Overview

Overview

The Section of Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery consists of two gynecologic surgeons, each with over 20 years of clinical experience. Our top priority is to educate patients about all appropriate treatment options, both surgical and nonsurgical, allowing each woman to make the appropriate medical decision for her individual circumstances.

A thorough clinical evaluation is performed, often with an ultrasound from the surgeon, to streamline the decision making process. When surgery is indicated, our goal is to first offer all appropriate procedures and then choose the approach that is safe and effective with the shortest and least painful recovery for our patient.

Our well-trained gynecologic surgeons at Cleveland Clinic Florida's Department of Gynecology & Women's Health have extensive experience with advanced minimally invasive laparoscopic and hysteroscopic procedures and serve as educators for surgeons learning these innovative techniques.

Program Director

Michael Sprague, MD
Michael Sprague, MD
The Program

The Program

The Fellowship in Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery at Cleveland Clinic Florida is a comprehensive, two-year academic training program incorporating both clinical and research activities. The aim of our fellowship is to graduate competent surgeons proficient in a broad spectrum of minimally invasive gynecologic procedures. Upon completion of our program, our fellows are poised to serve as both scholarly and surgical resources for the communities in which they eventually practice.

Cleveland Clinic Florida, a not-for-profit, multi-specialty, fully integrated medical center providing outstanding medical diagnosis and treatment for all types of complex illnesses, is the primary site of the fellowship activities. Our MIGS program collectively performs over 900 minimally invasive procedures each year. Common procedures performed by the MIGS faculty include laparoscopic and robotic hysterectomy, robotic, laparoscopic and hysteroscopic myomectomy, excision of endometriosis, and surgical treatment of pelvic adhesive disease. Clinical and surgical experience is offered to the fellows through our section of Urogynecology, where the fellow is exposed to advanced vaginal and laparoscopic procedures for the management of pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence. The program also includes experience in GYN Oncology, where the Fellow will gain advanced surgical training in retroperitoneal dissections and oncologic procedures. Additionally, the fellow’s experience is complemented through collaborations with other Cleveland Clinic departments including General Surgery, Colorectal Surgery, and Urology.

Ample protected research time is provided. The fellow is expected to complete an independent research project, present their research at a national meeting and to publish their results in a peer-reviewed journal before graduating. The fellows are involved in multiple randomized controlled trials and have published systematic reviews including uterine transplant studies. We are proud that our senior fellows won the Jay Cooper and Jerome Hoffman awards for their research at the AAGL Global Congress 2016 as well as awards at The American Society of Reproductive Medicine 2016.

Duration

2 years

Evaluations

Evaluation of fellow at least twice per year.

Evaluation of staff and program at least once per year.

Treatments & Procedures

Treatments & Procedures

Laparoscopy

Many advanced operative laparoscopic procedures can be performed robotically. At Cleveland Clinic Florida, our physicians have been performing a number of innovative techniques for the diagnosis and treatment of conditions including endometriosis, fibroids, heavy and abnormal menstrual bleeding, as well as pelvic pain.

  • Advanced Operative - with removal of fibroid(s), resection of endometriosis and hysterectomy either supracervical or complete
  • Diagnostic
  • Operative - with removal of scar tissue, fallopian tubes and ovaries, or ovarian cysts.
Benefits

Benefits

Salary is at the PGY-6 (First year) and PGY-7 (Second year) level plus fringe benefits as detailed in the Graduate Physician Policy Manual and listed in the Resident/Fellow Benefits.

Grad Level Current Pay Rate
1 $52,474
2 $54,341
3 $56,265
4 $58,284
5 $60,673
6 $63,145
7 $65,840
8 $67,073

Paid Time Away: Vacation, Maternity, & Paternity

  • Vacation: 3 weeks (15 working days) provided at the beginning of each academic year
  • Maternity: 6 weeks paid leave for natural childbirth or adoption; 8 weeks for cesarean section. Additional time off unpaid up to a maximum of 12 weeks under the Family Medical Leave Act.
  • Paternity: 2 weeks paid leave. Additional time off unpaid up to a maximum of 12 weeks under the Family Medical Leave Act. 

Insurance

  • Healthcare: Cleveland Clinic Florida covers 50% of annual Healthcare Plans for Clinical Trainees and their families. Effective on the first day of training with no waiting period.
  • Dental and Vision Care: Cleveland Clinic Florida covers 100% of annual Dental and Vision Care Plans for Clinical Trainees.
  • Maternity Care: 100% coverage is provided through the health care plan that you select within the plan's guidelines.
  • Pharmaceuticals: As outlined by the Cleveland Clinic Florida Health Plan.
  • Malpractice: Paid by the Cleveland Clinic Educational Foundation/Cleveland Clinic Florida. Limited to activities within the training program.
  • Life Insurance: $25,000 term group policy.

Travel Privileges and Other Education Activities

Senior residents, chief residents, and fellows in ACGME and NON-ACGME programs that meet eligible criteria as outlined in the Graduate Physicians Manual may be approved to attend academic meetings for the purpose of presenting or engaging in leadership roles within national societies will be eligible up to 5 days per academic year with a maximum reimbursement of $1,200 per academic year.

Additional Benefits

  • Book Allowance: A $250 educational allowance per year is available to all clinical residents/fellows. Primary use is for textbooks.
  • On-call Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner: Paid by Cleveland Clinic Florida when on in house night call.
  • Cell phones: Apple iPhone provided to all residents
  • Uniforms: Supplied by Cleveland Clinic Florida.
Staff

Staff

Program Director

Associate Program Director

Teaching Staff

Program Coordinator

Vanessa Santos, BHSA
2950 Cleveland Clinic Blvd.
Weston, Florida 33331
Phone: 954.659.5889
Fax: 954.659.6216
Email: santosv@ccf.org

Current Fellows

Current Fellows

Class of 2021

  • Maral Malekzadeh, DO
  • Laura Ramirez-Caban, MD

Class of 2020

  • Natasha Mehandru, MD
  • Jennifer Cooper, MD

Class of 2019

  • Katherine Smith, MD