The Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health at the University of Minnesota has an illustrious, 137-year history. It began in 1887, led by Dr. Parks Ritchie, and grew into its current structure under Dr. Jennings C. Litzenberg, department head from 1913 to 1938. Linda F. Carson, MD, a longstanding faculty member and director of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology, became department head in 2001 after serving in an interim capacity. In 2018, after building upon the department's strong national reputation, Dr. Carson retired and handed the reins to John Fischer, MD, FACOG.


OBGYN Graduation

The Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health is a unit within the Medical School in the Academic Health Center of the University of Minnesota. The department encompasses dozens of faculty members across the divisions of Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery; Maternal-Fetal Medicine; Gynecologic Oncology; Obstetrics Gynecology & Women's Health; and Complex Family Planning.

The Division of Obstetrics, Gynecology, Midwifery & Family Planning and our university-based clinic Women’s Health Specialists (WHS) also support certified nurse midwives, nurse practitioners, and psychologists. The Division of Gynecologic Oncology offers a full range of treatment options including specialized chemotherapy, radiation and surgical options. This division also supports nurse practitioners, psychologists, genetic counselors, physical rehabilitation services and more. As the only Maternal-Fetal Medicine (MFM) specialists in the region associated with an academic medical center, the MFM specialists bring their own expertise as well as collaboration with neonatologists, geneticists and other University of Minnesota Health specialists. The Division of Complex Family Planning is committed to improving the health of individuals, families, and communities by providing evidence-based family planning care in a compassionate and non-judgmental environment that honors each person’s autonomy. 

A strong departmental research program facilitates development of innovative approaches to treating women’s health problems. An innovative research spirit can be found across the department. Several researchers are searching for biomarkers, preventive treatments, new drug therapies and ways to improve quality of life after a cancer diagnosis. 

The faculty and staff in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health are dedicated to providing outstanding and progressive education to our medical students, residents and fellows. We are proud to offer a required OB/GYN clerkship and advanced electives for medical students; a large, diverse residency program; and fellowships in gynecologic oncology and maternal-fetal medicine.

To contact the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health, please email: