Fellowship in Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery

Over the past 20 years, the division has gained regional and national recognition for its efforts to provide the best of advanced laparoscopic surgery for women and pelvic pain management. As part of a major academic medical center, the Division excels in training, research and clinical programs. Our dual purpose is to train those who will provide top quality patient care and be the academic leaders in gynecologic laparoscopy and pelvic pain management, who in turn will train many physicians for practice in communities across the country. This emphasis makes our fellowship one of the most unique programs in the United States. 

The Division offers a two-year Fellowship in Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery, designed to begin after completion of the standard four-year United States residency in obstetrics and gynecology. The fellowship began in 1998, and joined the AAGL/SRS Fellowship in Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery  in 2008.  Our purpose is to train academic physicians who will become leaders in the teaching, research, and practice of operative gynecologic laparoscopy and the management of chronic pelvic pain problems.

Clinical Training

As a division within the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, we perform over 600 major surgeries per year, the vast majority of which are laparoscopic, both conventional (“straight stick”) and robotic. More than 1,000 new patients are seen annually, along with over 3600 return visits. Patients are referred from gynecologists and primary care physicians in North Carolina and from throughout the southeast United States. A growing number of patients are self-referring after learning of our experience with laparoscopic surgery from physicians, friends, or the internet. As a result, residents and fellows in training in obstetrics and gynecology at UNC receive a level of laparoscopic training far above the average university medical center in the United States.  Eighty precent of all hysterectomies (including cancer cases) at UNC are performed with minimally invasive techniques. In our division, all hysterectomies are booked with laparoscopy, 99.5% completed in that manner.  Laparoscopic surgery for large fibroids is commonplace in our practice, including those in the 1-3kg range.  Our largest hysterectomy specimen weighed 4750 grams and our largest myomectomy 2200 grams (eight fibroids).  We also perform laparoscopic conservative and extirpative surgery for advanced / deeply infiltrating / stage IV endometriosis.  We routinely perform ureterolysis, extensive enterolysis, and removal of intestinal endometriosis.  When bowel resection is needed, we coordinate surgery with our minimally invasive colorectal or gynecologic oncology colleagues.

The Fellowship in Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery (FMIGS) is sanctioned by the AAGL, providing a robot clinical, research and surgical experience for the fellow.

Our fellows achieve competence in all of these procedures during their two years, gradually moving toward greater independence, including functioning as a junior faculty attending for their own cases and those from the resident service.

Pain management is taught in closely mentored clinical settings, and is influenced by relationships with the pain management programs in other departments at the University of North Carolina.

Research Training

The fellows also enroll in the Masters of Science in Clinical Research (MSCR) program, administered in conjunction with the UNC Gillings Global School of Public Health, ranked the top public school of public health in the nation by U.S. News & World Report (2016 edition) and placed second among all public health schools.

The MSCR program emphasizes study design, fundamentals of data analysis and collaboration with methodologists (including biostatisticians); proposal development/grant writing, interdisciplinary collaboration, project oversight (including patient safety and IRB compliance), presentation of study results, and professional development. The curriculum and classes are tailored to clinicians; classes are held when they are least likely to interrupt clinical duties and most importantly, these are taught by clinicians with extensive knowledge of research methods and are experienced in teaching clinicians. The final course develops the Masters paper, which has consistently resulted in presentation at the AAGL Global Congress on Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery and publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
Graduates of the MSCR develop the skills necessary for a successful career as a principal investigator and collaborator in clinical/translational research. The MSCR program is jointly sponsored by the NC TraCS Institue.

Persons planning a career as a clinical or translational investigator who will assume leadership roles in research projects and research teams.


Arnold Advincula, MD

Columbia University  - New York, NY


Denniz Zolnoun, MD, MPH

University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, NC


Georgine Lamvu, MD, MPH

Florida Hospital - Orlando FL 


Frank Tu, MD, MPH

University of Chicago Northshore - Chicago, IL


Susie As-Sanie, MD, MPH

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, MI


Mary Ellen Wechter, MD, MPH 

North Florida OB-GYN - Jacksonville, FL


Jacqueline Rohl, MD, MPH

The Ohio State University - Columbus, OH


Kinnari Desai, MD, MPH 

Manatee Gynecology - Bradenton, FL


Amanda Yunker, DO, MSCR

Vanderbilt University - Nashville, TN


Matthew Siedhoff, MD, MSCR

University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, NC


Erin Carey, MD,  MSCR

University of Kansas - Kansas City, KS


Austin Findley, MD, MSCR

Wright Patterson Air Force Base - Dayton, OH


Kumari Hobbs, MD, MSCR

NY Pelvic Pain & MIGS/Cornell University - New York, NY

Current fellows: Janelle Moulder, MD (2013-2016) & Tarek Toubia, MD (2014-2016)