About Us

About Us

Ob/Gyn Residency: Training Tomorrow’s Specialists

The Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency Program at Cleveland Clinic Akron General is designed to provide four years of training in all aspects of Obstetrics and Gynecology so that upon completion, the graduating resident is a superbly well-trained OBGYN capable of practicing as a specialist in General Obstetrics and Gynecology or a highly competitive candidate to continue on into fellowship training in any of the subspecialty areas. We recruit bright, enthusiastic senior students who have demonstrated a history of academic achievement, work ethic, volunteerism and strong moral character.

Our four-year program is approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. Our 30+ obstetrician/gynecologists, constituting the active teaching staff, include two subspecialists in Gynecologic Oncology, seven subspecialists in Maternal Fetal Medicine, three subspecialists in Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility, and two subspecialists in Urogynecology and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery. All patients are considered teaching patients and our teaching faculty has a vast amount of experience and has always been enthusiastic about the training of our residents.

Due to the very large volume of cases, our residents' surgical experience ranks them consistently above the 90th percentile nationwide for most major surgical procedures. There were more than 2300 gynecologic procedures performed last year and extensive experience is obtained as well in all aspects of obstetrical care.

Residents each perform more than 1,000 ultrasound examinations during their four years. We place special emphasis on High-Risk Obstetrics, Gynecologic Oncology, Urogynecology and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery and Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility.

Cleveland Clinic Akron General residents have the unique opportunity to manage pregnant women in the acute setting of Akron General’s Obstetric Emergency Department (ED). Our Obstetric Emergency Department is staffed 24/7 by an in-house board certified OB/GYN. Pregnant women of all gestational ages who present with non-life or limb threatening issues are assessed and managed by our residents under the supervision of the OB Emergency Attending. Sonography is performed on the unit, giving our residents hands-on training at all gestational ages. With 600 OB ED visits monthly, our residents are well trained in evaluation and management of acute obstetric emergencies, as well as conditions often managed by the main ED in other institutions including:

  • Early pregnancy loss
  • Pregnancy of unknown location
  • Minor trauma
  • Nausea/vomiting of pregnancy

Each resident participates in a research project that they select with the mentorship of our Research Director, along with a Chief Resident. There are many research opportunities available depending on your level of interest and we regularly have residents presenting at local and national meetings.

Protected conference time is scheduled Monday through Thursday morning. Fridays have a four-hour "Grand Rounds" protected block time, which provides for extended workshops, visiting professorships, simulation and other educational events. We follow a 2 year rotating curriculum based on the CREOG Educational Objectives.

Each resident has their own continuity clinic where they see their own patients, develop treatment plans, perform surgeries, participate in grouped prenatal care, deliver babies, and learn how to work in an office setting. We are fortunate to be part of an FQHC (Federally Qualified Health Center) which is the first on of its kind in our area to provide OB/GYN care.

We believe that the breadth and depth of educational experience our residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology provides is the best available anywhere. All of our residents who have desired to proceed with subspecialty training have been accepted into subspecialty programs. Akron General boasts graduates in all subspecialty fields. Many have gone on to full time academic careers. The residency is organized to introduce residents to subspecialty areas during its first two years in order to assist those residents who are interested in planning for fellowships.

Furthermore, a visit with our residents will quickly demonstrate their overall happiness and satisfaction with our training program. We pride ourselves on our congenial training atmosphere and sense of community among the residents and faculty. Our faculty, staff and residents invite you to train at Cleveland Clinic Akron General’s Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency Program, one of the best residency programs available.

Natalie Bowersox Director of OBGRN Residency program at Cleveland Clinic Akron General

Natalie A. Bowersox, MD, FACOG
Program Director, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Cleveland Clinic Akron General
Clinical Assistant Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Northeast Ohio Medical University
Clinical Assistant Professor, Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine
Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of 

Phillip Smelcer, MD, FACOG | Cleveland Clinic Akron General

Phillip Smelcer, MD, FACOG
Associate Program Director, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Cleveland Clinic Akron General
Clinical Assistant Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Northeast Ohio Medical University

Clinical Rotations

Clinical Rotations

The curriculum ensures that residents progress toward the exit learning outcomes in a coherent and seamless fashion.

