We know how important resources and information are to success. So we have collected a selection of resources as well as some tips and tricks from former fellows on this page that you may find useful at varying times during your fellowship and/or career. We anticipate these pages will become a type of toolkit or metaphorical bag of tricks that will grow organically, so be sure to visit more than once.

Please contact us if you have a resource or important idea you would like to share.

Women’s Health Research

A wealth of information is available from US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Health Services Research & Development (HSR&D) – Women’s Health Research website.

If you are looking to go a little further into the weeds you can view all the active studies/projects funded in the VA HSR&D Women’s Health Portfolio. You may also find it illuminating to to look at the studies funded under the Career Development Awards/Projects which supports new investigators.

HSR&D also funds the Women’s Health Research Network, to enhance the conduct of VA women’s health services research studies.  Click the link to find out more about this network comprised of the Women’s Health Research Consortium (WHRC) and the Women’s Health Practice Based Research Network (PBRN).

There is even a search tool intended as a resource for the VA Women’s Health community – Search Literature Database: Women’s Health Research.

VHA National Desktop Library have organized several useful literature resources within the Women’s Health Subject Guides.


VA AFWH Fellowship Competencies and Independent Career Development Plan (ICDP) Templates

Click the links for our editable VA AFWH Competencies Template and VA AFWH ICDP Template. These useful tools are a great way to keep track of and plan your fellowship training experiences. Get the most out of your VA AFWH today with these helpful tools!

VA AFWH Seminar Series: Overview of VA Women’s Health and Update of VA Women’s Health Services

For current VA AFWH fellows and fellowship directors, click to access the VA Women’s Health Services Fellowship Intranet/SharePoint site (restricted to VA employees) and locate seminar presentation files.

Women’s Health Landmark Articles

Are you looking for resources to use with your Women’s Health Journal Club events? Click this link to download a pdf with a selection of VA AFWH Landmark Articles.

Professional Development

We all live life in the professional fast lane; juggling the demands of work, family, friends, our health, and welfare. Here we have gathered a selection of resources to help you potentially embrace tight corners, avoid professional flat tires, roadblocks, and traffic jams. Ultimately, we hope these ideas can make your day a little lighter or discover a new way of thinking or approaching situations and tasks you encounter.


VA AFWH Seminar Series: Overview of VA Women’s Health and Update of VA Women’s Health Services

For current VA AFWH fellows and fellowship directors, click to access the VA Women’s Health Services Fellowship Intranet/SharePoint site (restricted to VA employees) and locate seminar presentation files.


How to Say No Politely by Devin Tomb

Does it sometimes feel like one more straw will break the camel’s back? Do you feel like you are being asked to do more but you just don’t have the time and you’re not sure how you say no? Perhaps these 9 suggestions for How to Say No Politely from Devin Tomb will help.


Overwhelmed: How to Work, Love, and Play When No One Has The Time by Brigid Schulte

Book suggestion from VA AFWH alum Nicole Pulia, PhD

You might be tempted to scoff at the irony of this book because . . . who has time to read a book when we’re so overwhelmed, right? Well maybe that’s the point and why we should at least consider reading chapters 13. Finding Time and 14. Toward Time Serenity.


Contact Us if you have discovered an article, book, website, blog, etc. that you think would be useful to appear here.

Tips & Tricks for Getting the Most Out of Your Fellowship

Completing a VA Advanced Fellowship in Women’s Health can certainly give you a career advantage, but it is up to the individual fellow to get the most out of the opportunity. We asked current fellows and alumna to offer tips gained from their experiences. This is what they wanted to share.

Juno Obedin-Maliver, MD, MPH, MAS (San Francisco site)

Thoughts for fellows include:

  1. Fellowship goes by quickly! Make sure to start early planning what you will do and meet with mentors regularly to stay on track!
  2. Find other fellows to collaborate with and bounce ideas off. I participated in works-in-progress with other fellows and ran papers and presentations by other fellows and it was great to get their perspectives, which was different from attendings or mentors.
  3. Find good mentors. I started with one great mentor but worked to develop relationships with others throughout the course of fellowship and now feel like I have a strong team to support me going forward.

Andrea Gilmore-Bykovskyi, PhD, RN (Madison site)

Encourages fellows to:

  1. Be thoughtful about how you use your time and be sure to run “new opportunities” past your mentors to ensure they are in line with your goals and will not impede your productivity.
  2. Find others who have similar interests that you can speak openly with and get early feedback from on your projects as well as publications.
  3. Early on, identify a system for setting deadlines and goals for yourself. It can be very helpful to review your progress with your co-fellows regularly to have another layer of encouragement and accountability.

Teri Davis, PhD (Los Angeles site)

Tips include:

  1. Being open to critical feedback from mentors and make recommended adjustments.
  2. Write often (i.e. manuscripts, proposals).
  3. Actively work toward narrowing your research focus and find collaborators,
  4. Submit work and actively attend scientific meetings.

Anna Donovan, MD (Pittsburgh site)

Suggests that fellows:

  1. Learn all of the resources available at the VA (and get to know the people who know all of these resources). For most patient issues, the VA has a person or service that can help to meet your patient’s needs!
  2. Get involved in national VA activities, like the mini-residency programs, where you can work with other VA faculty, become more comfortable teaching, and brush up on important clinical information.
  3. Be proactive about moving your projects forward, whether they be clinical research or medical education projects. Mentors have much expertise to share with you, but also have many responsibilities. It’s your responsibility to prioritize your projects and get things done in a timely fashion.

Akeira L. Johnson, MD (Milwaukee site)

Feels it is important to:

  1. Have a list of goals that you want to obtain from the fellowship training. This helps with initial direction, but keep them flexible enough understanding that your interest or influences may change.
  2. Utilize all the wisdom of your mentors and comrades with similar interests. You will gain a wealth of knowledge that will assist your professional development and career growth.
  3. Have fun while taking chances!  This is a good time to become an expert in an area that you are passionate about and completely enjoy it. Your mentors will continue to guide you when necessary. Finding your niche while exuding passion will be a reaffirming choice that you are doing the right thing.

Kelly H. Koo, PhD (San Francisco site)

Recommends fellows:

  1. Find out about deadlines as early as you can (especially for grant applications) so you can make a timeline. This will help to make a realistic plan, so you don’t inadvertently miss an opportunity just because you didn’t have enough time.
  2. Participate in other fellowships’ activities. I attend the MIRECC V-tels on grantsmanship once a month and they’ve been helpful. I also attend UCSF events.
  3. Be brave and ask for what you want/need/don’t know, especially around professional/career development. The worst that could happen is they say no.