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Training and Curriculum

Clinical training

Clinical training encompasses all methods of uterine evacuation with emphasis on second-trimester D&E. An important benefit of the program is the variety of practice settings in which fellows encounter many kinds of patients and clinical challenges. These settings include an in-hospital outpatient abortion clinic focused on complex second-trimester cases, and a private practice-based abortion clinic, which offers medication abortions and genetic terminations. Additional clinical opportunities are available through affiliated clinics whose medical directors provide leadership and mentoring: an adolescent reproductive health care clinic with UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland (BCHO) as well as two complex contraception clinics, located at ZSFG and UCSF Mt. Zion.

Research opportunities

Research may be conducted on a broad range of topics, including contraceptive development, 1st-trimester abortion analgesia, 2nd-trimester abortion safety and access, abortion training and education, post-abortion contraception, adolescent contraception and decision-making, international family planning, and family planning program evaluation. We provide twice-monthly works-in-progress sessions to support the fellows in designing and implementing their research projects. Fellows’ research projects are coordinated by an epidemiologist who provides assistance with research design, protocols, and IRB approvals.


Collaboration is a strong feature of the UCSF program. UCSF’s clinical trials unit, specializing in contraception and abortion, and faculty of UCSF’s Bixby Center for Reproductive Health Research & Policy allows fellows to collaborate with demographers, epidemiologists, and other social scientists who conduct worldwide research, training, and policy analysis, as well as family physician researchers and ob/gyn researchers in other subspecialties.


Overall mentoring in the program is provided by the Director and Co-Director and includes scheduled mentoring meetings addressing progress in completing fellowship requirements and assisting fellows with all aspects of professional development toward becoming a leader in the field of family planning. Additional mentoring, tailored to the fellow’s research interests, is available through other expert faculty.

International opportunities

Diverse international contacts and activities implemented by the directors and other faculty and staff of the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health offer a broad range of international experiences in training, program evaluation or research. The UCSF Fellowship program expects fellows to participate in an international rotation and, with the Fellowship’s national staff, gives guidance and assistance in arranging such experiences.

Additional program highlights

  • Fellows are expected to teach residents and medical students and have the opportunity to develop appropriate mentorship and evaluative skills.
  • Fellows and their mentors run a family planning consultation service in which they answer clinical questions on family planning from the entire UCSF and ZSFG community.
  • Fellows regularly report on the progress of their research at the twice-monthly family planning seminars and participate in monthly journal clubs, attended by mentors, faculty, residents, and research staff, providing rigorous reviews of literature pertaining to controversial contraception and abortion topics.
  • Fellows have frequent opportunities to meet visiting researchers, clinicians, and other experts of the national and international reproductive health community at Bixby Center seminars.
  • Communication skills are strengthened through writing assignments including a review article with the director and lecturing in a variety of opportunities.