Resident progression during the first year involves increased breadth, which extends resident learning to new or more in depth topics in Ob/Gyn, to different practice contexts and to building on existing knowledge to attain new learning.  Residents also experience a variety of subspecialties early in their training to expose them to future career options. Increased difficulty during the second year involves more in-depth and advanced consideration of Ob/Gyn topics.  Second year residents will begin to apply learning to more complex situations and deal with subtle situations in clinical encounters.

Increased utility during the third year involves applying learning to more complex and less clear presentations in Ob/Gyn practices. Finally, fourth year residents demonstrate increased proficiency by becoming more accomplished.  Performance becomes more efficient and more like second nature as residents progress towards honing their skills.

Residents also participate in workshops and conferences at NEOMED (Northeast Ohio Medical University) and are actively involved in the teaching of M3 and M4 medical students. Senior medical student electives are provided in Gynecologic Oncology, Urogynecology, General Obstetrics & Gynecology, and High Risk Obstetrics.

PGY – 1

  • 5 months in OB-GYN
  • 1 month in Ultrasound
  • 1 month in Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertilty
  • 3 months in Night Float
  • 1 month in Medical Intensive Care
  • 1 month in Ambulatory GYN

PGY – 2

  • 2 months in OB-GYN
  • 2 months in Maternal Fetal Medicine
  • 2 month in Urogynecology
  • 3 months in Night Float
  • 1 month in Family Planning/Gynecology
  • 2 month in GYN Oncology

PGY – 3

  • 5 months in OB-GYN
  • 1 months in Maternal Fetal Medicine
  • 1 month in Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility
  • 3 months in Night Float
  • 1 month in Urogynecology
  • 1 month in GYN Oncology

PGY – 4

  • 6 months in OB-GYN
  • 1 month in Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility
  • 1 months in Night Float
  • 3 month in GYN Oncology

Clinical Training Sites

Community Health Center, AxessPointe Women's Health Clinic provides outpatient experience through their obstetrics and gynecology continuity clinics and specialty clinics.

The Division of Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility provides experience with in vitro fertilization as well as extensive video operative laparoscopic experience. This includes micro-surgical technique and laser surgery. Video hysteroscopic surgeries are performed on a regular basis as well.

The Division of Urogynecology and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery provides educational experiences in both non-surgical office evaluations in urodynamics, cystoscopy, etc. as well as extensive surgical experience.

The Division of Gynecologic Oncology allows residents to gain extensive experience in all aspects of cancer management including chemotherapy, radium insertions and all radical gynecologic surgeries including experience in surgery of the urinary and gastrointestinal tracts.

Our Perinatal Unit serves as a regional referral center and includes full time Maternal Fetal Medicine specialists. The Unit averages nearly 2,500 obstetric ultrasounds and amniocentesis per year. Our hospital-based Special Care Nursery Unit includes full time neonatology staff coverage.

Preterm provides abortion care and other sexual health services such as birth control options, STD testing and treatment, and wellness care for women. This experience involves spending one afternoon per week in Cleveland working with abortion providers counseling patients, performing suction D+Cs, MVAs and D+Es. Preterm allows residents to pick the level of experience they are comfortable with, whether that be attending only counseling sessions, all procedures except D+Es, no restrictions, etc. All staff are open, welcoming and supportive regardless of what level of experience is chosen.

Teaching Faculty

Teaching Faculty

Academic Appointments:

NEOMED, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University and OUHCOM

Department of OBGYN

  • Jennifer L. Savitski, MD, Department Chair
  • Natalie A. Bowersox, MD, Program Director & Vice Chair
  • Philip Smelcer, MD, Associate Program Director
  • Connie Dorsey, Department Manager
  • Lauren Urycki Harhager, Program Coordinator
  • Tiffany Finch, Department Secretary

Gynecologic Oncology

  • Jason Knight, MD
  • Roberto Vargas, MD

Maternal Fetal Medicine

  • John Stewart, MD, Director of Maternal Fetal Medicine
  • Jennifer Ahn, MD
  • Stephen Bacak, DO
  • Stacey Ehrenberg, MD
  • Melissa Mancuso, MD
  • Abdelaziz Saleh, MD
  • Katherine Wolfe, DO

Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility

  • David Nash, MD, Director of Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility
  • Priya Maseelall, MD
  • Stephen Mooney, MD

Urogynecology

  • Katie Propst, MD
  • Mary South, MD
  • T. Nikki Thomas, MD

General Obstetrics & Gynecology

  • Jennifer L. Savitski, MD, Department Chair
  • Natalie A. Bowersox, MD, Program Director & Vice Chair
  • Mark Davis, MD, Director of Obstetrics
  • Maura O'Shea, MD, Director of Women’s Health Center (AxessPointe)
  • Trina Pagano, MD, Director of OB/ED
  • Hillary Mitchell, MD, M3 Site Clerkship Director
  • Philip Smelcer, MD, Associate Program Director & Director of Gynecology
  • Benito Alvarez, MD
  • David Biats, DO
  • John Black, MD
  • Samantha Clark, MD
  • Lynne Cola, MD
  • Lisa Cousineau, DO
  • J. Kenneth Davis, MD
  • George Drake, MD
  • Cecilia Ellis, DO
  • Barry Fish, MD
  • Jaclyn Flickinger, DO
  • Steven Gorsuch, MD
  • James Graham, MD
  • John Hutzler, MD
  • Ahmad Jadallah, MD
  • D. Renee Lewis, MD
  • Kevin McComsey, MD
  • Nancy McGrievy, MD
  • Erin McKelvey, MD
  • Eric McKnight, MD
  • Mary Miller, MD
  • Hillary Mitchell, MD
  • C. Brad Polifrone, DO
  • Peter Sutter, DO
  • Nisrine Zahir, MD
  • Joseph Zebari, MD
  • Jacqueline Zuponcic, MD
Application

Application

All positions are filled through the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP). The Ob/Gyn Residency Program participates in the Electronic Residency Application Services (ERAS) for all positions. International applicants are invited to apply through the ERAS and participate in the NRMP. You must complete all components of the ERAS application in order for your application to be considered complete and to be reviewed by our Selection Committee.

Our application requirements are the same as the standard ERAS application:

  • Complete Application
  • CV
  • Personal Statement
  • Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE)
  • Medical School Transcript
  • USMLE Step 1 Transcript & Score > 210 is suggested with one (1) attempt
  • USMLE Step 2 Transcript & Score >220 is suggested with one (1) attempt
  • Must have USMLE Step 2 Score Report uploaded into ERAS prior to the deadline of the Rank List submission. If you do not have a Step 2 Score Report uploaded, you will not be ranked (assuming you were interviewed).
  • Three Letters of Recommendation

International Medical Graduates

Here are some frequently asked questions by graduates of international medical schools regarding the application process:

  • U.S. clinical experience is strongly preferred
  • USMLE Step 1 Transcript & Score > 210 is suggested with one (1) attempt
  • USMLE Step 2 Transcript & Score >220 is suggested with one (1) attempt
  • Must have USMLE Step 2 Score Report uploaded into ERAS prior the deadline of the Rank List submission. If you do not have a Step 2 Score Report uploaded, you will not be ranked (assuming you were interviewed)
  • ECFMG certification at the time of application is required. Please review the ECFMG requirements for additional information

Interviews

Offers for interviews will be made via email starting in early October. Interviews will be held on selected Monday’s late October through mid-December. If invited for an interview, please plan on being here most of the day. In most cases, interviews will be completed by approximately 2 p.m. Applicants are highly encouraged to attend a social dinner the night before with our residents. This will provide you with one-on-one time with our current residents in a social setting. This will also provide you the opportunity to see the City of Akron. Detailed information regarding the actual interview day, traveling to Akron, hotel accommodations, and the dinner the night before will be provided to the applicant once the interview is confirmed.

For more information, please contact:

Lauren Urycki Harhager, Residency & Undergraduate Medical Education Coordinator at UryckiL@ccf.org.

Current Residents

Current Residents

Resident Life

Akron offers superb educational systems and beautiful recreational areas, and is within close proximity to major shopping and professional sporting events. The greater Akron area is truly one of the best places in the country to live and raise a family.

