Department of
Obstetrics and Gynecology


David M. Kushner, MD, FACOG
Vice Chair of Clinical Research, John and Jeanne Flesch Professor in Gynecologic Oncology
Gynecologic Oncology

Office Address
UW Hospital and Clinics, Room: H4/648
600 Highland Ave
Madison, WI, 53705

Clinic Address
Gynecology Oncology Clinic
600 Highland Ave
Madison, WI, 53705
Phone: 608-265-1700

Administrative Assistant
Cortney Wood
(608) 263-1210


Dr. Kushner is the Vice Chair of Clinical Reserach for the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has built an infrastructure across the department to support and grow clinical trials. He directed the Gynecologic Oncology program from 2006-2017. Dr. Kushner is an expert in the surgical and chemotherapeutic management of patients with gynecological cancer. His research interest focuses on minimizing the negative impact of cancer and subsequent treatments on patients' quality of life: sexual health after cancer, fertility/menopause-sparing surgery and postoperative pain management. To this end, he helped found the Scientific Network on Female Sexual Health and Cancer, an international consortium of leading researchers dedicated to the scientific pursuit of improving sexual health for women after a cancer diagnosis. Dr. Kushner served as the International Chair of this network from 2014-2016. He is the primary investigator on multiple studies evaluating health sexual among gynecologic cancer survivors. He has acted as the Principal Investigator (PI) for NRG (formerly Gynecologic Oncology) at the University of Wisconsin, and is currently Co-PI on the UWCCC institutional NIH Lead Academic Performance Site (LAPS) U10 grant. 

Over the past few years, he has worked to position UW as one of the nation's premiere institutions studying quality of life in gynecologic cancer. The UW environment offers outstanding collaborators such as Richard Davidson at the Center for Healthy Minds. He is working with Professor Davidson in a collaboration studying mindfullness in cancer survivors. This research, along with the ongoing research in yoga, humor and wellness, are positioning his group to apply for larger funding sources to study quality of life in gynecologic cancer. 

Dr. Kushner was elected to the SGO Board of Directors in 2017, for a 3-year term. He is an ABOG examiner for the oral gynecologic oncology board exam, writes questions for the written exam and is the Co-Chair of ACOG's PROLOG Taskforce for Gynecologic Oncology & Critical Care.  

His interest in wellness runs beyond the patients to the caregivers as well. He runs the Socieity of Gynecology Oncolgy (SGO) Physician Wellness Taskforce. Locally, he is Chair of the UW Ob-Gyn Department Wellness Committee and is the departmental represenative for the UW Health Wellness Taskforce. 


B.S. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
M.D. Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI
Residency Northwestern University Medical School/ Prentice Women's Hospital, Chicago, IL
Fellowship The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH


American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

Gynecologic Oncology

Department Leadership Role

Vice Chair, Clinical Research

Honors and Awards

UW Health 2019 Clinical Educator Award

Society of Gynecologic Oncology: State of the Subspecialty Survey, Co-Chair

SSM Health/St Mary’s Foundation: Physician Guardian Angel Award

PROLOG: Gynecologic Oncology & Critical Care, Task Force Co-Chair and Member

Society of Gynecologic Oncology: Elected to the Board of Directors

Mentor Training for Clinical and Translational Researchers,
UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research

The Ellen M. Hartenbach Award,
University of Wisconsin Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology

Editorial Board – Gynecologic Oncology Case Reviews

Society of Gynecologic Oncology: Wellness Taskforce, Founding Member and Co-Chair

Leadership Development for Physicians in Academic Health Centers,
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health


American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Fellow

Society of Gynecologic Oncology

American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists

American Society of Clinical Oncology

Northwestern Obstetrical and Gynecological Society

American Gynecologic & Obstetrical Society

Prominent decidualization following progestin treatment for endometrial hyperplasia and carcinoma as a mimic of large residual tumor: A cautionary tale

Yang Hu, Ahmed N Al-Niaimi, Alain Cagaanan, Elizabeth A Sadowski, David M Kushner, Paul S Weisman, Stephanie M McGregor

