Rush reflects on training, shares what’s next after finishing fellowship

After three years of intense fellowship training in the UW Ob-Gyn Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Shannon Rush, MD, is preparing to graduate. Rush shares what’s next after fellowship, the important lessons she will carry forward, and messages of gratitude for people who shaped her time in Madison.

Where will you be going and what will you be doing after UW Ob-Gyn?

I'm headed to University of Pittsburgh (Magee Women's Hospital) for an academic position with their gynecologic oncology group. I will be doing 70% clinical duties and 30% research/administrative duties. My new position will still thankfully afford a lot of opportunity to work with and teach trainees. I'll also be doing some outreach in the Pennsylvania surrounding areas, which I'm very excited about.

What are the most important things you learned during your fellowship?

There are so many important lessons I've learned about gyn onc, medicine, and life while here these past three years. I get nervous sometimes knowing that I'll soon be leaving this place, but then I remember that I get to take the experiences, mentorships, and relationships with me when I go. One of the culture points I will take with me is that fostering a sense of collegiality and teamwork allows us all to be more inquisitive, open and productive. There are always people in your community that care and will help when needed and asked. Also, I'll always remember to eat when there's a chance before a long OR case, to find moments to exhibit gratitude for my team, and to make the most of time outside the hospital to rejuvenate.

How do you feel UW Ob-Gyn prepared you for success after fellowship?

I am so happy with my training. I feel I've gotten the perfect balance between surgery, research and clinical education. I feel well prepared to perform laparoscopic, robotic and open surgeries and to get patients prepared for surgery and through the post-operative period. Our chemotherapy and clinical trials exposure really seems to be unmatched. Our tumor boards have made me think and stretch my care plans every week of fellowship. And my research with many people in the division and with Dr. Manish Patankar have exposed me to a variety of research methods and given me opportunities to present and publish our work.

What will you miss most about UW Ob-Gyn and/or Madison?

I will most miss the people! My co-fellows who are not only stellar work buddies but lifelong friends. The division members of gyn onc including all the attendings, APPs, nurses, MAs, and support staff. The residents who make coming to work every day an absolute delight. The scrub techs, circulators, nursing staff and anesthesia teams in the operating room...I have been lucky to have such a wonderful and tightknit community here in Madison and will miss it dearly when I leave for Pittsburgh come July.

Any special shout-outs or thanks to faculty, staff, other trainees who really shaped your time here?

To Dr. Rice, thank you for nurturing such an incredible department and fellowship program. To Dr. Spencer and Dr. Rose, thanks for being the best fellowship program directors a fellow could ask for. To Drs. Al-Niaimi, Barroilhet, Hartenbach, Kushner, Rose, Spencer, Sobecki, and Wallace, thanks for making graduated responsibility also include graduated friendship and constant mentorship. Your words will be the ones I hear during every patient interaction and surgical case. Dr. Spencer, all I can say is that you always believe in me even when I don't, so thank you for that. Catherine, you are a steadfast friend and incredible doctor and I'll miss sharing an office with you more than you'll ever know. Lauren and Matt, kick some fellowship booty! To my graduating residency class, thanks for being on this journey with me! And to all the residents, I can't say enough how dedicated, smart, compassionate and talented you all are! Dr. Patankar, thank you for always pushing me to pursue research along with clinical work and believing in my abilities to balance the two. And Megan, Joanne, Anne, Mel and now Joelle and Jessica, Robin, Maria, Brittany, Amy, and Gina, you all are the glue of the gyn onc division! Thank you for all you do to take care of our incredible patients, our doctor teams, and us fellows. This truly has been the best dang training experience I could have hoped for and it is because of all the amazing people.