OB/GYN board creates Gant Fellowship; sets July 1 deadline for nominations

By Aline McKenzie


The American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology has endowed a fellowship to the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine in honor of Dr. Norman Gant, professor of obstetrics and gynecology.

The Norman F. Gant / American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology / Anniversary Fellowship is the first named fellowship established at the institute. Two previous IOM fellowships were awarded in 2006 to mark the institute’s 35th anniversary.

“These are very rare birds,” said Dr. Marie Michnich, director of health policy education programs and fellowships at the institute. “It’s a great honor.”

The two-year fellowship is aimed at early-career faculty members and is given within the first five years of an initial faculty appointment. The goal of the fellowship is to introduce academic physicians to health policy from a variety of perspectives, including those of legislators, patient interest groups and industry representatives.

Dr. Norman Gant

Dr. Gant, who was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 2001, said he was pleased that the grant will allow young physicians to bring women’s health issues to the forefront.

“Early on in their careers, obstetricians and gynecologists will be put in front of influential people who can learn about the needs of women,” he said. “I think our country is one of the only industrialized nations that does not prioritize the needs of women and children. We have a high perinatal mortality rate.”

The fellowship, funded by an endowment established by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, includes a $25,000 research grant, plus travel and stipend money to support the fellow as he or she participates in Institute of Medicine boards and committees in Washington, D.C.

Fellows must show excellence in obstetrics and gynecology and may be nominated only by members of the IOM or board members of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology or the American Gynecological and Obstetrical Society.

Nominations are currently open, and applications must be received by July 1. For more information, visit www.iom.edu/CMS/3800/63191.aspx. The first holder of the fellowship will be announced Aug. 1.

Dr. Steven Bloom, chairman of obstetrics and gynecology, called Dr. Gant a tireless supporter for the establishment of research funding for young obstetricians and gynecologists in training.

“Dr. Gant has been an outstanding clinician, teacher and administrator, as well as a respected clinical and basic science researcher in obstetrics, especially in the areas of hypertension and preeclampsia,” Dr. Bloom said.

Dr. Gant has served as executive director of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology since 1993. The nonprofit group certifies obstetricians and gynecologists and approves U.S. graduate medical education programs in the specialties.

A native of Wichita Falls, Dr. Gant received his medical degree in 1964 from
UT Southwestern, where he also performed his residency and fellowships. He joined the faculty in 1968 and served as chairman of obstetrics and gynecology from 1977 to 1983.

His awards include the Baden-Gibbs Award of the Texas Association of Obstetricians & Gynecologists and the Career Achievement Award from the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine.