Laurel W. Rice, MD
Department Chair, Obstetrics and Gynecology
Ben Miller Peckham, MD, PhD, Chair in Obstetrics and Gynecology

Gynecologic Oncology
UW Hospital and Clinics

Office Address
McConnell Hall, 4th Floor
1010 Mound Street
Madison, WI, 53715

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

Administrative Assistant
Christy Lincicum


Laurel W. Rice is Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and a Professor in the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health.

Dr. Rice attended college and medical school at the University of Colorado. She completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology as well as a Fellowship in Gynecologic Oncology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA. After four years on the faculty of Massachusetts General Hospital, the University of Virginia (UVA) recruited her to the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. During her 14 years at UVA, Dr. Rice was appointed Division Chief of Gynecologic Oncology, established a Fellowship in Gynecologic Oncology, and served as Vice Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Nationally recognized as an expert in the care of women with gynecologic malignancies, Dr. Rice has published extensively in her field. Her present research focuses on health disparities. She has lectured extensively throughout the United States.

Dr. Rice continues to serve in leadership positions of many national organizations. She is Immediate Past President of the American Gynecological & Obstetrical Society, Past President of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology, Past President of the Council of University Chairs of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and an active member of several other professional organizations.

Since 2006, Dr. Rice has served on the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and currently serves as a Representative on the Board of Directors. Additionally, she is currently serving a four-year term as Treasurer. She is also an examiner for candidates seeking board certification in both General Obstetrics and Gynecology, in addition to the subspecialty area of Gynecologic Oncology.

Dr. Rice also serves as Deputy Editor of Gynecologic Oncology and as a reviewer for Obstetrics and Gynecology and the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, both highly regarded journals in her field.


1979 BS Pharmacy, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado

1983 MD Doctor of Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver, Colorado

1983-1987 Residency Obstetrics and Gynecology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA

1987-1989 Fellowship Gynecologic Oncology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA


1990 American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Obstetrics and Gynecology

1991 American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Gynecologic Oncology

Department Leadership Role

Department Chair, Obstetrics and Gynecology

Honors and Awards

2019 Best Doctors in America-Best Doctors, Inc.

2018 Madison’s Top Doctors 2018, Madison Magazine

2018 CURE® Magazine’s 2018 Ovarian Cancer Hero

2016 Guest Speaker, White Coat Ceremony, University of Wisconsin-Madison

2016 Best Doctors in America-Best Doctors, Inc.

2015 Best Doctors in America-Best Doctors, Inc.


American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

American College of Surgeons

American Gynecological and Obstetrical Society

American Gynecological Club

Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Council on Resident Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology

Council of University Chairs of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Foundation for Women’s Cancer

International Gynecologic Cancer Society

Society for Reproductive Investigation

Society of Family Planning

Society of Gynecologic Oncology


Discrepancies Created by Surgeon Self-Reported Operative Time and the Effects on Procedural Relative Value Units and Reimbursement

Shitanshu Uppal, Laurel W Rice, Ryan J Spencer

Published Date: July, 2021 - pmid:34237766 - Obstetrics and gynecology

Physician attitudes about abortion and their willingness to consult in abortion care at a Midwestern academic medical center

Nicholas B Schmuhl, Laurel W Rice, Cynthia K Wautlet, Jenny A Higgins

Published Date: May, 2021 - pmid:33984323 - Contraception

Bone health and osteoporosis screening in gynecologic cancer survivors

Janelle N Sobecki, Laurel W Rice, Ellen M Hartenbach

Published Date: December, 2020 - pmid:33309416 - Gynecologic oncology

The Importance of Physician Concern and Expertise in Increasing Abortion Health Care Access in Local Contexts

Jenny A Higgins, Nicholas B Schmuhl, Cynthie K Wautlet, Laurel W Rice

Published Date: October, 2020 - pmid:33090878 - American journal of public health

Increasing NIH funding for academic departments of obstetrics and gynecology: a call to action

Laurel W Rice, Marcelle I Cedars, Yoel Sadovsky, Nazema Y Siddiqui, Stephanie B Teal, Jason D Wright, Andrea Zorbas, Marcela G Del Carmen

Published Date: April, 2020 - pmid:32272090 - American journal of obstetrics and gynecology

Universal access to contraception: women, families, and communities benefit

Laurel W Rice, Eve Espey, Dee E Fenner, Kimberly D Gregory, Jacquelyn Askins, Charles J Lockwood

Published Date: September, 2019 - pmid:31542250 - American journal of obstetrics and gynecology

Age-Associated Risk of 90-Day Postoperative Mortality After Cytoreductive Surgery for Advanced Ovarian Cancer

Alexander Melamed, Alexandra S Bercow, Katherine Bunnell, J Alejandro Rauh-Hain, Jason D Wright, Laurel W Rice, Marcela G Del Carmen

