outside of Somalia, yet we have essentially no information available on the contraceptive practices of this population upon which to base our counseling and care. My research provides insight into the most commonly used contraception in this population, as well as ways in which we can improve our care to these women. The manuscript for my study was recently accepted for publication to the journal Contraception and Reproductive Medicine. 

I have also been fortunate to work with Dr. Shields on research surrounding her S.M.A.R.T. program. Though I find many areas of study interesting, I am most excited about research that has the opportunity to improve education and mentoring, and this study did exactly that. I was able to present this project as a poster presentation at the ACOG combined district meeting in August 2016, and I learned a great deal from Dr. Shields throughout my work on this project. 

Jonathan ScraffordDr. Jonathan Scrafford, Class of 2017

Research Mentor: Dr. Buvana Reddy, (HealthPartners) 

Throughout my residency training, my interests in obstetrics and cost-effectiveness have attracted me to the "evidence-based c-section," a body of literature centering on the effectiveness of various surgical techniques employed by providers during the most common major surgical procedure performed in the United States.  That interest, combined with an observation of the growing use of closing trays and other systematic attempts to reduce bacterial transfer during clean-contaminated surgical cases, prompted me to seek out other methods of reducing the transfer of bacteria from the lower genital tract to the abdominal wall that occurs during cesarean section. 

My team and I performed a randomized control trial including 553 women undergoing cesarean section, to observe the effects on post-operative complications of changing gloves prior to abdominal closure during cesarean section.  Several studies have shown this intervention to be ineffective for reduction of postpartum endometritis, but at least one prior smaller studies showed a modest reduction in superficial wound complications.  In our study, significant reductions in the occurrence of composite wound complications (defined as the occurrence of any of seroma, hematoma, skin separation, or wound infections) were observed among women whose surgeons changed gloves prior to abdominal closure, though the occurrence of composite infectious complications (defined as the occurrence of endometritis, wound infections, or surrounding soft-tissue infections) were similar between groups. 

We are hopeful that these results will prompt further research in the form of larger studies and cost-effectiveness analyses, to elucidate this and potentially other surgical techniques that may reduce wound-related complications following cesarean section.  Because of the high incidence of this procedure in our population, we believe such interventions have a great potential to improve public health outcomes over time.