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Family Planning Fellowship Program

The University of Colorado Denver Fellowship in Family Planning is the 18th fellowship site nationally, taking its first fellow in 2009. Fellows will attend the Colorado School of Public Health. The emphasis is on abortion training, contraception, and adolescent medicine.

Clinical Training

Fellows are trained in abortion from 5-24 weeks gestational age, using evidence-based medical and surgical methods. These sites provide the Fellow a variety of opportunities for training as well as a resource-rich research program in clinical studies of abortion, contraception, basic reproductive sciences, and adolescent health. General obstetrics and gynecology clinical opportunities are available for the interested candidate, but not required.  OB night call is approximately once per month.

Masters Degree Options 

Fellows will complete a Masters in Public Health at the Colorado School of Public Health with emphasis in biostatistics, community and behavioral health, community health education, environmental and occupational health, epidemiology, generalist, or health systems, management and policy.

Research Opportunities 

Research may be conducted on a wide range of topics in contraception and abortion, adolescent health, or in collaboration with faculty at the School of Public Health. Fellows may choose a protocol that serves as their fellowship research project and their MPH thesis. Our research coordinator assists fellows with navigating IRB requirements, study design and implementation, statistics, and writing. The director and research coordinator will meet monthly with the fellows to discuss the progress of research projects. The director will also serve as a facilitator and advocate for the fellows’ research.


Clinical training, academic, and research collaborations with a variety of divisions and programs are available to our fellows. Current collaborations are within the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, as well as the departments of Anesthesia, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Medicine (Infectious Diseases). Fellows may also form collaborations with faculty in the Colorado School of Public Health, the School of Nursing and the School of Pharmacy, or the Colorado Health Outcomes Program.  Active research collaboration with the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Denver Health Medical Center provides access to a richly diverse patient population.


Mentorship for the program is provided by the Director, who directs and provides clinical training at the Comprehensive Women’s Health Center, at the University Hospital, and in the contraception clinic. The Director will have weekly meetings with the fellows and provide research and scholarly mentorship on appropriate projects. The research coordinator assists with research activities weekly and is available on an as-needed basis. Additional research mentorship is available from many of the Obstetrics and Gynecology faculty, including from the sections of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Adolescent Gynecology, and Basic Reproductive Sciences.​​​

International Opportunities 

Our fellowship will offer unique opportunities in rural, adolescent, Native American and community health. We work closely with the National Office to provide international training opportunities to our fellows. Fellows are encouraged in the first year of the program to seek out these options to ensure that they have adequate time to find an appropriate experience and prepare themselves to maximize the placement.

Additional Program Highlights   
  • Strong clinical training and experience with the Director  
  • Breadth of faculty with a diversity of interests  
  • Opportunities for fellows to teach residents and students through the Kenneth J. Ryan Residency Training Program and Family Planning conferences 
  • A well-established fellowship director with collaborations in many departments  
  • An emphasis on adolescent reproductive health, including long-established research and clinical collaborations in this field  
  • Supportive faculty, section chiefs, and Chair with a departmental focus on graduate medical education 
  • The opportunity to work clinically and academically with ethnically diverse, urban, underserved populations  
  • A new state-of-the-art medical campus 

Current Faculty Research Projects
  • ​​Adolescent pregnancy experience and postpartum contraception
  • Age-stratified prevalence of oncogenic human papillomavirus infection among young women with atypical cervical squamous cells.
  • Ambivalence about childbearing during adolescence
  • Confirmation of tubal occlusion after hysteroscopic sterilization: barriers to compliance with FDA recommendations
  • Contraceptive decision-making by Latina diabetics
  • Contraceptive preferences of adolescent mothers
  • Decision-making processes of medically at-risk women considering tubal sterilization
  • Immediate post-partum Implanon insertion in teens compared to other methods of postpartum contraception
  • Intimate partner violence and medical abortion
  • IUD continuation in adolescents
  • New predictors of adolescent preterm delivery
  • Postpartum depression screening in adolescent mothers
  • Reasons for ineffective contraceptive use in adolescent mothers
  • Developing a model of group-based prenatal and infant primary care for socially disadvantaged adolescent mothers and their children
  • A multicenter open-label study on the efficacy, cycle control and safety of a contraceptive vaginal ring delivering a daily dose of 150 micrograms of nestorone and 15 micrograms of ethinyl estradiol (through the NICHD Contraception Clinical Trials Network)
  • A multicenter, randomized, double-masked, comparator study of the safety and contraceptive efficacy of C31G vaginal gel compared to conceptrol vaginal gel. (through the NICHD Contraception Clinical Trials Network)
  • A randomized  open-label, comparative multi-center trial to evaluate contraceptive efficacy, cycle control, safety and acceptability of a monophasic combined oral contraceptive containing 2.5mg nomegestrol acetate and 1.5 mg estradiol, compared to a monophasic COC containing 3mg drospirenone and 30ug ethinyl estradiol. 
  • Satisfaction and continuation rates after immediate post-abortion long-acting reversible contraception.

Current Fellows

Ariel Sklar, MD
Class of 2020
Residency: Northwestern McGaw University


Class of 2021
Residency: University of Minnesota