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Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard University Complex Family Planning Fellowship

Overview and History of the Program

The Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School Complex Family Planning Fellowship started in July of 2005. The fellowship in Complex Family Planning is accredited with The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Our fellows experience a wide range of clinical experiences and sites, including three academic hospitals, and a large Planned Parenthood affiliate.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) has a long-standing commitment to family planning. Dr Kenneth J. Ryan, for whom the Ryan Program is named, was the Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology from 1973 to 1993. Under his leadership the hospital began offering abortion services and resident training in abortion in 1973 with the legalization of abortion with the Roe v. Wade decision. Abortion services and training for medical students and residents has been ongoing since that time, with the addition of the fellowship in 2005.

Trainees per year: one

Fellowship length: two years

Salary: Mass General Brigham (MGB) GME PGY5 level salary first year, MGB GME PGY6 level salary second year

Benefits: 4 weeks of vacation per year. MGB benefits package including medical and dental insurance along with retirement funding and malpractice coverage. Learn more about MGB GME salary and benefits

Year program began: 2005

Program Director: Alisa B. Goldberg, MD, MPH

Associate Program Director: Kari P. Braaten, MD, MPH

Fellowship Mission and Vision

Our mission is to develop obstetrician gynecologist leaders in abortion and contraception through training in clinical care, research, and education.

We envision a world in which clinical care, health systems and public policy promote reproductive autonomy and justice for all people, and particularly for individuals whose reproductive capacity and freedoms are currently devalued. This includes individuals who identify as Black, Indigenous, or people of color, people with disabilities, lower socioeconomic status, and members of LGBTQIA+, immigrant and minority religious communities. We recognize that intersection of multiple marginalized identities may result in additional challenges to achieving reproductive autonomy and justice.

Fellowship Aims

  1. Clinical - To train physicians to be experts in the clinical care and management of patients seeking or requiring abortion and contraceptive care and specifically to provide consultation and/or comprehensive care for patients with complex problems related to Family Planning.
  2. Research - To train physicians that can function effectively in the arena of clinical, translational or health service investigation in Family Planning, to advance the discipline, remain current and generate and utilize scientific evidence to inform clinical and health system policies in this rapidly changing field.
  3. Academic Development – To develop communication skills in our fellows that enable them to speak effectively to varied audiences about topics related to contraception and abortion (i.e. clinicians, medical trainees, laypeople, legislators).
  4. Education/Leadership - To develop skills in our fellows as an educators, mentors and eventual leaders in the field of Family Planning.

Complex Family Planning Faculty

Alisa B. Goldberg, MD, MPH (Program Director)
Associate Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, Harvard Medical School
Director, Division of Family Planning, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Director, Family Planning Clinic, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Vice President of Research and Training, Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts

Kari P. Braaten MD, MPH (Associate Program Director)
Assistant Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, Harvard Medical School
Medical Director, Fish Center for Women’s Health, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Deborah Bartz, MD, MPH
Associate Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, Harvard Medical School
Director, Ryan Residency Training Program, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Associate Director, Ob/Gyn Clerkship, Harvard Medical School
Associate Director, Family Planning Clinic, Brigham and Women's Hospital

Elizabeth Janiak, ScD
Assistant Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, Harvard Medical School
Assistant Professor, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Director of Social Science Research, ASPIRE Center, Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts

Kathryn Fay, MD, MSc
Instructor in Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, Harvard Medical School

Robert Barbieri, MD
Kate Macy Ladd Distinguished Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology
Interim Director of Obstetrics, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Past Chair (1993-2020), Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Danielle Roncari, MD, MPH (Site Director: Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, Tufts Medical Center)
Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Tufts School of Medicine
Director, Division of Family Planning, Tufts Medical Center
Medical Director, Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts

Katherine Pocius, MD, MPH (Site Director: Massachusetts General Hospital)
Instructor in Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Medical Director of Family Planning, Vincent Obstetrics and Gynecology, Massachusetts General Hospital
Associate Director, BWH/MGH Integrated Residency Program in Obstetrics and Gynecology

Clinical Training

Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH)

  • Family Planning Center (FPC): hospital-based procedure unit dedicated to abortion care (1st and 2nd trimester procedural abortion and medication abortion), management of pregnancy loss, and complex contraceptive procedures.
    Lower-volume, high acuity site – high proportion of referrals for complex care.
  • Complex Contraception Clinic: Ambulatory clinic, staffed by fellows, with faculty supervision/precepting.

Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts (PPLM)

  • 1st and 2nd trimester procedural abortion and medication abortion
  • High-volume, low acuity site
  • Triage of patients to appropriate clinical setting (community versus hospital)
  • Consultant to Advanced Practice Clinicians

Tufts Medical Center

  • Clinical abortion training (2nd trimester)

Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)

  • Clinical abortion training (2nd trimester)

Newton-Wellesley Hospital

  • Independent obstetric practice is available to fellows as moonlighting/labor floor coverage at this MGB-affiliated community hospital. This is optional and not a part of the formal fellowship training.

Research Training

Fellows complete courses in research methodology through the Harvard Catalyst program and if they don't already have an MPH, they complete the NIH IPPCR clinical research certificate program in their first year. They learn hands-on research implementation by designing and completing an independent research project, mentored by our experienced faculty, and learning from the expert research staff at PPLM. Fellows have completed a wide variety of types of research including prospective and retrospective clinical studies, qualitative and mixed-method studies.

Mentorship and Education


Core mentorship is provided by the Complex Family Planning faculty. At BWH this includes four board certified CFP physicians and a PhD social scientist. Additional mentors include CFP faculty at our other clinical sites, as well as several other Ob/Gyn physicians with extensive family planning experience. Fellows meet with the fellowship directors regularly, as well as their specific research mentors, which may also include faculty outside of the division.


The Division of Family Planning has a weekly lecture series which is given by our faculty, fellows, residents, sub-interns, and outside invited speakers. Additionally, the fellows have a monthly teaching session with the associate program director, covering core topics from the CFP fellowship curriculum. Weekly BWH Ob/Gyn department grand rounds as well as other division and department-wide didactics are also available to the fellows. Annual lectures and events focusing on Reproductive Health and Women’s health are sponsored by Harvard Medical School, the Connor’s Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology, and the Division of Women’s Health, all of which are available to the fellows.

Application Information

All required residency education for entry into ACGME-accredited fellowship programs must be completed in an ACGME-accredited residency program, or in an RCPSC-accredited or CFPC-accredited program located in Canada. Applicant must be legally able to work in the U.S., or eligible to obtain work authorization. If you have questions, please contact

Application Requirements:

  • ERAS application
  • CV
  • Photograph
  • USMLE/COMLEX scores
  • Personal Statement
  • 3 Letters of recommendation (1 letter of recommendation must be from your OBGYN Residency Program Director)

Learn more about the Fellowship in Family Planning and how to apply

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