Portrait of Laura Jacques
Laura Jacques, MD, FACOG
Associate Professor (CHS), Director of Medical Student Education
Academic Specialists in Obstetrics and Gynecology

Office Address

McConnell Hall, 4th Floor
1010 Mound St.
Madison, WI, 53715

Clinic Address

Union Corners
2323 E Washington Av
Madison, WI, 53704

Administrative Assistant

B.S. Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
M.D. University of Wisconsin School of Medicine & Public Health, Madison, WI
Residency University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Diplomate of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Care Across the Life Cycle (CALC); Assistant Block Leader

UW Health Rising Star Clinical Educator Award Nominee 

Top Physicians in Patient Satisfaction,
Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI

Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics (APGO) 

Council on Resident Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology (CREOG) 

American Medical Association (AMA) 

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)


Medication or surgical abortion? An exploratory study of patient decision making on a popular social media platform

Laura Jacques, Emma Carpenter, Taryn Valley, Barbara Alvarez, Jenny Higgins

Published Date: September, 2021 - PMID: 34022196 - American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology

2021

Real-Time Effects of Payer Restrictions on Reproductive Healthcare: A Qualitative Analysis of Cost-Related Barriers and Their Consequences among U.S. Abortion Seekers on Reddit

Jenny Higgins, Madison Lands, Taryn Valley, Emma Carpenter, Laura Jacques.

Published Date: August, 2021 - PMID: 34501602 - International Journal of  Environmental Research and Public Health

2021

Characterization of bacterial composition of surgical site infections after gynecologic surgery

Elise Cowley, Laura Jacques, Anna M Powell, Ahmed Al-Niami, Aurora Pop-Vicas.

Published Date: August, 2022 - PMID: 35248576 - American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology

2022

Medical Student Education on Abortion: The Current Landscape.

Zoe Schultz, Taryn Valley, Elise Cowley, Abby Cutler, Laura Jacques

Published Date: June, 2022. CORE Brief.

2022

Dr. Jacques Research

Focus: Family planning and education.

Jacques, Cowley publish article in Wisconsin Medical Journal

Laura Jacques, MD, associate professor in the Division of Academic Specialists in Ob-Gyn, and Elise S. Cowley, BS, UW SMPH MD/PhD student, co-authored a new article published in Wisconsin Medical Journal. Co-authors include Taryn M. Valley, Kelsey Christianson, Suzanne Walczak, and Jessica A. Green Blatt.

In “Qualitative Pilot Study: Longitudinal Perspectives From People Who Had Second Trimester Abortions for Fetal Anomaly,” Jacques, Cowley, and co-authors discussed patient experience for fetal anomaly abortions, with the hopes that future intervention based off of these cases can improve care.

“Patients indicated that having a choice to have an abortion and choose the modality is imperative, and they remained certain in their decision-making over time. They also described initially strong, then lacking, social support; processed grief; and identified resource constraints.”

Read the whole article here.

**by Ob-Gyn Communications Intern Paige Stevenson

Jacques, Wagar publish article in Wisconsin Medical Journal

Laura Jacques, MD, associate professor in the Division of Academic Specialists in Ob-Gyn, and gynecologic oncology fellow Matthew Wagar, MD, recently co-authored an article in the Wisconsin Medical Journal. Co-authors include Bridget Kelly, MD, John Soehl, Janine Rhoades, MD, Elise S, Cowley, BS, Peter G. Pryde, Abigail Cutler, MD, and David Eschenbach.

In “Peripartum Uterine Clostridial Myonecrosis: A Report of Two Fatal Cases,” Jacques, Wagar, and co-authors compared two cases with clostridial infections, both having fatal endings.

“The utilization of point-of-care ultrasound may expedite the diagnosis of uterine myonecrosis. When uterine myonecrosis is suspected, immediate initiation of penicillin-based antibiotics, alongside clindamycin, and aggressive surgical intervention including hysterectomy are essential for ensuring survival.”

The research team believes awareness for these types of cases will help improve diagnosis and treatment options for this uncommon issue in the future.

Read the whole article here.

**by Ob-Gyn Communications Intern Paige Stevenson

Jacques discusses vulvar health with Inverse

Laura Jacques, MD, associate professor in the Division of Academic Specialists in Ob-Gyn, spoke with Inverse for a recent story about the vulvar health benefits of wearing underwear.

In “Is Going Commando Healthier Than Wearing Underwear,” Jacques explained how the vulva and vagina are both self-regulating in terms of protection and thus, do best without added help from soaps, fragrances, and some fabrics.

“Detergents can have a lot of particulate left on the clothes and with the underwear being right against the vulvar skin, that can lead to allergic reaction or irritation,” Jacques said.

She also recommended a good time for people to go commando:

“When people can sleep without underwear, that can be really helpful because they can alleviate some of that friction-related damage or moisture-related damage.”

Read the whole article here.

**by Ob-Gyn Communications Intern Paige Stevenson

Jacques becomes Title X Medical Director at Wisconsin DHS

Congratulations to Laura Jacques, MD, associate professor in the Division of Academic Specialists in Ob-Gyn, who recently became the medical director of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services Title X Reproductive Health and Family Planning grant! Jacques stepped into that role on April 1, 2024.

The Wisconsin Reproductive Health and Family Planning (RHFP) program​ supports clinics across the state of Wisconsin. RHFP helps clinics provide family planning services, reproductive health services, and sexual health services.

As the Title X Medical Director, Jacques oversees the provision of comprehensive family planning, reproductive health and sexual health services across the state. She is responsible for leading the integration of these services within the state’s network of clinics, ensuring they are accessible to all Wisconsinites who need them. This involves working to inform policy, enhancing service delivery and fostering strong partnerships across the healthcare system. 

“I am driven by a deep commitment to reproductive healthcare and hope to make a meaningful impact in access to and quality of that care to the people of our state,” Jacques said. “This role offers the opportunity to promote health equity, improve care coordination and expand access to reproductive healthcare to the people of our state.”

Thank you for leading this important program, Dr. Jacques!

Jacques selected for WMAA Early Career Achievement Award

Laura Jacques, MD, associate professor in the Division of Academic Specialists in Ob-Gyn, was selected to receive a 2024 Wisconsin Medical Alumni Association (WMAA) Early Career Achievement Award! Jacques will be honored at an award presentation ceremony on April 19, 2024. 

The WMAA Early Career Achievement Award honors UW School of Medicine and Public Health MD alumni who have attained exemplary success early in their career. They will have made outstanding contributions through clinical service, research, education and/or administrative leadership. 

In the nominating materials, Jacques is celebrated for her excellence and dedication as an educator. In her time with the Department of Ob-Gyn, Jacques developed four inpatient acting internships (IAI) within Ob-Gyn subspecialities, incorporated nurses and senior medical students as well as residents as partners in medical student training, created an innovative longitudinal preceptor clinic that matches one medical student with one faculty member throughout a 12-week block, and more. 

Congratulations on this well-deserved honor, Dr. Jacques! 

Department engages UW students during AHANA-MAPS outreach event

On November 16, 2023, several members of the Department of Ob-Gyn participated in an outreach event with the University of Wisconsin–Madison AHANA-MAPS Pre-Health Society. The event focused on showcasing obstetrics and gynecology careers and career pathways with students interested in medical and health science careers.  

During the event, department members led hands-on birthing simulations, guided students through case-based learning, and answered questions about their career paths during a panel discussion.  

Special thanks to the Department of Ob-Gyn Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee and DEI leaders for planning this event: 

  • Katie Sampene, MD – DEI Committee Co-Chair and associate professor, Division of Academic Specialists in Ob-Gyn 
  • Beverly Hutcherson – Manager, Diversity and Inclusion, UW School of Medicine and Public Health 
  • Cheryl Casey’Grant – Outreach Specialist, Department of Ob-Gyn 
  • Jackie Askins – Communications Manager, Department of Ob-Gyn 

Thanks to all the department members who shared their expertise with the students: 

  • Katie Sampene, MD (associate professor, Division of Academic Specialists in Ob-Gyn) 
  • Amy Domeyer-Klenske, MD (Director, Division of Academic Specialists in Ob-Gyn) 
  • Jennifer Karnowski, MD (assistant professor, Division of Academic Specialists in Ob-Gyn) 
  • Maggie Williams, MD (ob-gyn resident) 
  • Hannah Copp, CNM (Division of Academic Specialists in Ob-Gyn) 
  • Awa Sanneh, MD (ob-gyn resident) 
  • India Anderson-Carter, MD (ob-gyn resident) 
  • Laura Huffman, MD (assistant professor, Division of Gynecologic Oncology) 
  • Ellen Hartenbach, MD (Department Chair; Division of Gynecologic Oncology) 
  • Bala Bhagavath, MD (professor and Director, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility) 
  • Laura Jacques, MD (associate professor, Division of Academic Specialists in Ob-Gyn/Family Planning) 
  • Gabrielle Avery, MD (ob-gyn resident) 

Grand Rounds: Shapiro Students present research projects

Every summer, Shapiro Summer Research students collaborate with UW Department of Ob-Gyn faculty on research projects. On August 3, the 2023 Shapiro Summer Research students presented their projects during Ob-Gyn Grand Rounds. 

Presenters, mentors, and projects were: 

Camille Phillips, mentored by Laura Hanks, MD - “Sterilizations Rates of Pregnancy Capable People at a Single Institution in Wisconsin Before and After the Dobbs Decision” 

Amy Tran, mentored by Jon Pennycuff, MD, MSPH - “Pelvic Floor Symptom Burden and Treatment Choices for Rural versus Urban Dwelling Women” 

Lindsey Christianson, mentored by Laura Jacques, MD - “How is the Dobbs Decision Impacting Decision-Making and Perceived Training Options for Ob-Gyn Residency Applicants?” 