The Department of OBGYN offers regular yoga sessions during weekday didactics and actively participates in Resident Wellness Week which is held the week following the CREOG In-Training exam.  The addition of an elected Resident Wellness Chief has provided both a voice and conduit for programs within our residency. We strive to allow residents time and opportunity to engage in activities that provide the skills to become resilient physicians, caregivers and citizens. 

Current Residents

Obstetrics and Gynecology - Class of 2020

Sean Bergsten, DO | Cleveland Clinic

Sean Bergsten, DO
Clinical Rotation & Clinic Chief Resident

  • Undergraduate: Brigham Young University
  • Medical School: Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Interests/Hobbies: Sean enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, running, camping and fishing. He lived in France for two years, where he developed an interest in cooking and exploring new cuisines. Sean also enjoys experiencing new cultures through traveling and volunteering. 

Emily Freeman, DO | Cleveland Clinic

Emily Freeman, DO
Academic & Advocacy Chief Resident

  • Undergraduate: Montana State University
  • Graduate: Montana State University (MS – Community Health) & Kansas City University of Medicine & Biosciences (MA – Bioethics)
  • Medical School: Kansas City University of Medicine & Biosciences College of Osteopathic Medicine 
  • Interests/Hobbies: Emily enjoys running and skiing. She also enjoys spending time with her Corgi, Bueller. 

Michaela Heller, MD  | Cleveland Clinic

Michaela Heller, MD 
Departmental Chief Resident

  • Undergraduate: University of North Dakota
  • Medical School: University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences 
  • Interests/Hobbies: Michaela enjoys spending time with her husband, son and black lab. She also enjoys reading, binge watching Game of Thrones and baking. Her favorite is baking cookies.

Michelle Lende, DO | Cleveland Clinic

Michelle Lende, DO 
Administrative & Research Chief Resident

  • Undergraduate: University of Akron
  • Medical School: Des Moines University College of Medicine 
  • Interests/Hobbies: Michelle’s hobbies include running, board games, cooking, watching foreign films and loving her cats.

Obstetrics and Gynecology - Class of 2021

Cassie Henninger, DO | Cleveland Clinic

Cassie Henninger, DO 

  • Undergraduate: The University of Findlay
  • Medical School: Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Interests/Hobbies: Cassie enjoys taking on new projects, some of her favorites have included quilting, woodworking and gardening. She always has a puzzle or project she is working on. 

Heather Snyder, DO | Cleveland Clinic

Heather Snyder, DO 

  • Undergraduate: University of Mount Union
  • Medical School: University of Pikeville Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Interests/Hobbies: Heather is a fan of Jimmy Buffet and identifies as a “Parrothead”. She enjoys spending time with her family and her rescue dog, Trooper. Heather also enjoys group fitness, camping, volunteering and ice cream. 

Melissa Wise, MD  | Cleveland Clinic

Melissa Wise, MD 

  • Undergraduate: The University of Akron
  • Medical School: Northeast Ohio Medical University
  • Interests/Hobbies: Melissa enjoys hiking the local trails, traveling and playing with her two kitties. 

Obstetrics and Gynecology - Class of 2022

Rachelle Abdelnour, MD | Cleveland Clinic

Rachelle Abdelnour, MD 

  • Undergraduate: Kent State University
  • Medical School: Northeast Ohio Medical University
  • Interests/Hobbies: Rachelle is a Second Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo. She enjoys playing sports such as soccer, tennis and basketball. She also enjoys playing piano, hiking, traveling, cooking Arabic food and comedy

Mackenzie Marley, DO | Cleveland Clinic

Mackenzie Marley, DO 

  • Undergraduate: Denison University
  • Medical School: Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Interests/Hobbies: Mackenzie enjoys playing sports such as lacrosse, tennis, golf and sand volleyball. She also enjoys scuba diving, traveling and spending time with her dog and her family. 

Anjali Patel, DO  | Cleveland Clinic

Anjali Patel, DO 

  • Undergraduate: University of Virginia
  • Graduate: University of Virginia (MPH – Public Health)
  • Medical School: Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Interests/Hobbies: Anjali enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking and camping. She also enjoys cooking, baking, and exploring new foods. 