Published Date: April, 2021 - pmid:33816740 - Gynecologic oncology reports

Development, Implementation, and Patient Perspectives of the Women's Integrative Sexual Health Program: A Program Designed to Address the Sexual Side Effects of Cancer Treatment

Lori A Seaborne, Megan Peterson, David M Kushner, Janelle Sobecki, Joanne K Rash

Published Date: February, 2021 - pmid:33552660 - Journal of the advanced practitioner in oncology

Benign ovarian thecoma with markedly elevated serum inhibin B levels mimicking adult granulosa cell tumor

Erica V Carballo, Kaley M Gyorfi, Aleksandar K Stanic, Paul Weisman, Christopher G Flynn, David M Kushner

Published Date: November, 2020 - pmid:33204793 - Gynecologic oncology reports


Rowan Karaman, Jin Xu, Ross F Harrison, David M Kushner, Paul S Weisman, Yoram Shenker

Published Date: January, 2020 - pmid:31967026 - AACE clinical case reports

Uterine Cervical Sarcoma With a Novel RET-SPECC1L Fusion in an Adult: A Case Which Expands the Homology Between RET-rearranged and NTRK-rearranged Tumors

Paul S Weisman, Morgan Altinok, Erica V Carballo, David M Kushner, Jessica J F Kram, Marc Ladanyi, Sarah Chiang, Darya Buehler, Elizabeth L Dickson Michelson

Published Date: January, 2020 - pmid:31917708 - The American journal of surgical pathology

The Society of Gynecologic Oncology wellness curriculum pilot: A groundbreaking initiative for fellowship training

Taylor B Turner, David M Kushner, Abigail Ford Winkel, Gerald McGwin, Stephanie V Blank, Jeffery M Fowler, Kenneth H Kim, SGO Wellness Taskforce

Published Date: January, 2020 - pmid:31911007 - Gynecologic oncology

Using simple radiologic measurements to anticipate surgical challenge in endometrial cancer: a prospective study

Ross F Harrison, Jeremiah E Mcnamara, Claire B Beaumont, Elizabeth A Sadowski, Richard J Chappell, Mian M Shahzad, Ryan J Spencer, Ahmed N Al-Niaimi, Lisa M Barroilhet, Stephen L Rose, David M Kushner

Published Date: January, 2019 - pmid:30640690 - International journal of gynecological cancer : official journal of the International Gynecological Cancer Society

Cancer overturned: Endometrioma mimicking granulosa cell tumor and the importance of FOXL2 analysis

Emily R Rosen, David M Kushner, Aparna M Mahajan, Cara R King

Published Date: December, 2018 - pmid:30533478 - Gynecologic oncology reports

Preoperative obstructive sleep apnea screening in gynecologic oncology patients

Ross F Harrison, Erin E Medlin, Chase B Petersen, Stephen L Rose, Ellen M Hartenbach, David M Kushner, Ryan J Spencer, Laurel W Rice, Ahmed N Al-Niaimi

Published Date: May, 2018 - pmid:29792853 - American journal of obstetrics and gynecology

Abuse, cancer and sexual dysfunction in women: A potentially vicious cycle

Brittany F Lees, Taylor P Stewart, Joanne K Rash, Shirley R Baron, Stacy Tessler Lindau, David M Kushner

Published Date: April, 2018 - pmid:29661496 - Gynecologic oncology

Interventions to Address Sexual Problems in People With Cancer: American Society of Clinical Oncology Clinical Practice Guideline Adaptation of Cancer Care Ontario Guideline

Jeanne Carter, Christina Lacchetti, Barbara L Andersen, Debra L Barton, Sage Bolte, Shari Damast, Michael A Diefenbach, Katherine DuHamel, Judith Florendo, Patricia A Ganz, Shari Goldfarb, Sigrun Hallmeyer, David M Kushner, Julia H Rowland

Published Date: December, 2017 - pmid:29227723 - Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology

Surgical outcomes among elderly women with endometrial cancer treated by laparoscopic hysterectomy: a NRG/Gynecologic Oncology Group study

Erin A Bishop, James J Java, Kathleen N Moore, Nick M Spirtos, Michael L Pearl, Oliver Zivanovic, David M Kushner, Floor Backes, Chad A Hamilton, Melissa A Geller, Jean Hurteau, Cara Mathews, Robert M Wenham, Pedro T Ramirez, Susan Zweizig, Joan L Walker

Published Date: October, 2017 - pmid:29037481 - American journal of obstetrics and gynecology

A phase II evaluation of ixabepilone in the treatment of recurrent/persistent carcinosarcoma of the uterus, an NRG Oncology/Gynecologic Oncology Group study

Carolyn K McCourt, Wei Deng, Don S Dizon, Heather A Lankes, Michael J Birrer, Michele M Lomme, Matthew A Powell, James E Kendrick, Joel N Saltzman, David Warshal, Meaghan E Tenney, David M Kushner, Carol Aghajanian

Published Date: December, 2016 - pmid:28029447 - Gynecologic oncology

Stress and burnout among gynecologic oncologists: A Society of Gynecologic Oncology Evidence-based Review and Recommendations

Ilana Cass, Linda R Duska, Stephanie V Blank, Georgina Cheng, Nefertiti C duPont, Peter J Frederick, Emily K Hill, Carolyn M Matthews, Tarah L Pua, Kellie S Rath, Rachel Ruskin, Premal H Thaker, Andrew Berchuck, Bobbie S Gostout, David M Kushner, Jeff M Fowler

Published Date: August, 2016 - pmid:27575910 - Gynecologic oncology

Physical examination of the female cancer patient with sexual concerns: What oncologists and patients should expect from consultation with a specialist

Stacy Tessler Lindau, Emily M Abramsohn, Shirley R Baron, Judith Florendo, Hope K Haefner, Anuja Jhingran, Vanessa Kennedy, Mukta K Krane, David M Kushner, Jennifer McComb, Diane F Merritt, Julie E Park, Amy Siston, Margaret Straub, Lauren Streicher

Published Date: January, 2016 - pmid:26784536 - CA: a cancer journal for clinicians

Robotic surgery for early stage cervical cancer: Evolution and current trends

Erin E Medlin, David M Kushner, Lisa Barroilhet

Published Date: January, 2016 - pmid:26768315 - Journal of surgical oncology

Maintaining sexual health throughout gynecologic cancer survivorship: A comprehensive review and clinical guide

Laura B Huffman, Ellen M Hartenbach, Jeanne Carter, Joanne K Rash, David M Kushner

Published Date: November, 2015 - pmid:26556768 - Gynecologic oncology

Preoperative Pelvic MRI and Serum Cancer Antigen-125: Selecting Women With Grade 1 Endometrial Cancer for Lymphadenectomy

Elizabeth A Sadowski, Jessica B Robbins, Kristie Guite, Krupa Patel-Lippmann, Alejandro Munoz del Rio, David M Kushner, Ahmed Al-Niaimi

Published Date: October, 2015 - pmid:26496578 - AJR. American journal of roentgenology

Diminished Utilization of in Vitro Fertilization Following Ovarian Transposition in Cervical Cancer Patients

Sana M Salih, Samet Albayrak, Songwon Seo, Sarah L Stewart, Kristen Bradley, David M Kushner

Published Date: September, 2015 - pmid:26380495 - The Journal of reproductive medicine

Sexual health education in U.S. physician assistant programs

Lori A Seaborne, Ronald J Prince, David M Kushner

Published Date: April, 2015 - pmid:25856226 - The journal of sexual medicine

Uterine rupture disguised by urinary retention following a second trimester induced abortion: a case report

Qiaoying Jiang, Liwei Yang, Charles Ashley, Erin E Medlin, David M Kushner, Yanmei Zheng

Published Date: January, 2015 - pmid:25608736 - BMC women's health

Intensive postoperative glucose control reduces the surgical site infection rates in gynecologic oncology patients

