Obstetrics & Gynecology

MSC 10 5580
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Gynecologic Oncology

About the Gynecologic Oncology Program

National Recognition

The UNM Division of Gynecologic Oncology is an integral part of the University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center (UNMCCC). The UNMCCC is part of an elite group of 47 NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the US. This Comprehensive designation places us among the top three percent of cancer centers in the country!

Our team conducts ground-breaking research to understand women’s cancers and to find new and better ways to treat it. We participate in national clinical research programs which bring cutting edge clinical trial treatment options to patients in New Mexico.

Team-based Care Approach

Our patient care model is focused on addressing the multiple needs of cancer patients. Our care team has recently expanded to open the new UNM Women’s Cancer Center. The new space allows our team to offer the best care and address the needs of our patients and their families. The model offers extensive patient and family support through psychology services, oncology social work, patient navigation programs, nutrition counseling, and interpreter language services. 

Areas of Special Interest

Clinical

As gynecologic oncologists, we offer expertise in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of gynecologic cancers. Gynecologic cancers include:

  • Endometrial or Uterine cancer
  • Cervical cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Vulvar cancer

We also offer expertise in the management of difficult gynecologic surgical problems, molar pregnancy, and cancer in pregnancy.

Research

We offer numerous clinical trials to our patients undergoing cancer care. This allows them to have the best and newest treatment options for their cancer.

  • Cancer survivorship issues and quality of life after cancer treatment.
  • Basic science and translation research programs to study the prevention of cervical and endometrial cancer.

How to Apply

The Gynecologic Oncology fellowship program accepts applications only through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS)
Application deadline: April 1
Initial Interview Offers: April 23
Interview Dates: TBD

For further information, please contact our program coordinator: Belinda Arrambide

Contact

Address all inquiries to the Program Coordinator: Belinda Arrambide

UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center
Division of Gynecologic Oncology
1 University of New Mexico
MSC 07-4025
Phone: 505-925-0461
Fax: 505-925-0100
Email: barrambide@salud.unm.edu

Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship

The Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology offers an ACGME-accredited three-year fellowship in gynecologic oncology under the direction of Dr. Teresa Rutledge, Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Our division is an integral part of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology through the University of New Mexico School of Medicine and the ACGME-accredited UNM OB-GYN residency program. The Division is also an integral part of the UNM Cancer Center, which is part of an elite group of 47 NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the U.S. Located in a unique community with a culturally diverse population, UNM is an ideal place for fellows to learn and discover. We are committed to provide well-rounded clinical and research training with the primary educational goal of training future academic leaders in the field of gynecologic oncology.

Training Locations

Gynecologic Oncology Faculty

Teresa RutledgeTeresa Rutledge, MD, Fellowship Program Director, graduated medical school from Texas A&M Health Sciences Center and completed her residency and GO fellowship at University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in 2004. She served on faculty at the University of North Carolina for three years before joining the UNM team in 2008. She has demonstrated a commitment to medical education with numerous teaching awards, curriculum development, and active participation in OB/GYN resident education. Dr. Rutledge has assumed multiple leadership roles with the institution including the chair of the UNM Cancer Center Protocol Review and Monitoring committee and the OB/GYN Department director of M&M conference. Research interest includes cancer survivorship and cancer care delivery for rural care settings. 


Carolyn Muller, MDCarolyn Muller, MD,
Division Director, is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and then completed her OB/GYN residency at the affiliate hospital, Pennsylvania Hospital (the nation’s first hospital). She completed her Gynecologic Oncology fellowship at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in 1996, where she remained on faculty for eight years. She is a trained Physician-Scientist through a RSDP K12 5 year postdoctoral fellowship. Dr. Muller joined the University of New Mexico in 2004 as Division Director. She is widely respected in the medical community and has built the UNM gynecologic oncology division. She serves as the director of the UNM Women’s Cancer Center, which recently opened in 2017. She has more than 20 years of academic experience and holds numerous national and local leadership positions which will serve a critical role in the mentorship of the fellows.