Sami Stroebel, mentored by Laura Cooney, MD - “Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSD) & Time to Pregnancy” 

Doua Chee Xiong, mentored by Laura Bozzuto, MD - “Optimizing Care for Patients with Granulomatous Mastitis” 

Watch all the presentations here. 

Jacques and VCAT team publish in Medical Education Online

Laura Jacques, MD, associate professor in the UW Ob-Gyn Division of Academic Specialists in Ob-Gyn, is the senior author on a new study about online values clarification workshops in Medical Education Online. Co-authors on the study include Margaret Williams, MD, PGY-3; Elise Cowley; Taryn Valley; Alma Farooque, MD, PGY-1; Zoey Schultz; Amy Godecker, PhD; and Jackie Askins

In “An online alternative: A qualitative study of virtual abortion values clarification workshops”, the authors seek to understand the effectiveness of online values clarification workshops as a tool for medical student and resident education. Over the course of qualitative interviews with 24 medical student participants, 13 ob-gyn resident participants, and five facilitators of virtual values clarification workshops on abortion, the study team found:  

...using an online platform to deliver values clarification workshops on abortion provides both unique advantages and disadvantages to in-person instruction. The original workshop takes steps to create a safe environment for participants by having them participate using an anonymous colleague’s survey responses, rather than their own. Themes from the interviews we conducted with medical trainees highlight how the virtual platform additionally allowed for more comfortable discussion around a stigmatized topic. Participants attributed their feelings of emotional safety during these discussions to the distance between participants created by the virtual format. Additionally, the online format lowered barriers, primarily travel time and effort, to accessing the workshop for both trainees and facilitators.” 

Read the whole study here! 

Cowley, Jacques, and Values Clarification Workshop research team receive Paster Award

Congratulations to Laura Jacques, MD, associate professor in the Division of Academic Specialists in Ob-Gyn, Elise Cowley, UW SMPH MD/PhD student, and the whole research team involved with the Values Clarification Workshops (VCAT) on abortion! The VCAT team earned the 2022 Paster Family Foundation Innovation Award for their work.

The Paster Family Foundation Innovation Award is given for a project, system improvement, or initiative that has made a difference in human health and/or the lives of patients and their families. The VCAT team conducted a series of values clarification workshops with medical students and residents in Wisconsin and Minnesota with the goal of understanding the impact of implementing a values clarification workshop on medical student attitudes towards abortion. In the first year, the team conducted 26 virtual workshops with 538 participants.

Read more about the VCAT team in this article from UW SMPH!

Jacques publishes study in Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health

A new study by Laura Jacques, MD, associate professor in the Division of Academic Specialists in Obstetrics and Gynecology, uses anonymous posts on social media to document the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on people’s abortion experiences in the United States.

“I'm going to be forced to have a baby”: A study of COVID-19 abortion experiences on Reddit”, published in the journal Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, evaluated three week’s worth of anonymous posts on a Reddit forum about abortion to see how pandemic restrictions affected abortion care. The study team of Jacques, Taryn Valley, Shimin Zhao, Madison Lands, Natalie Rivera, and Jenny Higgins, PhD, MPH, identified a variety of themes in the posts, including access issues, privacy challenges, and more:

“In this study, we documented the stress, fear, and despair experienced by abortion seekers during the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic when newly implemented healthcare policies dictated sudden changes to abortion access. Our findings may provide insight into how abortion seekers might experience other sudden changes in abortion access, whether due to future public health emergencies or changes in law and policy.”

Read the whole study here.

M4s get ready for residency with UW Ob-Gyn intern prep course

In late April 2022, six UW SMPH medical students who matched into ob-gyn residency programs participated in the UW Department of Ob-Gyn’s intern prep course! The course, organized by Laura Jacques, MD, Janet Short, Amanda Wildenberg, Alison Klein, and Jody Silva, helped the students strengthen some basic surgical and medical skills before they start their intern year.

Faculty, residents and fellows from across the department taught workshops on skills like operative vaginal delivery, obstetric emergencies, suturing/knot tying, common clinic problem-based visits, colposcopy, and much more.

Congratulations to medical students Katarina Braun, Leeann Bui, Mitchell Depke, Christina Dudley, Jeannette Larson, and Taylor-Paige Stewart, who will all be moving on to ob-gyn residency this summer. And thanks to all who organized and supported this weeklong experience!

Jacques, Higgins co-author article in Wisconsin Medical Journal

Laura Jacques, MD, assistant professor in the UW Ob-Gyn Division of Academic Specialists in Ob-Gyn, and Jenny Higgins, PhD, MPH, director of the UW Collaborative for Reproductive Equity and Division of Reproductive and Population Health, are co-authors on a new study in the Wisconsin Medical JournalTaryn Valley, MA, an MD-PhD student in the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, is lead author on the study.

In “‘The Biggest Problem With Access’: Provider Reports of the Effects of Wisconsin 2011 Act 217 Medication Abortion Legislation”, authors interviewed abortion care providers about how a Wisconsin law banning telemedicine for medication abortion affected abortion provision:

“Providers interviewed universally reported that Act 217 negatively affected abortion care, with the same-physician requirement especially increasing risk to patients and demoralizing providers. Interviewees emphasized the lack of medical need for this legislation and explained that Act 217 and the previously enacted 24-hour waiting period worked synergistically to decrease access to medication abortion, disproportionately affecting rural and low-income Wisconsinites. Finally, providers felt Wisconsin’s legislative ban on telemedicine medication abortion should be lifted." 

Read the whole study here!

Faculty and residents attend 2023 ACOG Congressional Leadership Conference

UW Ob-Gyn faculty and residents learned about effective engagement and visited members of the Wisconsin congressional delegation during the 2023 American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Congressional Leadership Conference March 5-7 in Washington, D.C.

UW Ob-Gyn Residency Director and Associate Professor Ryan Spencer, MD, MS, Clerkship Coordinator and Assistant Professor Laura Jacques, MD, resident Benjamin Pickus, MD, PGY-2, and resident Margaret Harrison, MD, PGY-3 attended informational sessions about effective advocacy and met with Wisconsin legislators to discuss health care access and other key issues affecting reproductive health in Wisconsin. Their time in DC included a visit with Senator Tammy Baldwin.

Thank you all for bringing important health issues to Wisconsin legislators’ attention!

UW Ob-Gyn brings presentations, posters, film to 2023 CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting

The Council on Resident Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics hosted their 2023 Annual Meeting in National Harbor, MD February 27-March 1. Faculty, residents, fellows, students, and staff in the UW Department of Ob-Gyn brought a variety of presentations to this education-focused conference. Just some of their incredible offerings:

Discussion Den: “Recognizing Small Potholes Before You Lose a Hubcap” – Ryan Spencer, MD, MS; Bridget Kelly, MD; Jody Silva, M.Ed; Ariel Sorenson, MS

Discussion Den: “Implementing a Resident to Resident Near Peer Laparoscopic Fundamentals Skills Curriculum” – Matthew Wagar, MD; Rachel Mojdehbakhsh, MD; Maya Gross, MD, MPH; Sumer Wallace, MD, MS; Ashely Jennings, MD

Film Festival: “Zoom In on Abortion: Experience with a Virtual Values Clarification Workshop” – Jacquelyn Askins; Rob Garza; Elise Cowley; Alma Farooque; Zoey Shultz; Laura Jacques, MD

Oral Abstract: “Building in a Small Town: Maintaining Procedural Volume in a Rural Ob-Gyn Residency Program” – Charlotte Urban; Jody Silva, M.Ed; Ryan Spencer, MD, MS

Oral Abstract: “Practice Makes Proficient: Implementation of an Advanced Robotic Surgery Pathway for Obstetrics and Gynecology Residents” – Maya Gross, MD, MPH; Matthew Wagar, MD; Sumer Wallace, MD, MS; Jennifer Karnowski, MD

Oral Abstract: “Building Bridges, Not Walls: Experiences of Medical Trainees with Values Clarification Workshops on Abortion” – Elise Cowley; Taryn Valley, MA; Alma Farooque; Zooey Shultz; Margaret Williams, MD; Laura Jacques, MD

Elise earned second place Best Oral Abstract award for her presentation!

APGO Surgical Education Scholars Poster: “Utilization of a Structured Adverse Event Debrief Framework to Confront Second-Victim Syndrome in Ob-Gyn Residents” – Ryan Spencer, MD, MS; Laura Jacques, MD

Poster: “Bridging the Virtual Divide: Ob-Gyn Residency Applicant Experiences with Virtual Interviews” – Laura Jacques, MD; Elise Cowley; Ryan Spencer, MD, MS

Poster: “Medical Student Attitudes Around Abortion and Reproductive Justice at One Midwestern Institution” – Erin Nacev, MD, MPH; Taryn Valley, MA; Mireya Taboada, MD, MPH

Congratulations to all the presenters!

Jacques promoted to Associate Professor (CHS)

Our sincere congratulations to Laura Jacques, MD, of the UW Ob-Gyn Division of Academic Specialists in Ob-Gyn! The UW School of Medicine and Public Health CHS Faculty Appointments and Promotions Committee met in February 2023 and overwhelmingly endorsed her promotion to the rank of Associate Professor (CHS).

The promotion will be effective June 18, 2023. Incredible work, Dr. Jacques!

Jacques, Cutler discuss sterilization trends with WPR

Since the US Supreme Court’s decision in the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization in June 2022, health care providers across the state have seen an increase in requests for permanent sterilization.