Ahmed N Al-Niaimi, Mostafa Ahmed, Nikki Burish, Saygin A Chackmakchy, Songwon Seo, Stephen Rose, Ellen Hartenbach, David M Kushner, Nasia Safdar, Laurel Rice, Joseph Connor

Published Date: September, 2014 - pmid:25263249 - Gynecologic oncology

False positive PET-CT scan and clinical examination in a patient with locally advanced vulvar cancer

Latoya J Perry, Onur Guralp, Ahmed Al-Niaimi, Noah A Zucker, David M Kushner

Published Date: December, 2013 - pmid:24371671 - Gynecologic oncology case reports

Community screening leading to the diagnosis of androgen insensitivity syndrome at the age of 65

Alison M Gold, Noah A Zucker, Mian M K Shahzad, David M Kushner

Published Date: December, 2013 - pmid:24371658 - Gynecologic oncology case reports

Preoperative hypoalbuminemia is an independent predictor of poor perioperative outcomes in women undergoing open surgery for gynecologic malignancies

Shitanshu Uppal, Ahmed Al-Niaimi, Laurel W Rice, Stephen L Rose, David M Kushner, Ryan J Spencer, Ellen Hartenbach

Published Date: August, 2013 - pmid:23962700 - Gynecologic oncology

A new diagnostic test for endometrial cancer?: Cytology analysis of sonohysterography distention media

Onur Guralp, Susan M Sheridan, Josephine Harter, James Louis Hinshaw, Songwon Seo, Ellen M Hartenbach, Steven Lindheim, Sarah Stewart, David M Kushner

Published Date: July, 2013 - pmid:23881100 - International journal of gynecological cancer : official journal of the International Gynecological Cancer Society

Terpenoids from Zingiber officinale (Ginger) induce apoptosis in endometrial cancer cells through the activation of p53

Yang Liu, Rebecca J Whelan, Bikash R Pattnaik, Kai Ludwig, Enkateswar Subudhi, Helen Rowland, Nick Claussen, Noah Zucker, Shitanshu Uppal, David M Kushner, Mildred Felder, Manish S Patankar, Arvinder Kapur

Published Date: January, 2013 - pmid:23300887 - PloS one

The role of appendectomy for mucinous ovarian neoplasms

Jennifer E Lin, Songwon Seo, David M Kushner, Stephen L Rose

Published Date: November, 2012 - pmid:23117124 - American journal of obstetrics and gynecology

Survivors of endometrial cancer: who is at risk for sexual dysfunction?

Nonyem Onujiogu, Tasha Johnson, Songwon Seo, Katherine Mijal, Joanne Rash, Lori Seaborne, Stephen Rose, David M Kushner

Published Date: August, 2011 - pmid:21855974 - Gynecologic oncology

Iatrogenic transtubal spill of endometrial cancer: risk or myth

Onur Guralp, David M Kushner

Published Date: August, 2011 - pmid:21837428 - Archives of gynecology and obstetrics

Uterine artery sparing robotic radical trachelectomy (AS-RRT) for early cancer of the cervix

Ahmed N Al-Niaimi, Margaret H Einstein, LaToya Perry, Ellen M Hartenbach, David M Kushner

Published Date: October, 2010 - pmid:20947081 - International journal of gynaecology and obstetrics: the official organ of the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics

Effect of acetyl-l-carnitine on ovarian cancer cells' proliferation, nerve growth factor receptor (Trk-A and p75) expression, and the cytotoxic potential of paclitaxel and carboplatin

David B Engle, Jennifer A Belisle, Jennifer A A Gubbels, Sarah E Petrie, Paul R Hutson, David M Kushner, Manish S Patankar

Published Date: March, 2009 - pmid:19263582 - Gynecologic oncology

A protocol of dual prophylaxis for venous thromboembolism prevention in gynecologic cancer patients

M Heather Einstein, David M Kushner, Joseph P Connor, Alex A Bohl, Thomas J Best, Michael D Evans, Richard J Chappell, Ellen M Hartenbach