Published Date: May, 2019 - pmid:31066875 - JAMA surgery

The American Gynecological and Obstetrical Society-reinvigorating for the 21st century

Laurel W Rice, Charles J Lockwood, Maureen Phipps, John O L Delancey, Ronald D Alvarez, Marcelle I Cedars

Published Date: January, 2019 - pmid:30625296 - American journal of obstetrics and gynecology

Variation in resource utilization associated with the surgical management of ovarian cancer

J Alejandro Rauh-Hain, Michael K Hidrue, Peter Gaccione, Alexander Melamed, Larissa A Meyer, Nancy L Keating, Sharon H Giordano, Laurel W Rice, Michael J Birrer, Marcela G Del Carmen

Published Date: December, 2018 - pmid:30579568 - Gynecologic oncology

Trends and comparative effectiveness of inpatient radical hysterectomy for cervical cancer in the United States (2012-2015)

Shitanshu Uppal, J Rebecca Liu, R Kevin Reynolds, Laurel W Rice, Ryan J Spencer

Published Date: November, 2018 - pmid:30424895 - Gynecologic oncology

Disparities in the allocation of research funding to gynecologic cancers by Funding to Lethality scores

Ryan J Spencer, Laurel W Rice, Clara Ye, Kaitlin Woo, Shitanshu Uppal

Published Date: November, 2018 - pmid:30404721 - Gynecologic oncology

Survival after Minimally Invasive Radical Hysterectomy for Early-Stage Cervical Cancer

Alexander Melamed, Daniel J Margul, Ling Chen, Nancy L Keating, Marcela G Del Carmen, Junhua Yang, Brandon-Luke L Seagle, Amy Alexander, Emma L Barber, Laurel W Rice, Jason D Wright, Masha Kocherginsky, Shohreh Shahabi, J Alejandro Rauh-Hain

Published Date: November, 2018 - pmid:30379613 - The New England journal of medicine

Isolated para-aortic lymph node metastasis in FIGO stage IA2-IB2 carcinoma of the cervix: Revisiting the role of surgical assessment

Marcela G Del Carmen, Rene Pareja, Alexander Melamed, Juliana Rodriguez, Anna Greer, Rachel M Clark, Laurel W Rice

Published Date: July, 2018 - pmid:30017539 - Gynecologic oncology

Thirty-day unplanned hospital readmission in ovarian cancer patients undergoing primary or interval cytoreductive surgery: systematic literature review

Rachel M Clark, Laurel W Rice, Marcela G Del Carmen

Published Date: June, 2018 - pmid:29929923 - Gynecologic oncology

Hospital Readmission as a Poor Measure of Quality in Ovarian Cancer Surgery

Shitanshu Uppal, Ryan J Spencer, Laurel W Rice, Marcela G Del Carmen, R Kevin Reynolds, Jennifer J Griggs

Published Date: June, 2018 - pmid:29889756 - Obstetrics and gynecology

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

Factors associated with outcomes and inpatient 90-day cost of care in endometrial cancer patients undergoing hysterectomy - implications for bundled care payments

Aimee Rolston, Ryan J Spencer, R Kevin Reynolds, Laurel W Rice, Shitanshu Uppal

Published Date: May, 2018 - pmid:29778507 - Gynecologic oncology

Expanding the pipeline. The 2018 Society of Gynecologic Oncology presidential address

Laurel W Rice

Published Date: May, 2018 - pmid:29729931 - Gynecologic oncology

Obstructive Sleep Apnea and the Impact on Surgical Outcomes in Gynecology

Erin E Medlin, Laurel W Rice, Ahmed Al-Niaimi

Published Date: April, 2018 - pmid:29701869 - Obstetrical & gynecological survey

Racial and ethnic disparities over time in the treatment and mortality of women with gynecological malignancies

J Alejandro Rauh-Hain, Alexander Melamed, Diego Schaps, Amy J Bregar, Ryan Spencer, John O Schorge, Laurel W Rice, Marcela G Del Carmen

Published Date: April, 2018 - pmid:29605048 - Gynecologic oncology

Towards the elimination of health care disparities in gynecologic oncology: Call to action

Marcela G Del Carmen, Laurel W Rice

Published Date: April, 2018 - pmid:29605042 - Gynecologic oncology

Estimating potential for savings for low risk endometrial cancer using the Endometrial Cancer Alternative Payment Model (ECAP): A companion paper to the Society of Gynecologic Oncology Report on the Endometrial Cancer Alternative Payment Model

Jason D Wright, Laura J Havrilesky, David E Cohn, Yongmei Huang, Jill Rathbun, Laurel W Rice, Carol L Brown, Ronald D Alvarez, Emily M Ko

Published Date: March, 2018 - pmid:29496293 - Gynecologic oncology

Ninety-Day Mortality as a Reporting Parameter for High-Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer Cytoreduction Surgery

Ryan J Spencer, Kari E Hacker, Jennifer J Griggs, Laurel W Rice, R Kevin Reynolds, Shitanshu Uppal

Published Date: July, 2017 - pmid:28697111 - Obstetrics and gynecology

The impact of physician burnout on clinical and academic productivity of gynecologic oncologists: A decision analysis

Taylor B Turner, Sarah E Dilley, Haller J Smith, Warner K Huh, Susan C Modesitt, Stephen L Rose, Laurel W Rice, Jeffrey M Fowler, J Michael Straughn

Published Date: June, 2017 - pmid:28655413 - Gynecologic oncology

Management of menopausal symptoms in women with gynecologic cancers

Marcela G Del Carmen, Laurel W Rice

Published Date: June, 2017 - pmid:28625396 - Gynecologic oncology

The clinical trials crisis in gynecologic oncology

Marcela G Del Carmen, Christina M Annunziata, Laurel W Rice

Published Date: April, 2017 - pmid:28410755 - Gynecologic oncology

Hysterectomy: More Harm Than Good or Innocent Bystander?

Laurel W Rice, Heidi W Brown

Published Date: February, 2017 - pmid:28177986 - Diseases of the colon and rectum

Disparities in receipt of care for high-grade endometrial cancer: A National Cancer Data Base analysis

Amy J Bregar, J Alejandro Rauh-Hain, Ryan Spencer, Joel T Clemmer, John O Schorge, Laurel W Rice, Marcela G Del Carmen

Published Date: February, 2017 - pmid:28159409 - Gynecologic oncology

Association of Hospital Volume With Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Locally Advanced Cervical Cancer Treatment

Shitanshu Uppal, Christina Chapman, Ryan J Spencer, Shruti Jolly, Kate Maturen, J Alejandro Rauh-Hain, Marcela G delCarmen, Laurel W Rice

Published Date: January, 2017 - pmid:28079775 - Obstetrics and gynecology

Minimally Invasive Staging Surgery in Women with Early-Stage Endometrial Cancer: Analysis of the National Cancer Data Base

Amy J Bregar, Alexander Melamed, Elisabeth Diver, Joel T Clemmer, Shitanshu Uppal, John O Schorge, Laurel W Rice, Marcela G Del Carmen, J Alejandro Rauh-Hain

Published Date: January, 2017 - pmid:28074326 - Annals of surgical oncology

International Gynecologic Cancer Society (IGCS) 2016: Meeting report

Marcela G Del Carmen, Laurel W Rice

Published Date: November, 2016 - pmid:27847107 - Gynecologic oncology

Timing of and Reasons for Unplanned 30-Day Readmission After Hysterectomy for Benign Disease

Courtney A Penn, Daniel M Morgan, Laurel W Rice, John A Harris, J Alejandro Rauh-Hain, Shitanshu Uppal

Published Date: September, 2016 - pmid:27607868 - Obstetrics and gynecology

Trends in hospice discharge, documented inpatient palliative care services and inpatient mortality in ovarian carcinoma

Shitanshu Uppal, Laurel W Rice, Anurag Beniwal, Ryan J Spencer

Published Date: August, 2016 - pmid:27542965 - Gynecologic oncology

Variation in care in concurrent chemotherapy administration during radiation for locally advanced cervical cancer

Shitanshu Uppal, Marcela G Del Carmen, Laurel W Rice, R Kevin Reynolds, Shruti Jolly, Amy Bregar, Zaid M Abdelsattar, J Alejandro Rauh-Hain

Published Date: May, 2016 - pmid:27234144 - Gynecologic oncology

Safety and tolerability of chlorhexidine gluconate (2%) as a vaginal operative preparation in patients undergoing gynecologic surgery

Ahmed Al-Niaimi, Laurel W Rice, Uppal Shitanshu, Bonnie Garvens, Megan Fitzgerald, Sara Zerbel, Nasia Safdar

Published Date: May, 2016 - pmid:27234011 - American journal of infection control

Readmissions after major gynecologic oncology surgery

Shitanshu Uppal, Courtney Penn, Marcela G Del Carmen, J Alejandro Rauh-Hain, R Kevin Reynolds, Laurel W Rice

Published Date: March, 2016 - pmid:26927757 - Gynecologic oncology

An Open Letter to the Food and Drug Administration Regarding the Use of Morcellation Procedures in Women Having Surgery for Presumed Uterine Myomas