Wisconsin Public Radio reported on new sterilization services to be offered at Planned Parenthood in Milwaukee. In “Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin to begin vasectomy services in Milwaukee”, Laura Jacques, MD, associate professor in the Division of Academic Specialists in Ob-Gyn (ASOG) and Abigail Cutler, MD, assistant professor in the Division of ASOG, spoke with WPR about trends in their own clinics:

“UW Health OB-GYN Laura Jacques said after the leaked opinion, she began to notice one or two patients per day would come to her requesting sterilization. Before that, it was one or two per month, she said….

Abigail Cutler, an OB-GYN at UW Health, has seen similar trends. Many patients cite the Supreme Court ruling as a major factor in their decision, she said. It's a legitimate reason, but one she said she wishes people didn't need to consider.”

Read the whole article here.

Cowley, Jacques mentee, earns Paster Award for values clarification workshop

Huge congratulations to Elise Cowley, UW SMPH MD/PhD student and mentee of Laura Jacques, MD, who earned the 2022 Paster Family Foundation Innovation Award for the project ““We had to put ourselves in their shoes”: A Values Clarification Workshop on Abortion with Medical Students”!

The Paster Family Foundation Innovation Award is given for a project, system improvement, or initiative that has made a difference in human health and/or the lives of patients and their families. The Values Clarification workshop (VCAT) team conducted a series of values clarification workshops with medical students and residents in Wisconsin and Minnesota with the goal of understanding the impact of implementing a values clarification workshop on medical student attitudes towards abortion. In the first year, the team conducted 26 virtual workshops with 538 participants!

After reviewing survey and interview data with workshop participants, Cowley and the VCAT team found the workshop had significant impacts on participant attitudes:

“We have demonstrated that after participating in an abortion values clarification workshop, students have more positive attitudes towards abortion, and the largest gains were seen in students who began with the most negative attitudes and behavioral intentions.”

Cowley and the VCAT team recently submitted their workshop curriculum to MedEd Portal so more institutions can easily implement the program. This incredible work will go a long way towards reducing abortion stigma in physicians and health care teams, and their impact will ripple out well beyond Wisconsin.

Incredible work, Elise, Dr. Jacques, and the whole VCAT team!

Grand Rounds: Jacques, Bennett present “At a Loss? Diagnosis and Management of Nonviable Early Pregnancy”

On November 10, 2022, Assistant Professor Laura Jacques, MD, and Associate Professor Eliza Bennett, MD, both of the UW Ob-Gyn Division of Academic Specialists in Ob-Gyn, presented the Grand Rounds lecture “At a Loss? Diagnosis and Management of Nonviable Early Pregnancy”.

In the lecture, they examined the data for ultrasound diagnosis of early pregnancy loss, explained the options and data behind medical management of early pregnancy loss, appraised the differences between manual and electric vacuum aspiration in early pregnancy loss management, and more.

Watch the whole lecture here!

Jacques talks about Roe reversal’s impact on medical education with Matter of Fact

​A story produced by Matter of Fact profiled two Wisconsin medical students with different thoughts on what the United States Supreme Court decision in June 2022 that overturned Roe v. Wade will mean for their future training.

In “SCOTUS’s Reversal Of Roe V Wade Sends Some Ob-Gyn Medical Students Into Uncertainty”, Laura Jacques, MD, assistant professor in the UW Ob-Gyn Division of Academic Specialists in Ob-Gyn and UW SMPH ob-gyn clerkship director, discussed challenges medical students are encountering as they apply for residencies:

““They worry that if they go to a state that doesn’t have all the training available to them, they may not be able to take care of people in need later,” Jacques said.”

Watch the whole video here.

CORE researchers publish conference abstracts in Contraception

Faculty, researchers and trainees in the UW Collaborative for Reproductive Equity brought posters and presentations to the 2022 Society of Family Planning annual meeting in Baltimore, MD in December. Three abstracts presented at the conference were published in Contraception!

Characterizing physician concerns with publicly supporting abortion – AS Cutler, LT Swan, M Lands, NB Schmuhl, JA Higgins

Physician beliefs about abortion safety and their participation in abortion care – LT Swan, AS Cutler, M Lands, NB Schmuhl, JA Higgins

Covid-19 abortion experiences on reddit: A qualitative study – L Jacques, T Valley, S Zhao, N Rivera, M Lands, JA Higgins

Congratulations to all!

In the News: Jacques discusses impacts of Dobbs decision on medical education

Since the United States Supreme Court decision in June 2022 overturned Roe v. Wade, medical schools and ob-gyn residencies have struggled with the question of how abortion restrictions will affect training programs. Laura Jacques, MD, assistant professor in the UW Ob-Gyn Division of Academic Specialists in Ob-Gyn and UW SMPH ob-gyn clerkship director, discussed challenges to training opportunities with National Public Radio, Wisconsin Public Radio, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and more:

Changes to abortion laws mean OB-GYNs have less opportunities to learn procedure – National Public Radio

Medical residents are required to get abortion training, but some Wisconsin programs are having trouble providing it post Roe – Wisconsin Public Radio

Wisconsin's OBGYN shortage may worsen with abortion law – WUWM

“Jacques mentors all students in her department that are looking to match into obstetrics and gynecology. She has found that her students are already measuring their programs based on if they can provide abortion training.

