Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Certificate Programs

The Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency Program at McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University offers to all its residents the opportunity for a broad educational experience.  Recognizing, however, that some trainees have specific passions and career paths in mind, we have developed four unique Areas of Focus, which offer special events and focused mentoring in particular pathways.  

Our current offerings are Global Health, Medical Education, Health Equity and Advocacy, and Bioethics.  See the tabs below more a complete description of each pathway.

Opportunities for all Certificate Programs include journal clubs, career development talks, special elective experiences, and mentored research projects.  Interested residents may participate in sessions from any number of the Areas; those who wish to commit firmly to a particular Area of Focus will do so usually midway through the PGY-1 or PGY-2 year.  At the end of training, participants will receive a certificate designating the completion of this pathway.

Our program offers Northwestern University’s McGaw Graduate Medical trainees (residents and fellows) a two-year scholars program that provides advanced training in the theory of bioethics and its application to clinical medicine.

The McGaw Bioethics Scholars Program is a two-year program and is co-sponsored by the Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities and McGaw Medical Center. 

Eligible trainees must complete the following curricular components:

  • Attend 10 Core Didactics/Workshops
  • Attend 12 Specialty Didactics/Workshops
  • Complete Asynchronous Learning
  • Participate in Practical Experience and Simulation Skills Practicum
  • Develop an Education Portfolio
  • Complete a scholarly project

These curricular components have been created to promote the ACGME health competencies across all 6 subcompetencies:

  • Patient care
  • Medical knowledge
  • Practice based learning and improvement
  • System based practice, professionalism
  • Interpersonal skills and communications
  • Professionalism

The program components are based on a needs assessment performed by the program leadership and are subject to change based on feedback from participants and mentors.

Program Objectives:

  • Understand the moral, philosophical, and historical basis of bioethics
  • Understand the basic principles of bioethics
  • Identify ethical features of a clinical encounter and develop critical skills necessary to evaluate ethical claims
  • Address ethical challenges and conflicts through defending a particular position on an ethical issue
  • Develop awareness of ethical issues that may occur across subspecialties.
  • Complete a scholarly product that allows the learner to increase their understanding of the ethical challenges in their own subspecialty

Applications for the 2018-2019 academic year will open in July 2018.

The McGaw Health Equity and Advocacy Clinical Scholars Program is a two-year certificate program that is open to all McGaw trainees (residents and fellows) and provides them with the knowledge and skills to identify and address health inequities among their patients and communities.

Eligible trainees must complete the following curricular components:

  • 10 Monthly Core Lecture series (2nd Wednesday of the month, 5:30-7:30pm; repeats every year)
  • 10 Specialty Lectures (including IPHAM lectures)
  • Bi-monthly Journal Club
  • Quarterly Health Equity and Advocacy Skill-building Workshops
  • Asynchronous Learning (book chapters, webinars, podcasts)
  • Reflections
  • Experiential Opportunities (in Clinical, Research or Policy & Advocacy tracks)
  • Culminates in a Scholarly Project

Program Objectives: 

  • To improve trainees’ knowledge of social determinants of health and health equity
  • To develop skills to communicate and engage with patients, community and political leaders, health system leaders and with the public, on issues of health equity and advocacy
  • To develop leaders in health equity in the clinical, research and advocacy domains
  • To inspire trainees to engage in life-long advocacy for their patients and communities regardless of specialty or geographic location


Our program offers Northwestern University’s McGaw Graduate Medical trainees (residents and fellows) a competency-based global health certificate program to provide them with training in clinical care delivery in resource-limited settings worldwide.

The McGaw Global Health Clinical Scholars Program is a two-year certificate program.