William Parker, Jonathan S Berek, Elizabeth Pritts, David Olive, Andrew M Kaunitz, Eva Chalas, Daniel Clarke-Pearson, Barbara Goff, Robert Bristow, Hugh S Taylor, Robin Farias-Eisner, Amanda Nickles Fader, G Larry Maxwell, Scott C Goodwin, Susan Love, William E Gibbons, Leland J Foshag, Phyllis C Leppert, Judy Norsigian, Charles W Nager, Timothy Johnson, David S Guzick, Sawsan As-Sanie, Richard J Paulson, Cindy Farquhar, Linda Bradley, Stacey A Scheib, Anton J Bilchik, Laurel W Rice, Carla Dionne, Alison Jacoby, Charles Ascher-Walsh, Sarah J Kilpatrick, G David Adamson, Matthew Siedhoff, Robert Israel, Marie Fidela Paraiso, Michael M Frumovitz, John R Lurain, Ayman Al-Hendy, Guy I Benrubi, Steven S Raman, Rosanne M Kho, Ted L Anderson, R Kevin Reynolds, John DeLancey

Published Date: January, 2016 - pmid:26773577 - Journal of minimally invasive gynecology

Management for Elderly Women With Advanced-Stage, High-Grade Endometrial Cancer

J Alejandro Rauh-Hain, Kristen J Pepin, Larissa A Meyer, Joel T Clemmer, Karen H Lu, Laurel W Rice, Shitanshu Uppal, John O Schorge, Marcela G Del Carmen

Published Date: November, 2015 - pmid:26551187 - Obstetrics and gynecology

Predictors of 30-day readmission and impact of same-day discharge in laparoscopic hysterectomy

Ashley J Jennings, Ryan J Spencer, Erin Medlin, Laurel W Rice, Shitanshu Uppal

Published Date: May, 2015 - pmid:25981843 - American journal of obstetrics and gynecology

Global health perspective on gynecologic oncology

Marcela G del Carmen, Laurel W Rice, Kathleen M Schmeler

Published Date: March, 2015 - pmid:25782635 - Gynecologic oncology

Underrepresentation of women in clinical trials: why gynecologic oncologists are worried

Marcela G Del Carmen, Laurel W Rice

Published Date: March, 2015 - pmid:25730224 - Obstetrics and gynecology

Frailty index predicts severe complications in gynecologic oncology patients

Shitanshu Uppal, Elena Igwe, Laurel W Rice, Ryan J Spencer, Stephen L Rose

Published Date: January, 2015 - pmid:25602715 - Gynecologic oncology

Risk factors for early-occurring and late-occurring incisional hernias after primary laparotomy for ovarian cancer

Ryan J Spencer, Kristin D Hayes, Stephen Rose, Qianqian Zhao, Paul J Rathouz, Laurel W Rice, Ahmed N Al-Niaimi

Published Date: January, 2015 - pmid:25568995 - Obstetrics and gynecology

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

Current surgical management of endometrial cancer

M Heather Einstein, Laurel W Rice

Published Date: January, 2012 - pmid:22244663 - Hematology/oncology clinics of North America

Human papillomavirus vaccination recommendation may be linked to reimbursement: a survey of Virginia family practitioners and gynecologists

Jennifer L Young, Ruth G Bernheim, Jeffrey E Korte, Mark H Stoler, Thomas M Guterbock, Laurel W Rice

Published Date: September, 2011 - pmid:21906978 - Journal of pediatric and adolescent gynecology

The role of in vitro directed chemotherapy in epithelial ovarian cancer

J Stuart Ferriss, Laurel W Rice

Published Date: September, 2010 - pmid:20842282 - Reviews in obstetrics & gynecology

Hormone prevention strategies for breast, endometrial and ovarian cancers

Laurel W Rice

Published Date: May, 2010 - pmid:20471672 - Gynecologic oncology

Surgical management and postoperative treatment of endometrial carcinoma

Jason A Lachance, Christopher J Darus, Laurel W Rice

Published Date: November, 2008 - pmid:19015760 - Reviews in obstetrics & gynecology

Utilization of a uniform grading system for interpreting serous ovarian cancer

Jason A Lachance, Jamie Shutter, Kristen A Atkins, Mark H Stoler, Laurel W Rice, Amir A Jazaeri

Published Date: May, 2008 - pmid:18501326 - American journal of obstetrics and gynecology

The Use of p16 in enhancing the histologic classification of uterine smooth muscle tumors

Kristen A Atkins, Nora Arronte, Christopher J Darus, Laurel W Rice

Published Date: December, 2007 - pmid:18162776 - The American journal of surgical pathology

A cost-effective analysis of adjuvant therapies for the treatment of stage I endometrial adenocarcinoma

Jason A Lachance, George J Stukenborg, Bernard F Schneider, Laurel W Rice, Amir A Jazaeri

Published Date: October, 2007 - pmid:17936341 - Gynecologic oncology

Use of cisplatin without desensitization after carboplatin hypersensitivity reaction in epithelial ovarian and primary peritoneal cancer

Megan B Callahan, Jason A Lachance, Rebecca L Stone, Julie Kelsey, Laurel W Rice, Amir A Jazaeri