Sarah Adams, MDSarah Adams, MD, Physician-Scientist and Fellowship Research Mentor, graduated from University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine where she also completed her OB-GYN residency. She completed her GO fellowship at University of Pennsylvania Hospital in 2009. Dr. Adams joined the UNM GO division in 2012 where she maintains an active clinical practice and leads a translational research lab focused on ovarian cancer immunology. She is the director of the OB-GYN Departmental Residency Research Program. She is nationally recognized for her work in immunology of the peritoneal cavity in ovarian cancer and novel immuno-oncology clinical trials.


Elizabeth Lokich, MDElizabeth Lokich, MD
, graduated medical school from Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth where she also completed her OB-GYN residency. She completed her GO fellowship at Brown University in 2016 and joined the UNM GO division. Dr. Lokich has interest in medical education, quality improvement initiatives, and cancer survivorship issues. She serves as the OB/GYN safety officer.


Karen Finkelstein, MDKaren Finkelstein, MD
, SWGO site director, graduated medical school from SUNY at Stony Brook School of Medicine, completed OB-GYN residency at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and completed GO fellowship at University of North Carolina. She holds multiple leadership positions, excels in clinical education, and has excellent clinical reputation. Dr. Finkelstein holds the first in NM certification as a Surgeon of Excellence in Robotic Surgery and Minimally Invasive Gynecology. She maintains a strong commitment to clinical research with active partnership with UNMCCC and the New Mexico Cancer Care Alliance. 

Other Key Faculty

Thomas Schroeder, MD, is a radiation oncologist who specializes in gynecologic cancers. He participates in fellow education through direct clinical supervision for the fellows during the radiation oncology rotation, formal didactics, and weekly participation in GO tumor boards. 

Lesley Lomo, MD, is a pathologist and is fellowship-trained in gynecologic pathology. Dr. Lomo provides formal didactics in molecular and pathologic features of GO malignancies, collaborator in clinical-translational research, and weekly participation in GO tumor boards.

Lisa Anselmo and Harmony Bowles, PharmD, is a pharmacist dedicated to the UNM Cancer Center practice. They will participate in fellow didactic education sessions and are present in UNM Cancer Center clinics.

Clinical Training & Research Experience

Clinical Training Experience

The primary clinical training location for the fellowship is UNMH and UNM Cancer Center under the direction of four fellowship-trained gynecologic oncologists: Carolyn Muller, MD; Teresa Rutledge, MD; Sarah Adams, MD; and Elizabeth Lokich, MD. The secondary training location is Southwest Gynecologic Oncology Associates (SWGO) led by fellowship-trained gynecologic oncologist Karen Finkelstein, MD.

The fellow spends six months of their clinical training at the SWGO site and 18 months at the UNMH/UNM Cancer Center location. Throughout all GO clinical training, the fellow’s experience will be divided between inpatient, outpatient, and OR experience with multiple support staff assisting to provide optimal patient care. The clinical volume is excellent and encompasses the full spectrum of gynecologic oncology. Clinics are exclusively devoted to the care of women with gynecologic malignancies or complicated gynecologic problems. Both clinical training locations benefit from a state-wide referral base, exposing the fellows to wide-ranging clinical treatment opportunities. The faculty members manage all aspects of comprehensive clinical care including prescribing chemotherapy and novel biologic or immunotherapies, as well as all phases of clinical trials. The fellow can expect to gain exposure to chemotherapy care planning, dose modification and sequencing.

The fellows will learn to provide care through a team-based approach and will have the opportunity to work with learn from and educate other members of the team including midlevel providers, nurses, nurse navigators, coordinators, research staff, residents, medical students and other key team members.

The surgical experience includes both open and minimally invasive techniques (both laparoscopy and robotic). To augment the clinical experience, the fellow will spend elective time with Surgical Oncology service, Palliative Care, Radiation Oncology and Surgical ICU/Critical Care rotations. The clinical rotations may change as the needs of trainees require. 

