Division of Family Planning
Director: Amitasrigowri Murthy, MD
The Division of Family Planning at the New York University is committed to providing culturally competent and evidence-based reproductive healthcare to every woman, regardless of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or citizenship. We believe that all women deserve the means to control when, whether, and with whom they have families.
Our mission is to educate the next generation of highly skilled women’s health practitioners, to conduct groundbreaking and relevant family planning research, and to advocate for patients’ access to family planning and contraception services.
The Division advances this mission through its three components: a dedicated family planning ambulatory center that is integrated into the Bellevue Hospital Women’s Health Clinic, a Family Planning research program, and the Fellowship in Family Planning.
History of Family Planning at NYU/Bellevue
Established in 1736, Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan is the oldest public hospital in the United States. It has a rich history of pioneering care for underserved individuals in the New York City area, including establishing the first maternity ward in the United States in 1799. Bellevue Hospital’s Contraception Clinic, opened by Dr. Gordon Douglas in 1958, was one of the first in the country. The NYU Family Planning Fellowship was established and accredited in 2012 with the aim of continuing Bellevue Hospital’s historical role in furthering research and clinical care related to reproductive health.
Our Role in Patient Care
As the clinical arm of the Division of Family Planning, the Reproductive Choice (RC) Clinic at Bellevue Hospital offers safe, confidential, and comprehensive care for women who seek services for treatment of miscarriage, contraceptive care, and induced abortion.
The RC clinic is integrated into the larger Women’s Health Clinic, and as such serves women from a wide range of socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. Bellevue Hospital patients come from all over the five boroughs of New York City and from the world at large. Many patients are recent immigrants to the United States, and medical translation services are provided in 130 languages 24 hours a day.
Bellevue Hospital itself is a Level I Adult Trauma center and the referral hospital for New York City Health and Hospitals, which operates all public health hospitals and clinics in New York City. Accordingly, the RC Clinic receives frequent transfers of the most medically complicated patients who cannot be safely cared for at outside facilities. Practitioners and trainees in the RC Clinic learn to care for women with a high level of medical complexity and acuity.
The RC Clinic also partners with non-physician groups to provide integrative care and improve the overall experience of our patients, including the Doula Project.
Our Role in Education
The Division of Family Planning is committed to educating health care practitioners at all levels of medical training. We provide both classroom-based and clinical teaching regarding reproductive health patient care, as well as hands-on procedure simulations for learners.
- Family Planning Fellows in the Division spend two years providing patient care both at Bellevue Hospital’s RC clinic as well as free-standing clinics in Manhattan. They oversee the care of patients seeking pregnancy terminations and counsel medically complicated patients in our Complex Contraception clinic.
- Residents from NYU’s Ob-Gyn program have assigned rotations with the Reproductive Choice patient service during their residency. Their training is supported by the Ryan Program, and involves procedural training as well as comprehensive patient care and counseling.
- Third- and fourth-year medical students from the NYU School of Medicine work with the Reproductive Choice service at Bellevue Hospital, including seeing patients in RC clinic and participating in procedures. Senior medical students have the opportunity to join the team for longer Sub-Internships. Family Planning fellows and attendings regularly lecture to third-year students and oversee hands-on procedural training opportunities such as IUD placement workshops.
Our Role in Research
Along with patient care and trainee education, the Division of Family Planning strongly supports clinical research in the field of reproductive health. The Division has a rich history of participation in clinical research dating to 1970, including early stage research on many contraceptive technologies that were later approved for public use, including the Copper and Progestasert IUDs, Lunelle and Norplant subdermal implants, and Loestrin oral contraceptives. All Family Planning Fellows are expected to design and implement an original research project during their fellowship with guidance and oversight from attending mentors in the division.
We strongly believe that women's health practitioners should take an active role in advocating for systems and policies that improve the reproductive health of our patients beyond the clinic and hospital setting.
Our Division encourages and supports its Fellows in their development of political activism and policy lobbying skills, including a dedicated ACOG Policy Rotation and participation in a Leadership Training Academy designed to train leaders in health policy advocacy. Our fellows and faculty also collaborate on policy and research projects with with organizations such as the Zika Contraceptive Access Network (Z-CAN) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Members of our Division serve in specialized clinics targeting underserved patients, including the EMPOWER clinic for survivors of sex trafficking and sexual violence. Our faculty also work through newer forms of social media to reach a wider range of both patients and providers, including patient-facing online media and online organizing for physician groups dedicated to health policy reform.