Published Date: August, 2007 - pmid:17689649 - American journal of obstetrics and gynecology

Cervical adenocarcinoma in situ: the predictive value of conization margin status

Jennifer L Young, Amir A Jazaeri, Jason A Lachance, Mark H Stoler, William P Irvin, Laurel W Rice, Willie A Andersen, Susan C Modesitt

Published Date: August, 2007 - pmid:17689647 - American journal of obstetrics and gynecology

Biologic targets for therapeutic intervention in endometrioid endometrial adenocarcinoma and malignant mixed müllerian tumors

Laurel W Rice, Rebecca L Stone, Miaohou Xu, Mary Galgano, Mark H Stoler, Elise N Everett, Amir A Jazaeri

Published Date: April, 2006 - pmid:16580307 - American journal of obstetrics and gynecology

Predictors of suboptimal surgical cytoreduction in women treated with initial cytoreductive surgery for advanced stage epithelial ovarian cancer

Elise N Everett, Cara C Heuser, Lisa M Pastore, Willie A Anderson, Laurel W Rice, William P Irvin, Peyton T Taylor

Published Date: August, 2005 - pmid:16098898 - American journal of obstetrics and gynecology

The estrogen receptor (ER)alpha variant Delta5 exhibits dominant positive activity on ER-regulated promoters in endometrial carcinoma cells

Winnifred Bryant, Allison E Snowhite, Laurel W Rice, Margaret A Shupnik

Published Date: November, 2004 - pmid:15528307 - Endocrinology

Effects of adjunctive Swedish massage and vibration therapy on short-term postoperative outcomes: a randomized, controlled trial

Ann Gill Taylor, Daniel I Galper, Peyton Taylor, Laurel W Rice, Willie Andersen, William Irvin, Xin-Qun Wang, Frank E Harrell

Published Date: April, 2003 - pmid:12676037 - Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.)

Sentinel node biopsy in vulvar and vaginal melanoma: presentation of six cases and a literature review

Liana Abramova, Jaysheree Parekh, William P Irvin, Laurel W Rice, Peyton T Taylor, Willie A Anderson, Craig L Slingluff

Published Date: November, 2002 - pmid:12417504 - Annals of surgical oncology

"See-and-treat" loop electrosurgical excision. Has the time come for a reassessment?

William P Irvin, Willie A Andersen, Peyton T Taylor, Mark H Stoler, Laurel W Rice

Published Date: August, 2002 - pmid:12170535 - The Journal of reproductive medicine


Higgins J, Rice L. Access to contraception and abortion is as critical as ever during COVID-19 pandemic. The Capital Times. April 9, 2020. Available at:

Prevention Research Center launched on December 12

Campus and community partners gathered on December 12 to celebrate the newly-launched UW-Madison Prevention Research Center! Speakers including UW SMPH Dean Robert Golden, MD, UW Ob-Gyn Department Chair Laurel Rice, MD, Prevention Research Center Director Deborah Ehrenthal, MD, and more introduced different aspects of the center, which will be focused on improving the health of low-income women, infants and families in Wisconsin.

UW-Madison is one of just 25 academic institutions across the country to receive five-year funding from the CDC to establish a Prevention Research Center. The center reflects a partnership between the UW School of Medicine and Public HealthInstitute on Poverty​, and the School of Human Ecology. In addition to campus partners, the PRC will work closely with a community advisory board made up of state and local health departments, non-profit organizations, and “family circle” members – individuals representing communities experiencing maternal, infant or child health inequity, and providers connected to the core research project. 

UW Population Health Institute Director Sheri Johnson, PhD, introduced two members of the Community Advisory Board to speak about why they’re partnering with the PRC: Dalvery Blackwell, executive director of the African American Breastfeeding Network Inc., and Walter Orzechowski, executive director of the Southwestern Wisconsin Community Action Program, Inc.

The principal investigators of the PRC’s core project also outlined their research goals. Roseanne Clark, PhD, of the UW SMPH Department of Psychiatry, and Jane Mahoney, MD, of the UW SMPH Department of Medicine, introduced the research project “Addressing Postpartum Depression in WI Home Visiting Programs.” The project will be a randomized trial of a two-generation, preventive intervention to:

  • Ameliorate mother’s depressive symptoms
  • Address relational trauma history
  • Support the mother-infant relationship
  • Support infant psychosocial and developmental outcomes

The project will work with community and translational partners to culturally adapt the Mother-Infant Therapy Group model for implementation in home visiting programs in urban, rural and Tribal communities across Wisconsin.

Mahoney also spoke about the PRC’s implementation and dissemination goals, noting that the center’s projects will be designed with dissemination in mind.

Learn more about the UW-Madison Prevention Research Center’s goals, faculty and staff, community partners, and opportunities for funding!

