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Graduate Medical Education

Faculty

Obstetrics and Gynecology

Leadership

Elizabeth Dierking, MD
Vice Chair of the Department

Dr. Dierking is a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist who maintains an active clinical practice in addition to her role as the program director. She supervises the residents in all realms of their clinical practice and contributes to their research experience and didactic education.

“St. Luke’s Obstetrics & Gynecology Residency Program has a strong tradition of training excellent physicians to prepare them for their future clinical practice as a generalist or for ongoing education in a subspecialty fellowship. We teach our residents evidence-based medicine and give them the tools necessary to critically read and assess the literature to ensure they will remain up to date after residency. We also encourage them to actively participate in research so that they can help shape the future of our field.”

– Dr. Elizabeth Dierking

 

Kelly Copeland, MD
Program Director

Dr. Copeland is a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist. She is the newest member of the resident education team. She has a strong interest in helping residents improve their hands-on skills in both obstetrics and gynecology.

“I am consistently impressed with St. Luke’s investment in providing excellent patient care. The willingness from both the department and the network, to change, grow, and improve in order to optimize not only patient experience but resident education is part of what makes St. Luke’s so special.”

– Dr. Kelly Copeland

 

Rachel O’Connell, MD FACOG
Associate Program Director
“I was drawn to St. Luke’s after meeting the people - at St. Luke’s you are family. We keep patients at the center and are passionate about providing safe, high-quality, and evidence-based healthcare. Once I began working with residents, I realized what a strong residency program we provide. With the acuity and volume of patients at our hospitals across the network, our residents come out with the exposure and experience they need to be a strong specialist in our field.”

– Dr. Rachel O’Connell

 

Israel Zighelboim, MD
Chairman of Obstetrics & Gynecology

Dr. Zighelboim is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology and gynecologic oncology and has co-authored more than 60 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and has presented more than 40 abstracts at local, national and international scientific conferences. His scientific work has been funded by the National Cancer Institute and private foundations.

“Part of what makes St. Luke’s special, is the quality from specialty to specialty – the enthusiasm for caring for the patient, having the best, most advanced technology and having access to the best clinical trials. I always wanted to do something that would allow me to have a longer, more fulfilling relationship with my patients – at St. Luke’s I am able to do that.”

– Dr. Zighelboim

 

General OB/GYN Physicians
Our board-certified obstetricians and gynecologists have been carefully chosen because of their teaching and mentoring abilities. They are actively involved in resident teaching at every level. The members of this group have varying interests and individual skills, ranging from high-risk general obstetrics, management of menopause, operative endoscopy and vaginal surgery, chronic pelvic pain, and medical ethics. Many serve as guest lecturers during educational time on behalf of the program.

Perinatology (Maternal and Fetal Medicine)
Eight fellowship-trained maternal/fetal medicine specialists are responsible for running the MFM rotation, they have a daily presence on both labor units and assist in the management of our high-risk pregnancies in the inpatient and outpatient settings.

Laborist
Daytime coverage of the resident service on the labor floor is handled by one of our laborist physicians. Their presence and access to the residents allow for great one-on-one teaching and supervision.

Reproductive Endocrinology (REI) and Infertility
A board-certified REI who practices as part of a larger community-based infertility group serves as our section chief. She is responsible for the majority of the residents’ education on this rotation and provides them with clinical experience in reproductive endocrinology, infertility, embryology, and all types of assisted reproductive technologies. She also supervises them in the operating room and provides them with instructions on gynecologic ultrasound. Another board-certified REI subspecialist on faculty with experience and interest in transgender medicine supervises the residents in the clinic.

Urogynecology and Pelvic Reconstruction (Urogyn)
Our world-renowned faculty has been on the cutting edge of new urogynecologic procedures. Our section chief is a fellowship-trained Urogynecologist who is responsible for didactic teaching and the urogyn rotation. This third-year rotation includes time in the operating room as well as office-based care in his private office and the urogynecology clinic. He has two fellowship-trained partners who contribute significantly to the residents’ education. The Allentown campus, with its advanced surgical suite, is the mainstay of our Urogynecology service.

Gynecologic Oncology (gyn onc)
Four fellowship-trained gynecologic oncologists provide a diverse educational opportunity for the residents. They provide extensive surgical experience for the residents who operate side-by-side with them during their four years of residency. The gyn onc service provides opportunities to learn comprehensive management of complex surgical patients, chemotherapeutic management, radiotherapy for gynecologic malignancy and opportunities for research projects.  Our gynecologic oncologists also provide didactic education and mentoring during the protected education time as well as our gyn onc rotations. Their constant presence allows for easy access and consultation.

Neonatology
We partner with a group of board-certified and full-time neonatologists who manage our network’s Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). All neonatologists participate in clinical care, neonatal resuscitation and bedside teaching, and participate in High-risk Obstetric/ Neonatal Case Conferences.

Family Planning
St. Luke's is a Ryan Residency Training Program. Our family planning training is provided in conjunction with a local private facility that provides family planning and abortion services. One of our faculty members with a special interest in family planning also provides weekly educational sessions to the residents on the rotation. Residents provide care at a complex contraception clinic offered through our Star Community Health Centers. Opportunities for international research rotations also exist.

LGBTQ Healthcare
Our hospital and clinics are a safe space for members of the LGBTQ community. One of our REI faculty and several of our OBGYN Generalists provide desired medical hormonal therapy to transgender patients in the community through our Star Community Health clinic. Many of our other faculty members provide consultation & care regarding gender affirming surgeries. Our residents are also able to gain exposure to transgender medicine during their family planning rotation.

Fellows
St. Luke's has both a Minimally Invasive Gynecology fellowship and starting July 2022 a Gynecologic Oncology fellowship. The role of the fellows in resident education is to act as an additional source of education and mentorship. The fellows allow for increased research, didactic, and enhanced surgical and hands-on simulation opportunities for our residents.