“There's no question that this is on the minds of students. And that's because they recognize the importance of the training in their future ability to help their patients, even if they don't plan to provide elective abortion care induced abortion care,” says Jacques.”

Wisconsin OB-GYN programs must send residents across state lines for training because of abortion ban – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (paywall)

Jacques discusses Dobbs’ impact on ob-gyn residency applicants with Hechinger Report

As medical students consider which residency programs to apply to this year, some may add a new consideration to the mix: whether abortion training is available in the states where they apply.

In an article published by The Hechinger Report, “Overturning Roe created new barriers, not just to abortion, but to OB-GYN training”, UW Ob-Gyn Assistant Professor Laura Jacques, MD, discussed research that suggests incoming ob-gyn residents highly value access to abortion training:

““I can tell you that 100% of them are considering the availability of abortion training when they’re creating the [list of] programs that they want to apply to,” she said.

Research supports that view. A recent, yet-to-be-published survey of OB-GYN residents in Wisconsin and Minnesota found that 95% of them wanted to learn more about the need for safe, comprehensive abortion care, and 84% planned to provide abortion care in their future careers.”

Read the whole article here.

Jacques publishes in AJOG

In a new article in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Laura Jacques, MD, assistant professor in the UW Ob-Gyn Division of Academic Specialists in Ob-Gyn, examines types of bacteria found at surgical site infections (SSIs) to help inform prophylactic antibiotic choices. 

In “Characterization of bacterial composition of surgical site infections after gynecologic surgery”, Jacques and co-authors examine microbiological cultures from patients with SSIs over a ten-year span. They found:

“Superficial and deep incisional SSIs are predominantly associated with bacteria typically found in the intestine and vagina, though skin bacteria are also commonly present. Organ/space SSIs are predominantly associated with intestinal bacteria, with anaerobes being recovered in more than three-quarters of these infections…Given the prevalence of anaerobic organisms that we found in all types of SSIs, further research should compare the effectiveness of preoperative antimicrobial prophylactic agents in preventing anaerobe-related SSIs after gynecologic surgery.”

Read the whole study here!

Jacques discusses challenges in medical education with Wisconsin State Journal

When the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization and overturned the constitutional right to an abortion, clinics in Wisconsin stopped offering abortion services. That raises questions about ob-gyn resident education in the state.

In “Medical residents struggle to receive training after Planned Parenthood halts abortion services in Wisconsin”, Assistant Professor Laura Jacques, MD, of the UW Ob-Gyn Division of Academic Specialists in Ob-Gyn, discussed some potential downstream effects of limiting abortion training in our state with the Wisconsin State Journal:

“"There is no question that people will consider the law in Wisconsin and that people will leave," Jacques said. "It's a very different time to be practicing. We have to worry about if we can really provide the best care for the patient or if we might be compromised. It's very draining."”

Read the whole article here.

Green, Cutler, Jacques discuss Wisconsin’s post-Roe future with Wisconsin Watch

Three UW Ob-Gyn faculty joined Wisconsin Watch in an audio interview on July 18 to discuss the current landscape of reproductive health care in Wisconsin after the United States Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade. Wisconsin Watch hosted the conversation on Twitter, which you can listen to here

Assistant Professor Abby Cutler, MD, of the Division of Academic Specialists in Ob-Gyn, shared trends in questions coming from patients since the Dobbs decision, including concerns about being able to access necessary care and criminalization of abortion care.

Assistant Professor Tiffany Green, PhD, of the Division of Reproductive and Population Health discussed the income and economic inequities deepened by Roe’s overturn.  

Assistant Professor Laura Jacques, MD, of the Division of Academic Specialists in Ob-Gyn, answered questions about the effects of the Dobbs decision on counseling patients; stress and uncertainty added by Wisconsin legal restrictions to abortion; and impact on medical education in Wisconsin.

Listen to the whole conversation here.

2022 Department Research Day

On May 26, 2022, the UW Department of Ob-Gyn hosted Department Research Day, which included many research presentations from across the Department.

Jeffrey Peipert, MD, chair of the Indiana University School of Medicine’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, kicked off Department Research Day with the keynote presentation “The Contraceptive CHOICE Project to Path4You: Lessons Learned".

Next, graduating UW Ob-Gyn Gynecologic Oncology fellow Shannon Rush, MD presented "A Revised Markov Model Evaluating Oophorectomy at the Time of Hysterectomy for Benign Indication". Rush’s research included in this presentation was published in Obstetrics and Gynecology in May 2022 (and even featured on the cover of the journal).

Graduating Maternal-Fetal Medicine fellow Jennifer Jacobson, MD presented "Uterine artery endothelium enhances the development of hypertension in preeclampsia via immune-mediated secretion of Th17 cytokines".