Women’s Healthcast: Universal Contraceptive Coverage

The Women’s Healthcast has covered birth control many times – how it works, what kinds of side effects are considered when new methods are developed, how technology can help improve access, or put a new spin on an old standby. But it's one thing to know how birth control works and how to choose the best method, and it's another thing entirely to actually have affordable, consistent access  to the full range of modern contraceptive methods.

On the latest episode of the Women’s Healthcast, UW Ob-Gyn Department Chair Laurel Rice, MD discusses why she is a passionate supporter of universal contraceptive coverage. Rice recently published an article in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology encouraging other physicians to advocate for improved contraceptive access.

Listen to Universal Contraceptive Coverage now.

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

Rice co-authors column in support of Assembly Bill 304

UW Ob-Gyn Department Chair Laurel Rice, MD, co-authored a guest column published in the Wisconsin State Journal in support of a bill that would allow pharmacists to prescribe some forms of birth control in Wisconsin.

Along with UW-Madison School of Pharmacy Assistant Professor Marina Maes, PharmD, Rice laid out the case in support of expanding the ability to prescribe birth control to pharmacists. Their argument focuses on pharmacists as a way to improve access:

“Despite the many benefits of contraceptives, people in Wisconsin may not always have easy access to methods of their choosing. More than one-third of Wisconsin counties do not have a practicing OB-GYN physician, a scarcity that disproportionately affects rural areas. But 90 percent of people in Wisconsin live within 5 miles of a pharmacy. Many pharmacies offer extended hours, and patients can see pharmacists without appointments or copays, removing additional barriers to care that women currently face.”

Read the whole guest column here

Rice selected for 2019-20 Best Doctors list

UW Department of Ob-Gyn Chair Laurel Rice, MD has been voted on to the 2019-2020 Best Doctors in America list!

Selections to the list are based on an extensive, impartial, nationwide physician poll. Congratulations, Dr. Rice, on this well-deserved honor!

Rice presents on importance of research funding at ACOG CLC

At the 2020 American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ Congressional Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C., UW Department of Ob-Gyn Chair Laurel Rice, MD presented about the importance of supporting NIH funding for women’s health research.

Rice helped conference attendees prepare for congressional visits with information on the Women First Research Coalition, an advocacy group with membership across ob-gyn specialties focused on improving funding for women’s health research.

Thank you, Dr. Rice, for your tireless efforts to refocus the conversation on women’s health research! 

Rice and Higgins advocate for continued reproductive health care during COVID

UW Ob-Gyn Department Chair Laurel Rice, MD and UW Collaborative for Reproductive Equity Director Jenny Higgins, PhD, MPH co-authored a letter to the editor on making the case for contraceptive care as an essential service during COVID-19.

Access to contraception and abortion is as critical as ever during COVID-19 pandemic” describes efforts in many states to restrict reproductive health care access by deeming it elective or non-essential, and asks Wisconsin leaders to protect access in our state:

“Instead of limiting access, Wisconsin politicians and health care leaders should work to further support access to abortion and contraceptive care to help people stay safe and have autonomy over their bodies, health, and families — and to help limit further strain on the healthcare system. Any moves to limit abortion and contraception are distractions from helping give people what they need right now, like paid sick leave and a health care system that works for everyone.”

Read the whole article here.

Rice makes case for increasing research funding for academic ob-gyn departments in AJOG

UW Department of Ob-Gyn Chair Laurel Rice, MD published a call to action in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology making the case for more research funding for academic ob-gyn departments across the country.

In “Increasing NIH Funding for Academic Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology: A Call to Action,” Rice and co-authors point out that NIH funding for reproductive sciences research is disproportionately low:

Research is one of the most important pillars in advancing health care. Underfunding for research in departments of OBGYN, despite Congress’ vision in providing increased funding to the NIH as a whole, is one of several critical drivers in the decline in reproductive health and health care for US women.”

Read the whole article here.

Posters, presentations and abstracts from 2020 ACOG conference in Green Journal

While the 2020 American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists annual meeting, scheduled for late April this year, was canceled, many people in our department had research accepted to present. Their abstracts were published in a supplement to the May 2020 issue of the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology. A few of the amazing abstracts include:

Examining Joint Effect of Race and Neighborhood Socioeconomic Disadvantage on Adverse Obstetric Outcomes – authors Kara Hoppe, DO; Felicity Harl, MD; Alexa Lowry, MD; Linnea Evans, PhD

Physician Attitudes Toward Reproductive Justice: Results From an Institution-Wide Survey – authors Cynthie Wautlet, MD, MPH; Nicholas Schmuhl, PhD; Jenny Higgins, PhD, MPH; Helen Zukin; Laurel Rice, MD

Rural Women in the United States Burdened by High Maternal Transfer Rates – authors Laura McDowell, MD; Ellen Hartenbach, MD; Hsiang-Hui Daphne Kuo, PhD; Deborah Ehrenthal, MD, MPH

Pregnancy-Related Weight and Postpartum Depressive Symptoms: Do the Relationships Differ by Race/Ethnicity? – author Tiffany Green, PhD

Is Sleep Deprivation Associated With Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes? – author Katie Antony, MD

Congratulations to all!