Research Experience

Our faculty is committed to developing a robust research curriculum to support fellows’ scholarly activities, engaging in the full spectrum of research activities from basic/translational/clinical science to epidemiology/population-based studies. Sarah Adams, MD, serves as the lead research mentor for fellows. She heads a translational lab focused on ovarian tumor immunology. Fellows will choose research opportunities that align with their personal interests. This could include working in the Adams lab or collaborating with other UNM faculty involved in ovarian, cervical or uterine cancer research on such topics as:

  • Population genetics
  • Cancer survivorship
  • Cancer genomics
  • Virology
  • Hormone signaling
  • Mathematical modeling of tumor behavior and drug diffusion
  • Vaccine design
  • Single-cell imaging and receptor biology 

Most scientists are housed within the UNM Cancer Research Facility, a five-story, 110,000 sq. ft. research building supporting shared resources, including:

  • Analytical and Translational Genomics
  • The Keck Small Animals/Imaging Resource
  • Behavioral Measurement and Population Sciences
  • Bioinformatics and High-Dimensional Data Analysis
  • Biostatistics
  • Fluorescence Microscopy and Cell Imaging
  • Flow Cytometry and High Throughput Screening
  • The Human Tissue Repository and Tissue Analysis.

Fellows will have access to the Biostatistics shared resource for collaboration on protocol and grant development, thesis/manuscript preparation and other scholarly activities.

The first 12 months of training will be dedicated to the research curriculum and thesis development. Fellows have a choice of curriculum tracks to align with their interests. See detailed research curriculum options listed below. The program requires completion and defense of a thesis during the fellowship training program.

Research Curriculum Options

For fellows interested in a formal research curriculum, the following opportunities can be considered:

Certificate in Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS): The CCTS program, along with the Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences, Clinical Research concentration is an educational initiative to integrate and expand the reach of biomedical research from the laboratory to clinical and medical practice, which ultimately promotes a bench to bedside to community effort. The courses offered in the CCTS program include

  • Biostatistics
  • Biomedical Informatics
  • Research Design
  • Epidemiology
  • Patient Outcomes
  • Grantsmanship
  • Healthcare Services Research
  • Biomedical Ethics
  • Study Management
  • FDA Drug/Device Development

This coursework will be performed in the 12-month dedicated research time and provides the fellow the tool set to complete the required thesis project. Completion of the CCTS program provides the fellow with the didactic and experiential learning necessary to conduct NIH-funded clinical and translational research.

Other options for didactic training in research design, statistics, and grant writing for fellows as part of their research curriculum include:

Principles of Biostatistics and Data Science for Cancer Researchers: Ji-Hyun Lee, PhD, the director of the Biostatistics Shared Resource Core Facility teaches a nine-week course covering basic statistical concepts and methods including study design, statistical methods, defining a null and alternate hypothesis, power analysis, sample size calculations, bias, selecting appropriate tests for data analysis, and presentation of results.

Director’s Lecture Series, UNM Cancer Center: This series features weekly lectures and seminars by preeminent researchers hosted at the UNM Cancer Center. Past speakers have included J. Jack Lee, PhD, Professor of Biostatistics at MD Anderson Cancer Center; Patricia M. LoRusso, DO, and Markus Muschen, MD, PhD, UCSF Cancer Center; and Peter Sorger, PhD, Professor of Systems Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School.

Journal Clubs at the Cancer Research Facility: Ongoing journal clubs covering cancer biology, tumor immunology, “hot topics”, and work-in-progress are held at the Cancer Research Facility. These include faculty, fellows, graduate students and associated researchers.

Grant writing courses: Several grant writing courses are offered every semester through the Clinical and Translational Science Center and the School of Medicine. Some are topic-specific and focused on PCORI grants or translational science, while others focus on basic grantsmanship principles. These courses are designed so that participants will complete a proposal by the completion of the class series.

Presentation Skills: Fellows are expected to present their work on a regular basis through journal club presentations, regular meetings with scientific mentors, and more formal presentations at UNM Grand Rounds, as well as at local and national meetings. Presentation skills are honed during preparatory sessions with the gynecologic oncology faculty in advance of plenary sessions at meetings.