After the fellowship presentations, Laura Jacques, MD, of the UW Ob-Gyn Division of Academic Specialists in Ob-Gyn, presented ““I’m going to be forced to have a baby”: A study of COVID-19 abortion experiences on Reddit”.

Finally, UW Collaborative for Reproductive Equity postdoctoral scholar Jane Seymore, PhD presented "Measuring health care access: Lessons from studies of abortion access in the United States".

The event also included a poster session – read more about the 11 posters brought to Department Research Day in the program here.  

Congratulations to all who shared research at the 2022 UW Ob-Gyn Department Research Day!

Higgins and Jacques publish in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

A recent article published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health by UW Collaborative for Reproductive Equity Director Jenny Higgins, PhD, MPH, Laura Jacques, MD, of the UW Ob-Gyn Division of Academic Specialists in Ob-Gyn, and co-authors, used anonymized data from an online forum to examine how cost-related barriers affect peoples’ ability to access abortion care.

Real-Time Effects of Payer Restrictions on Reproductive Healthcare: A Qualitative Analysis of Cost-Related Barriers and Their Consequences among U.S. Abortion Seekers on Reddit”, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, found that many users posted about financial hurdles to accessing care, hurdles sometimes exacerbated by their distance from abortion providers: 

“We documented multiple cost-related deterrents, including lack of funds for both the procedure and attendant travel costs, inability to afford desired abortion modality (i.e., medication or surgical), and for some, consideration of self-managed abortion options due to cost barriers….Findings from this study underscore the centrality of cost barriers and third-party payer restrictions to stymying reproductive health access in the United States. Results may contribute to the growing evidence base and building political momentum focused on repealing the Hyde Amendment.”

Read the whole article here!

Presentations, posters, and more at the 2022 CREOG/APGO Annual Meeting!

UW Ob-Gyn faculty, residents, and affiliated medical students with interest and expertise in medical education showcased their work at the CREOG/APGO Annual Meeting​! The conference, which was organized around the theme “Together Again, Together Forever: Med Ed Family Reunion”, took place in Orlando, Florida March 9-12. Some of the exciting highlights from our department:

Ryan McDonald, MD, of the UW Ob-Gyn Division of Academic Specialists in Ob-Gyn, graduated from the APGO Academic Scholars and Leaders Program! Read more about his experience in the program and how UW Ob-Gyn Faculty Development Funds supported his training!

Laura Jacques, MD, director of medical student education and assistant professor in the Division of Academic Specialists in Ob-Gyn, presented during the breakout session “Getting the Right Ingredients for Your Sauce: An Innovative Tool for Applicant-Program Compatibility”. (Presenters: Seine Chiang, MD, Jesse Rafel, MD, Jenci Hawthorne, MD, Jennifer Hamm, MD, Laura Jacques, MD, Lauren Holt, Medical Student)

Jacques and Ryan Spencer, MD, MS, residency program director and gynecologic oncology fellowship director and associate professor in the Division of Gynecologic Oncology, presented during the breakout session “A Crying Shame: A Structured Debriefing Workshop to Reduce Second-Victim Syndrome in Obstetrics and Gynecology Residents”. (Presenters: Laura Jacques, MD, Beverly Gray, MD, Samantha Hoffman, MD, Tamika Alexander, MD, Jessica Francis, MD, Ryan Spencer, MD, MS)

Jacques also co-authored the oral abstract “The More Cooks in the Kitchen the Better the Sauce? Impact of an Abortion VCAT Workshop on Medical Students”. (Authors: Elise Cowley, Medical Student, Jessie Chen, MD, Jessika Ralph, MD, MSCI, Allison Linton, MD, MPH, Sarah Hutto, MD, MPH, Laura Jacques, MD)

People in the department also brought many posters to the conference, including one that received second place in the conference poster awards!

Congratulations to the authors of “Ingredients for teaching confidence: A Fourth-year medical student clinical teaching elective”, which earned second place in the CREOG/APGO Annual Meeting Poster Awards! Authors: Kristen Kreh, John Poehlmann, Katharina Stewart, Amy Godecker, Laura Jacques

Opinions at the Thanksgiving Table: A comparison of medical student and resident attitudes about abortion” – Jessie Chen, Elise Cowley, Jessika Ralph, Amy Godecker, Daniel Pellicer, Laura Jacques

An Educational Program to Implement a Well-Validated Screening Tool for Opioid Use Disorder in Pregnancy” – Ryan McDonald, Samantha Haefner, Kaley Gyorfi, Heidi Brown

Congratulations to all on an impressive showing at the conference!

Save the Dates: UW Ob-Gyn 2022 Research Events

Save the dates for three UW Department of Ob-Gyn research events in 2022:

February 24, 2022 - Resident Research Day

Featuring a keynote presentation by Lisa Hollier, MD, MPH, professor of ob-gyn at Baylor College of Medicine and former president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Resident research presentations by PGY-4 residents John Poehlmann, MD, and Matthew Wagar, MD.