First HAGO Conference was a great success!

On September 10-11, the UW Ob-Gyn Division of Gynecologic Oncology hosted the first-ever Heartland Association of Gynecologic Oncology (HAGO) meeting. More than 70 gynecologic oncology professionals tuned in for the virtual conference, which included two keynote presentations and 21 research abstract presentations.

HAGO was founded in 2020 by UW Ob-Gyn Division of Gyn Onc Director Stephen Rose, MD, and the program committee included Ryan Spencer, MD and UW Ob-Gyn Gyn Onc fellowship graduates Andrea O’Shea, MD and Shitanshu Uppal, MD.

Of the 21 abstracts selected for presentation, five were from our department (Matthew Wagar, MD with mentor Sumer Wallace, MDWagar with mentor Makeba Williams, MDShannon Rush, MD with mentor Steve Rose, MDRachel Mojdehbakhsh, MD with mentor Ryan Spencer, MD; and Connor Wang, MD with mentor Spencer).

UW Ob-Gyn Gyn Onc fellow Shannon Rush, MD earned the first Award for Clinical Research for her abstract “65 Revisited: A Revised Markov Model for Evaluating Oophorectomy at the Time of Hysterectomy for Benign Disease”!

Lisa Barroilhet, MD was also an invited distillation presenter and UW Ob-Gyn Department Chair Laurel Rice, MD gave a keynote address and received the inaugural HAGO Award for Service and Leadership.

Our congratulations to everyone involved in planning and preparing the HAGO Conference – incredible work!

Higgins, Schmuhl, Wautlet, Rice publish in American Journal of Public Health

Findings from a UW Collaborative for Reproductive Equity study on how doctors view access to abortion has been published in the December issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

In the research-based editorial “The Importance of Physician Concern and Expertise in Increasing Abortion Health Care Access in Local Contexts, Jenny Higgins, PhD, Nicholas Schmuhl, PhD, Cynthie Wautlet, MD, and Laurel Rice, MD—all UW CORE investigators—chronicle the impacts of increasingly restrictive policies on abortion access, underscoring the key importance of local and state-level attitudes. Even with the current legal protections of Roe v. Wade, many state regulations already curtail abortion access. If the Supreme Court overturns the landmark case, which seems likely given the new makeup of the court, existing passed and signed state laws would immediately become enforceable, criminalizing abortion in Wisconsin and the majority of other US states.

Using Wisconsin as a case study, UW CORE researchers examined physician attitudes on the impacts of abortion policy on patients, the practice of medicine, and public health. With doctors ranking above teachers, police officers, and clergy in terms of their perceived ethics and trustworthiness, they comprise an important, but often understudied, group of influencers of public opinion and, ultimately, policy.

Wisconsin, a political battleground state now considered hostile to abortion access, witnessed a number of restrictive abortion policies implemented after the 2010 election. To better understand physicians’ attitudes toward abortion access and its impacts, UW CORE researchers surveyed doctors at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health—the state’s largest and only publicly-funded medical school. The team sent 1,357 surveys to doctors in all specialties and received 913 responses (a surprisingly high 67 percent response rate) between February and May 2019.

The investigators found that physicians across specialties majorly opposed restrictions on abortion health care services. In terms of patient care, 91 percent believed women’s health care would get worse if Roe v. Wade were overturned. An overwhelming majority of respondents, 99 percent, were concerned about legislation interfering with the doctor-patient relationship.

Ninety-one percent of doctors also opposed policies that prohibit their involvement in abortion care—namely, restrictive employment covenants that prevent them from providing abortion health services on personal time. Finally, physicians worried that abortion restrictions could negatively affect the UW–Madison School of Medicine and Public Health by curtailing faculty and trainee recruitment.

“We had expected physicians in our study to be concerned about abortion restrictions on patients,” said lead author Jenny Higgins. “But we were struck by the overwhelming degree to which they were also concerned about policy interference in how physicians can practice medicine, both in general and in regard to abortion. Another surprising finding is that physicians worried not only about effects on patient care and physician autonomy, but also on their institution’s reputation and ability to recruit quality faculty and trainees. It’s also notable that these attitudes were shared by providers across virtually all medical specialties, and not just Obstetrics and Gynecology.”

The authors argued that physicians have the potential to influence policy and change public perception. By more widely sharing their feelings about the negative impact of abortion restrictions, doctors could potentially help ease restrictions and shape both public attitudes and public policy. Doing so could protect women’s health as well as physician autonomy.

Read the whole article here.