Community Based Participatory Research Institute for Health: Summer program: The Institute is a 40-hour training session offered during the summer session provides an intensive co-learning exploration on how CBPR intersects with indigenous and critical methodologies, including the challenges for academics and community members to co-construct knowledge for improved community health. Students are expected to participate in readings, discussions, and journal writing, and they have the option of producing a CBPR paper based on one’s own research project.

Education

Separate from education efforts performed in clinic, operating room, or on rounds, dedicated educational time will be included in the schedules for fellow specific didactics, tumor board conferences, M&M conferences, journal clubs, case log review, and departmental grand rounds. Attendance of the annual Society of Gynecologic Oncology is encouraged and financial support is provided by the Division. Other meetings for research submission and attendance for consideration are:

  • Western Association of Gynecologic Oncology
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • AACR

Administrative Support

Fellows benefit from administrative support from the fellowship program coordinator, Belinda Arrambide, and other support given by the Division. Financial allowance will be given to the fellow for scholarly activity including travel to scientific meetings, the purchase of education materials, or coursework that the fellow may wish to participate in that is not already available through the HSC.

Call

Fellows do not take any call for general OB/GYN. Fellows are on house call to cover GO service only. Call is split between the two clinical fellows with a faculty member always assigned to call. 

Training Locations

University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center (UNMCCC): The UNMCCC is a new (2009) state of the art, 5-story, 226,000 sq ft ambulatory cancer diagnosis and treatment center. In 2005, UNMCCC achieved our designation from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and then in 2016 the UNMCCC achieved comprehensive designation, the highest federal designation. It is the only cancer center in NM designated by the NCI and one of just 47 NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the nation and it has been designated “the official cancer center of New Mexico” by the state legislature. In 2016, the UNMCCC evaluated 11,342 patients, performed 47,629 chemotherapy infusions, performed 16,754 radiation treatments, and enrolled 844 patients on clinical trials. Gynecologic cancers are the 4th most common cancers treated at UNMCCC, behind breast, prostate, and lung. The gynecologic oncology division enrolled 20% of newly registered patients on to clinical trials in 2016. UNMCCC expanded in 2017 to open the new UNM Women’s Cancer Center located on the second floor clinic space. The new center provides a space dedicated to the needs of women and their families. UNMCCC offers services in medical oncology, radiation oncology, neuro-oncology, surgical oncology, plastics/reconstructive surgery, and genetic counseling providers. UNMCCC offers extensive patient and family support through psychology services, oncology social work, patient navigation programs, nutrition counseling, and interpreter language services. Clinical trials participation is a significant priority within the UNMCCC and trials are made available to patients throughout the state through a unique partnership of community oncology practices within a unique statewide network, the New Mexico Cancer Care Alliance. In addition, UNMCCC is home to a growing Phase I clinical trials program. Patients are seen at the UNMCCC regardless of their ability to pay.

UNM Hospital (UNMH): University of New Mexico Hospital, the state’s only academic medical center, is the primary teaching hospital for the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. UNMH has 540 beds and had approximately 25,000 admissions, performed 19,000 surgeries, and had 80,000 ER visits in 2016. UNMH cares for a large, diverse population with complex and urgent health needs, providing more than $135 million of uncompensated care per year. This hospital is the site of inpatient and OR cases during fellow clinical training. UNMH has state of the art laparoscopic and robotic equipment, with both the Si and Xi robotic platforms. The GO division maintains 3 days of dedicated block time in the main OR at UNMH. Outpatient surgical facilities are available on an as needed basis less than 1 mile from the main hospital setting. UNMH has medical/surgical ICU, wound care teams, physical therapy, and other ancillary services needed to maintain the care of gynecologic cancer patients and to serve as the foundation for GO fellow clinical training.