Eligible trainees must complete the following curricular components:

  • Attend five of six specialty lectures
  • Attend ten of twelve core lectures
  • Participation in simulation training
  • Development of cross residency skills exchange
  • Participation in a professional development and journal club
  • Complete web-based training modules (part of the above required lectures)
  • Global health field experience: trainees and mentors are to follow the requirements outlined in the mentor-mentee contract
  • Production and presentation of a scholarly project: trainees and mentors are to follow the requirements outlined in the mentor-mentee contract


These curricular components have been created to meet the following global health competencies:

  • Describe the global burden of disease and demonstrate understanding of epidemiologic tools and methods
  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of the relationship between health and human rights
  • Explain the role of community-engagement strategies in capacity strengthening
  • Demonstrate high standards of ethical conduct and quality in global healthcare
  • Understand the health implications of travel, migration, and trade
  • Provide culturally sensitive care and support to patients
  • Develop global health-focused scholarly work
  • Recognize the major determinants of health


The program components and competencies are based on recommendations by global health educators that fulfill ACGME competencies.

Program Objectives:

  • Provide an education in core concepts in global health for trainees and fellows across specialties
  • Provide high-quality global health training experiences
  • Mentored scholarly projects

 Our program offers Northwestern University’s McGaw Medical Education Clinical Scholars Program is a two-year certificate program, offering Northwestern University’s McGaw Graduate Medical trainees (residents and fellows) a competency-based medical education certificate program to provide them with training in educational theory and teaching in a variety of settings

Program Structure & Expectations:

  • Attend Program Orientation and Introduction to the Educator Portfolio: Held in September during Medical Education Day, a full-day series of presentations and discussions celebrating and examining the future of medical education.
  • Attend or watch 15 TIME (Today’s Innovations in Medical Education) Lecture: TIME Lectures sponsored by the Feinberg Academy of Medical Educators. Offered the third Tuesday of each month 4:00pm-5:00pm. May watch via live webcast or via online stream – if watched remotely, a reflection form must be submitted.
  • Attend 5 Faculty Development Workshop: Faculty Development Workshops sponsored by the Feinberg Academy of Medical Educators. Offered the third Tuesday of each month 5:15-6:30pm.
  • Listen to Podcasts: Listen to 10 KeyLIME (Key Literature in Medical Education) Podcasts and submit reflection forms on these. This podcast is published every other week – learners can choose from any archived topic – read the reviewed literature and comment on the paper after listening to the podcast
  • Core Reading: participants will read How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching. Each section of the book will be discussed during the quarterly meetings that must be attended to receive credit for the reading. Read two other medical education books and discuss at quarterly book group discussions.
  • Participate in 5 Directly Observed Teaching Sessions: trainees will have their teaching observed by a mentor, certificate program leadership or other expert in the field. They should also have a peer (preferably another participant in the certificate program) observe and give feedback for one observation. Feedback will be given to the learner after each session. Trainees should plan to include this feedback, as well as their own reflections on the session, in their educator portfolio.Trainees should hope to have a variety of teaching formats observed – lectures, small groups, leading rounds, precepting students or leading simulations are all examples of acceptable formats.
  • Develop an Educator Portfolio: trainees will build an educator portfolio that includes their teaching philosophy, teaching materials, directly observed teaching feedback, learner evaluations and self-reflection. Mentors will review the portfolio and provide feedback on the content.
  • Scholarly Project: poster presentations, peer-reviewed publications, curriculum development materials, research and quality improvement initiatives are examples of projects. Projects should be presented as a poster or presentation format in June during the provided TIME session for presentations.
  • Mentor and Administrative Meetings: trainees will be paired with a Medical Education Mentor, drawn from the Feinberg Academy of Medical Educators. Meeting with mentors should occur quarterly. Trainees are also required to attend quarterly administrative meetings with program leadership.

Program Objectives:

  • Provide trainees who have an interest in medical education with the opportunity to receive more information in how to achieve this career path and increased opportunities to grow as an educator
  • Provide experiential opportunities in a variety of medical education formats, including clinical teaching, administration, educational research, curriculum design and assessment
  • Promote faculty-mentored scholarly activity in medical education for trainees
  • Provide career mentorship to trainees interested in medical education