Mojdehbakhsh published in Gynecologic Oncology Reports

A quality improvement study by lead author Rachel Mojdehbakhsh, MD, PGY-2, was published in Gynecologic Oncology Reports. Co-authors include Stephen Rose, MD, Megan Peterson, DNP, Laurel Rice, MD, and Ryan Spencer, MD, all of the UW Ob-Gyn Division of Gynecologic Oncology.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic that began in early 2020, industry organizations like the National Comprehensive Cancer Network recommended transitioning some appointments to telemedicine. Mojdehbakhsh’s study, “A quality improvement pathway to rapidly increase telemedicine services in a Gynecologic Oncology clinic during the COVID-19 pandemic with patient satisfaction scores and environmental impact”, outlines efforts at the UW Carbone Cancer Center’s gynecologic oncology clinic to move appointments to telehealth platforms over a short period of time. The study also assessed patient satisfaction with telemedicine visits, and environmental impact of moving visits online.

With multidisciplinary team planning and standardized note templates, transitioning 50% of encounters to telemedicine and achieving high rates of consent documentation were accomplished in four weeks. This increase in telemedicine represented a measurable decrease in the amount of CO  2 emissions. Additionally, patients were overwhelmingly satisfied.”

Read the whole study here – incredible work, Dr. Mojdehbakhsh and Gyn Onc division team!

Rice, Higgins make case for health care provider proficiency with contraceptives in Health Affairs blog

UW Ob-Gyn Department Chair Laurel Rice, MD, and UW Collaborative for Reproductive Equity Director Jenny Higgins, PhD, co-authored an article for Health Affairs outlining the reasons it’s critical that health care providers seek out accurate information on contraceptive care.

Inaccuracies or misunderstandings about how birth control works shape public perception and affect health care policy, and even health care providers are not immune from misinformation. In “The Need For Accurate Contraceptive Awareness And Advocacy Among Health Care Providers”, Rice and Higgins correct some common misconceptions about how contraceptive methods work, and argue that health care providers – as long as they’re armed with accurate knowledge – can be great advocates for comprehensive contraceptive policies:

Health care providers can hardly be expected to hold exhaustive knowledge about the universe of medications and medical products. However, we argue that proficiency about contraception’s actual mechanisms is critically important…

 Medical professionals armed with accurate information have an opportunity to push back against, not perpetuate, larger cultural misperceptions and deliberate political myths about birth control. These myths do not merely represent a benign lack of knowledge but affect policies and programs, limiting people’s ability to access this essential public health and medical good.

Read the whole article here.

Study by UW CORE researchers published in Contraception

A new study in Contraception uses data from a survey of UW School of Medicine and Public Health physicians to assess physician support for abortion access and abortion providers. The study also examines physicians’ perceptions of their peers’ attitudes towards abortion and abortion providers.

Physician attitudes about abortion and their willingness to consult in abortion care at a Midwestern academic medical center, by Nicholas Schmuhl, PhD, Laurel Rice, MD, Cynthia Wautlet, MD, and Jenny Higgins, PhD, MPH, found faculty who were surveyed have strong support for abortion. In addition, 84% of respondents reported at least “a little” support for the efforts of faculty who provide abortion services.

While respondents reported a high level of support themselves for abortion services and abortion providers, they estimated a lower level of support among their peers. For example, 62% of physicians reported “a lot” of support for abortion access, but only 21% estimated the same level of support from their peers.

“Our findings have implications for abortion care access and quality in Wisconsin, as well as professional quality of life for physicians who directly and indirectly participate in abortion care. While these results should encourage supporters of comprehensive abortion rights, the climate surrounding abortion at our institution could improve. Self-reports portrayed a highly supportive environment surrounding abortion, while physicians perceived a more muted climate of support among their fellow faculty. Our findings demonstrate that these misperceptions have tangible consequences for access and quality of abortion care, as physicians who estimated relatively lower support among peers were less willing to consult in abortion-related cases. This discrepancy was greatest among specialties commonly associated with abortion care.”

Read the whole study here.

Spencer, Rice published in Obstetrics and Gynecology

A new study published in Obstetrics and Gynecology compares operative times in the American College of Surgeons’ National Surgical Quality Improvement Project with physician-reported operative times from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to assess for the impact on RVUs.

Discrepancies Created by Surgeon Self-Reported Operative Time and the Effects on Procedural Relative Value Units and Reimbursement”, by Ryan Spencer, MD, MS and UW Ob-Gyn Department Chair Laurel Rice, MD is a cross-sectional review of registry data. The study found:

“Despite reliable electronic records, the AMA-RUC continues to use inaccurate self-reported RUC surveys for operative times. This results in discrepancies in RVU per hour (and subsequent reimbursement) across specialties and a persistent disparity for women-specific procedures in gynecology. Relative value unit levels should be based on the available objective data to eliminate these disparities.”

Read the whole paper here.