Southwest Women’s Oncology (SWO): SWO was founded in 1985 and is a gynecologic oncology private medical practice in Albuquerque. The medical team is led by Dr. Karen Finkelstein who joined the group in 2006. The fellow will spend 6 months of their clinical training at the SWO site. The SWO medical team includes 2 mid-level providers, 3 medical assistants, and 3 RNs. SWO administers chemotherapy in the outpatient and inpatient setting. The practice delivers surgical services in two hospitals, Presbyterian and Lovelace Medical Center. Presbyterian Hospital is part of the Presbyterian Healthcare Services, a locally-owned, not-for-profit healthcare system with a statewide health plan and multispecialty group. Founded in New Mexico in 1908. The facility has over 700 beds, intensive care units, wound care teams, physical therapy, and other ancillary services. Radiation oncology services are also present. Surgical services include state of the art laparoscopic equipment and the robotic surgical platform for fellow surgical training. Lovelace Medical Center is the other practice location for the SWO group, where further inpatient and surgical services are performed. Lovelace Women’s Hospital is a private community hospital located in Albuquerque, NM with over 250 staffed beds, and all ancillary services need to support the care of patients with gynecologic malignancies. Surgical services include state of the art laparoscopic equipment and the robotic surgical platform for fellow surgical training. Radiation Oncology services are also present. Presbyterian Hospital and Lovelace Medical Center have for many years provided medical education as a secondary performance site for the UNM OB/GYN residency program, so there is a pre-existing infrastructure that is supportive of medical education.

Application Requirements

Application Requirements

Applicants must have completed an Obstetrics and Gynecology ACGME-accredited residency program. The UNM Gynecologic Oncology fellowship program will only accept applications through the ERAS system. Your completed application must be received no later than April 1 for fellowship starting in the July the following year. We will notify applicants of their interview status following application review.

A completed application consists of:

  1. ERAS application
  2. Curriculum vitae
  3. Personal statement
  4. Photograph – wallet-sized color photo
  5. Medical school transcript
  6. USMLE transcript
  7. CREOG scores
  8. Letters of Recommendations –Three from professional colleagues, one of which must be from the Program Director of your residency program and one of which must be from a gynecologic oncologist. Also, if you do a rotation such as the MD Anderson or Memorial Sloan Kettering rotating fellowships, we would like a letter from this rotation as well. Additional letters are not required, but you may submit them if you like.

Belinda Arrambide, the program coordinator, will contact candidates with the status of your application. She will inform candidates when their file is complete or what items are needed.

Additional opportunities outside of UNM

ASCO/AACR Methods in Clinical Cancer Research Workshop: An intensive workshop in the essentials of effective clinical trial designs of therapeutic interventions in the treatment of cancer for clinical fellow and junior faculty clinical researchers in all oncology subspecialties, including radiation and surgical oncology and radiology.

AACR Molecular Biology in Clinical Oncology Workshop: This is a rigorous workshop on the latest developments in molecular biology relevant to clinical oncologists pursuing the desire to bridge the gap as physician-scientists. Covers topics in cancer biology, grant writing strategies, career development, and networking for fellows interested in a career in translational research.

EXXcellence in Clinical Research Course – ABOG sponsored: The Foundation for EXXcellence in Women's Health is pleased to offer EXXcellence in Clinical Research. This is the same highly renowned course in research methods and evidence-based medicine taught since 1987 by the expert and engaging team of Drs. David Grimes M.D., FACOG, FACPM, and Kenneth Schulz. The six-day course provides an intensive introduction to epidemiology, research methods and data analysis.

Get to know The Gynecologic Oncology Division

Link to the Faculty Directory.

Gynecological Oncology Clinics

Clinic Addresses

Our main clinic appointment is the University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center in Albuquerque. We also provide outreach services to Santa Fe. The clinic contact information and maps are provided below.

Santa Fe

Santa Fe Clinic
2025 Pacheco Suite 300
Santa Fe, NM 87505
Phone: (505) 249-3212

Administrative Office Information

UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center
Division of Gynecologic Oncology
1 University of New Mexico
MSC 07-4025
Trisha Mather 505-925-0460

Belinda Arrambide 505-925-0461
Fax: 505-925-0454