Published Date: November, 2008 - pmid:18978110 - Obstetrics and gynecology

The effect of laparoscopic guidance on gynecologic interstitial brachytherapy

David B Engle, Kristin A Bradley, Rick J Chappell, Joseph P Conner, Ellen M Hartenbach, David M Kushner

Published Date: July, 2008 - pmid:18657479 - Journal of minimally invasive gynecology

Sonohysterography and endometrial cancer: incidence and functional viability of disseminated malignant cells

Emily Berry, Steven R Lindheim, Joseph P Connor, Ellen M Hartenbach, Julian C Schink, Josephine Harter, Jens C Eickhoff, David M Kushner

Published Date: May, 2008 - pmid:18456240 - American journal of obstetrics and gynecology

Laparoscopic sentinel lymph node mapping for cervix cancer--a detailed evaluation and time analysis

David M Kushner, Joseph P Connor, Michael A Wilson, G Reza Hafez, Richard J Chappell, Sarah L Stewart, Ellen M Hartenbach

Published Date: June, 2007 - pmid:17560635 - Gynecologic oncology

Weekly docetaxel and carboplatin for recurrent ovarian and peritoneal cancer: a phase II trial

David M Kushner, Joseph P Connor, Federico Sanchez, Michael Volk, Julian C Schink, Howard H Bailey, Linda S Harris, Sarah L Stewart, Jason Fine, Ellen M Hartenbach, Wisconsin Oncology Network

Published Date: January, 2007 - pmid:17258800 - Gynecologic oncology

Human telomerase RNA degradation by 2'-5'-linked oligoadenylate antisense chimeras in a cell-free system, cultured tumor cells, and murine xenograft models

Jayashree M Paranjape, Da Xu, David M Kushner, James Okicki, Daniel J Lindner, Hagen Cramer, Robert H Silverman, Douglas W Leaman

Published Date: September, 2006 - pmid:16978086 - Oligonucleotides

Development and validation of a home-based, mirrored, gynecologic laparoscopy trainer

James K Robinson, David M Kushner

Published Date: March, 2006 - pmid:16527711 - Journal of minimally invasive gynecology

Use of a bupivacaine continuous wound infusion system in gynecologic oncology: a randomized trial

David M Kushner, Regina LaGalbo, Joseph P Connor, Rick Chappell, Sarah L Stewart, Ellen M Hartenbach

Published Date: August, 2005 - pmid:16055569 - Obstetrics and gynecology

Sonohysterography: a valuable tool in evaluating the female pelvis

Steven R Lindheim, Natalie Adsuar, David M Kushner, Elizabeth A Pritts, David L Olive

Published Date: October, 2003 - pmid:14581828 - Obstetrical & gynecological survey

Dr. Kushner's Research

Research Focus: Minimizing the negative impact of cancer and subsequent treatments on patients’ quality of life.

WISH Clinic team publishes article in Journal of the Advanced Practitioner in Oncology

A new article co-authored by Joanne Rash, PA-C, Megan Peterson, DNP, Janelle Sobecki, MD, and David Kushner, MD was published in the Journal of the Advanced Practitioner in Oncology!

Development, Implementation, and Patient Perspectives of the Women’s Integrative Sexual Health Program: A Program Designed to Address the Sexual Side Effects of Cancer Treatment” outlines the creation of the UW Carbone Cancer Center’s Women’s Integrative Sexual Health Clinic, which was created in 2013 by Rash and Lori Seabourne, PA-C. The publication also shares results from a patient experience survey:

“When asked how helpful their experience in the WISH program was, 99 of 113 (88%) reported that it was at least somewhat helpful. Seventy-five out of 110 (68%) said their experience in the WISH program improved their overall sexual function. Eighty out of 112 (71%) thought their sexual function would be worse if they had not been seen in the WISH program. Almost all (95%) reported they would recommend the WISH program to other women.”

Read the whole publication here. Congratulations to the WISH team!