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Didactics and Research

Rotation structure

The residency is a four-year program in obstetrics and gynecology that meets all requirements as specified by the ACGME and is fully accredited by the RRC. Residents train at a single site, Inova Fairfax Hospital, where their training covers primary care, as well as basic and subspecialty obstetrics and gynecology.
The rotation structure is as follows:


Duration (months) 4 3 1 1 1 1 1
Rotation OB GYN Family Practice/
Internal Medicine
Surgical ICU



Duration (months) 3 2 2 2 2 1
Rotation OB OB
GYN MFM Urogynecology GYN



Duration (months) 2 2 2 2 2 1 1
Rotation OB OB
REI Adolescent GYN/
Breast Disease



Duration (months) 2 2 2 2 2 2
Urogynecology OB Nights

Additionally, residents spend half a day each week in a continuity clinic session.


Resident didactics occur Monday through Friday mornings from 7:00 am to 8:00 am. 

Didactic sessions include OB/GYN Departmental Grand Rounds, Morbidity and Mortality Conference, Journal Club, REI Teaching Conference, GYN Teaching Conference, Simulation Lab, Educational GME Grand Rounds, High Risk Ob Conference, and GYN Oncology Conference.

In addition to didactics and traditional bedside teaching, residents will also be involved in extensive simulation training that will allow learners to sharpen technical and behavioral skills. Simulation sessions focused on operative gynecology will include sessions on OR instrumentation, pre-operative and intra-operative safety procedures, intra-operative complication management and laparoscopic dexterity drills. Obstetric simulation for PGY1 residents will focus on normal vaginal deliveries, basic suturing techniques, complications such as postpartum hemorrhage and shoulder dystocia and normal labor and delivery management protocols. Competency of upper level residents will be evaluated through hospital required, unannounced, labor and delivery critical event simulation exercises. These events, which will include post partum hemorrhage, shoulder dystocia, maternal cardiac arrest, eclamptic seizure, terminal fetal bradycardia and post operative shock, will be conducted using the department’s Noelle patient simulator on labor and delivery or the gynecologic post-op ward.


The OB/GYN program places a major emphasis on resident scholarly activity. As such, research methodology, statistical analysis, protocol IRB approval and publication requirements will all be presented to residents as part of their didactic education. Upon entry into the program, each resident will be assigned a faculty advisor who will assist the trainee in selecting a research question. All PGY1 residents will be required to choose a research question and perform a thorough literature analysis of the subject. At the end of the first year the resident will present his / her research topic and proposed research question to the department at an annual research day. In the second and third years of training, the resident will be required to carry out the investigation needed to answer his / her research question. In the final year of training the resident will be required to synthesize the data into the form of a publishable or presentable project. This project will be presented at the annual research day which will be proctored and judged by invited authorities in the field of the resident's research.

The department is very fortunate to have the Women’s Health Integrated Research Center on the Inova campus. This is a world class research institute that focuses on the genetic and molecular profile of diseases unique to women’s health. We hope that residents will avail themselves of the unique opportunities to correlate clinical conditions with genomic research. Currently Dr. Maxwell, Department Chair, has a DNA and tissue database of over 2000 patients that encompasses the clinical spectrum from oncologic disease to obstetrical abnormalities.