What is the Fellowship in Family Planning?

The Fellowship in Family Planning is a two-year fellowship focused on subspecialist training in research, teaching and clinical practice in abortion and contraception. Working with respected and innovative leaders in the field, fellows learn about clinical and epidemiologic research, develop clinical and teaching skills, experience reproductive health issues internationally, and establish a connection to a rapidly expanding network of family planning experts. During the two-year program, fellows have the option of pursuing either a master’s degree in Public Health or Science. Fellows receive a PGY 5/6 salary.

“This fellowship offers an organized way to think about family planning topics—you just can’t get that through clinical experience alone. You’re involved with leaders doing some of the most interesting work in family planning, and you get incredible opportunities.”

Fellows are expected to graduate with a masters degree in Public Health or Science and to complete a research project focused on psychological or clinical aspects of abortion or contraception, as well as complete a family planning focused international placement in a developing nation. Fellows present their research at the Fellowship Annual Meeting which is held immediately preceding the Annual Clinical Meeting of ACOG.

Specifically, the Fellowship focuses on:

Clinical training

  • All methods of pregnancy termination
  • All diagnostic methods to confirm uterine and tubal pregnancy
  • Anesthesia and pain control
  • Ultrasonography related to contraception and abortion
  • Treatment of complications
  • All methods of contraception currently available and under investigation
  • Sterilization
  • Gynecologic surgery


  • Hands-on and didactic teaching for residents and medical students


  • Study design and structured clinical research
  • Statistical analysis
  • Guidance in obtaining funding for research studies in contraception and abortion
  • Scientific writing for peer-reviewed journals and other academic publications
  • Presentations at national conferences
  • Development as an independent researcher and teacher
  • Grant writing


  • Building a Ryan Program—starting an academic career by establishing a Ryan Residency Training Program in Abortion and Contraception. Attended by Ryan Program directors as well as current and graduated Fellows.
  • International—primary orientation to the Fellowship International Placement requirement. Offers networking opportunities with other fellows, directors and international experts.
  • Leadership—the organizational and personal leadership skills needed to navigate departmental, institutional, and larger social barriers in career development while also supporting fellows’ capacity to work as advocates for family planning. Intended for graduated Fellows.
  • Psychosocial Issues in Abortion Care—an open forum for discussion and exchange related to the psychosocial components of doing and teaching abortion. For current and graduated Fellows and all Fellowship directors.
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