Toni Schlick, DO  | Cleveland Clinic

Toni Schlick, DO 

  • Undergraduate: Arizona State University
  • Medical School: Campbell University Jerry M Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Interests/Hobbies: Toni enjoys dance, yoga and acroyoga. Her hobbies also include nutrition and vegan baking. She is an animal lover and is passionate about animal welfare. 

Obstetrics and Gynecology - Class of 2023

Sarah Ellen Davis, DO 

  • Undergraduate: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Medical School: Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Interests/Hobbies: Sarah Ellen loves to watch Tar Heel basketball and Tennessee football. She enjoys traveling, skiing and exploring local eateries. She also likes to spend time with friends, family, and her golden retriever, Harper.

Erin Gray, MD

  • Undergraduate: University of California - Davis
  • Medical School: West Virginia University School of Medicine
  • Interests/Hobbies: Erin enjoys running, hiking and gymnastics. She also enjoys baking, origami, and playing board games and card games.

Michael Kulmoski, DO

  • Undergraduate: Xavier University
  • Medical School: Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Interests/Hobbies: Michael enjoys physical activities such as yoga, cycling, running and hiking. He also enjoys exploring local restaurants with his wife, especially if they can bring their dog. 

Nabiha Morin, MD

  • Undergraduate: SUNY University at Buffalo
  • Medical School: Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences at University of Buffalo
  • Interests/Hobbies: Nabiha is an accomplished artist with a preference for charcoal, ink, and pencil mediums. She also enjoys running and reading. 

Khooshali Shah, MD 

  • Undergraduate: University of Akron
  • Graduate: University of Akron (MBA – Business Administration)
  • Medical School: Northeast Ohio Medical University
  • Interests/Hobbies: Khooshali’s hobbies include baking, running, traveling and photography. She also enjoys traditional Bollywood dancing. 
Alumni

Alumni

2019 Graduates

  • Sarah Clausen, MD –St. Lukes, Duluth, MN
  • Ryley Greenbaum, DO –Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH
  • Nicole MacCleary Price, DO – Pinnacle Women's Health, Phoenix, AZ
  • N. Brooke Murphy, MD –Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH

2018 Graduates

  • Ritchie Delara, MD – Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery Fellowship at Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, AZ
  • Cassandra Heiselman, DO – Maternal Fetal Medicine Fellowship at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY
  • Jaclyn Kolosky, DO – Steward Medical Group at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, Boston, MA
  • Kelly McGuire, DO – Medical Associates of Dubuque, Dubuque, IA
  • Jacqueline Zuponcic, DO – Cleveland Clinic Akron General OB/GYN, Akron, OH

2017 Graduates

  • Jaclyn Flickinger, DO – Women's Health Group, Akron, OH
  • Ayesha Hasan, MD – Maternal Fetal Medicine Fellowship, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS
  • Austin Hill, MD – Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery Fellowship, Good Samaritan Hospital, Cincinnati, OH
  • Rebecca Lee, MD – Scott Air Force Base, O'Fallon, IL

2016 Graduates

  • Hillary Mitchell, MD – OB/GYN Associates of Akron, Akron, OH
  • Jacoby Spittler, DO – Magee Women's Hospital of UPMC, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Danielle Taylor, DO – Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery Fellowship, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Boston, MA

2015 Graduates

  • Harita Bandlamudi, MD – Physicians for Women, Wayne, NJ
  • Alexandra Marcotty – Swedish Medical Center, Denver, CO
  • Jennifer Mittlestead, MD – Far Hills OB/GYN, Dayton, OH
  • Virginia Smith, MD – Genesis OB/GYN, College Station, TX
Research & Innovations

Research & Innovations

Obstetrics and gynecology research at Cleveland Clinic Akron General focuses on improving the health and quality of life of women. From 2017-2019, we have had 31 publications, 17 presentations at national meetings, 8 presentations at regional meetings and 32 local presentations.

Research projects are required by each resident before graduation. Our Research Center is located at the Austen BioInnovation Institute which is just minutes away from the main Cleveland Clinic Akron General campus. Our Research Center is available to residents for their research projects. Our program has a dedicated Resident Research Director, who provides her expertise and guidance on all departmental and resident research.