March 3, 2022 - Resident Research Day 

Featuring a keynote by Catherine Bradley, MD, MSCE, professor of ob-gyn at the University of Iowa. Resident research presentations by PGY-4 residents Ushma Patel, MD, Jordan Ward, MD and Daniel Pellicer, MD.

May 26, 2022 - Department Research Day

Featuring a keynote presentation by Jeffrey Peipert, MD, PhD, professor of ob-gyn at the Indiana University School of Medicine. UW Ob-Gyn faculty Jenny Higgins, PhD and Laura Jacques, MD will give research presentations. Graduating fellows Shannon Rush, MD (gynecologic oncology) and Jennifer Jacobson, MD (maternal-fetal medicine) will present their fellowship research projects.

Jacques publishes in AJOG

A new article in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology analyzed posts on Reddit to help better document peoples’ decision-making processes regarding abortion modality.

Medication or surgical abortion? An exploratory study of patient decision making on a popular social media platform”, by Laura Jacques, MD and other researchers from the UW Collaborative for Reproductive Equity, identified common themes related to peoples’ decision-making process about which abortion method to choose, including emotional experiences, structural barriers, and process-related concerns.

In this exploratory study, similar to in-clinic research with abortion patients, Reddit users deciding on the abortion modality considered method impact on the psychological or physical pain and access to external resources such as finances and transportation. Because of individual variation in preference, access to all medically appropriate abortion methods is essential. Evidence-based information about abortion should be widely available online.”

Read the whole study here.

Women’s Healthcast: Jacques talks Vulvar Health, Care and Cleaning

On the latest episode of the UW Ob-Gyn podcast, Laura Jacques, MD, of the Division of Academic Specialists in Ob-Gyn, discussed vulvar health, care and cleaning. She talked about how to care for vulvas and vaginas, what products are safe to use, how vulvar health can change with age, and more.

Listen to Vulvar Health, Care and Cleaning now!

Did you know the Women’s Healthcast is available on all your favorite podcast platforms? Whether you like to listen on Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcherPodbean, or anywhere else, you can find us! (Just search Women’s Healthcast, and while you’re at it, may as well subscribe!)

Antony’s OBLido study published in AJOG MFM

A study by Katie Antony, MD, of the UW Ob-Gyn Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, was published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology – Maternal-Fetal Medicine! Jackie Adams, MD, of the MFM Division, and Laura Jacques, MD, of the Division of Academic Specialists in Ob-Gyn, co-authored the study.

Lidocaine patches for postcesarean pain control in obese women: a pilot randomized controlled trial” assessed the impact of using lidocaine patches around cesarean incisions in patients with obesity in their overall opioid use.

The pilot study included 61 participants, who were randomized into trial or placebo group. The study assessed cumulative opioid dose within 24 hours after cesarean delivery, as well as pain and patent satisfaction:

“This pilot suggests that 5% lidocaine patches applied superior and lateral to the cesarean incision are not effective at reducing the average total dose of morphine milligram equivalents administered in the first 24 hours after cesarean delivery among women with obesity, and they did not seem to improve median pain scores. An appropriately powered randomized trial would not be expected to demonstrate reduction in opioid use or pain." 

Read the whole study here!

Jacques publishes in Obstetrical and Gynecological Survey

In a new publication in Obstetrical and Gynecological SurveyLaura Jacques, MD, of the UW Ob-Gyn Division of Academic Specialists in Ob-Gyn reviews available evidence to compile best practices for diagnosis and treatment of genital lichen planus.

Diagnosis and Management of Vulvovaginal Lichen Planus” provides guidance for health care professionals to differentiate between lichen planus and other vulvar dermatological issues, decide whether biopsy is necessary, and develop a treatment plan:

“When patients present with genital lichen planus, a complete review of systems and a thorough physical examination should be performed because of the prevalence of extragenital sites. Treatment of genital disease should start with a topical, ultrapotent steroid, and follow-up visits should occur to ensure improvement and to monitor for adverse drug reactions and malignancy.”

Read the whole article here – great work, Dr. Jacques!

Jacques published in journal Contraception

Laura Jacques, MD, of the UW Ob-Gyn Division of Academic Specialists in Ob-Gyn, published an article in a recent edition of the journal Contraception!

In “Complication rates of dilation and evacuation and labor induction in second-trimester abortion for fetal indications: A retrospective cohort study, Jacques compared complication rates of dilation and evacuation (D&E) to mifepristone and misoprostol labor induction for second trimester abortion for fetal indications. The study found no difference in complication rates between the two methods:

This study suggests there is a benefit for the routine use of mifepristone with misoprostol for second trimester labor induction. Additionally, the low rate of major complications in this study for both D&E and labor induction further validates the safety of both procedures for second trimester abortion.”

Read the whole article here. Amazing work, Dr. Jacques!

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