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OB/GYN Residency Military Relevance

Military Relevance (military relevance of specialty/how program prepares trainees to be ready for military mission & first assignment)

Military unique curriculum for the OB/GYN resident centers around readiness for the female soldier. Ensuring a ready, female, fighting force translates into all aspect of obstetrics, gynecology and women’s health care.

One important impact that OB/GYNs have on the readiness of the female soldier is prevention of unplanned or mistimed pregnancy and female specific health need in preparation for deployment. Our program has a heavy focus on quality contraception for our active duty patients with a special emphasis on LARC (long acting reversible contraception). Additionally, residents receive didactic training on the specific deployment needs for women such as menstrual suppression and avoidance of common female specific complaints (i.e. UTIs, vaginitis, etc.).

Return to duty and fitness for duty following pregnancy is also a key component of readiness of the female soldier. We emphasize the importance of quality postpartum care (as this is a prime time for contraception) including the provision of immediate placement of LARCs in our postpartum populations. There are also many potential pregnancy complications that can impact a women’s long term health including hypertensive disease, gestational diabetes and postpartum depression. Scholarly activity is ongoing in our department in all these areas in an attempt to identify rates of these complications in our active duty population and ensure appropriate screening and management of these conditions is occurring in order to hopefully limit the impact on future health and readiness concerns.

From a gynecology perspective, readiness of the female soldier also focuses on health maintenance and disease prevention. Areas of focus with regards to health maintenance include aspects such as cervical and breast cancer screening and immunizations. Twice monthly interdisciplinary conferences regarding management of abnormal pap testing helps us utilize most up-to-date guidelines regarding screening and treatment and ongoing quality improvement projects have helped to increase the breadth of vaccines available to our patients here in the Women’s Health Clinic.

Gynecologic readiness also centers arounds expediting recovery from surgical procedures. We emphasize minimally invasive surgical techniques whenever possible in order to decrease recovery and risks of post-operative complications. Additionally, our department has been an institutional leader with regards to implementation of the ERAS (Enhanced Recovery After Surgery) protocols. These evidence-based interventions improve surgical outcomes for all our patients and in turn return our Soldier and Airmen to duty faster.

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