Pregnancy Obesity Medicine and Surgery Fellowship

Date updated: Oct 16, 2020

Program Director:
Dr. Cynthia Maxwell
Maternal Fetal Medicine & Obesity Medicine Specialist
Medical Lead, Women and Infants Ambulatory Health, Sinai Health
Division Head, Maternal Fetal Medicine, Sinai Health
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Professor, University of Toronto

Dr. Cynthia Maxwell

Site: Sinai Health

Application Deadline: Open

Program Information

Thank you for your interest in pursuing training in Pregnancy Obesity Medicine and Surgery (POMS) at Sinai Health. Obesity (defined as BMI Class 3 or greater for the purposes of this Fellowship) represents a health status that may be associated with medical and surgical problems, and as a result may impact the care and outcome of pregnancy and birth. Obesity Medicine represents a new medical discipline with a focus on evaluation, care and treatment of obesity-related health conditions. You may consider training in POMS if your obstetrical practice does or will have aspects of medical care of pregnant patients affected by obesity. You may also wish to gain more experience in birth planning and coordination of the health care team for surgical planning around complex Caesarean birth.

This Clinical Fellowship program can be organized to meet your learning objectives.

Fellowship duration is 6-12 months.

This program is committed to high quality, equitable care for people with obesity, with attention to the effects of weight stigma, bias and discrimination have on health care.

This program is committed to considering candidates from diverse backgrounds as well as under-represented and/or equity seeking groups including Black people; Indigenous communities; people who are differently abled or with disabilities; LGBTQ2S+ communities; and people who promote Allyship within the broader community.


Upon successful completion of training, the fellow will demonstrate the following using a patient-centred approach:

  • Knowledge of basic and clinical science of Obesity Medicine, with a focus on normal and abnormal pregnancy physiology; nutrition; pregnancy following weight loss surgery (e.g. gastric bypass); exercise.
  • Mastery of the clinical evaluation of pregnant people with obesity, including appropriate consultation with other medical and surgical subspecialties. This will include weekly obstetrical clinics, postpartum follow up clinic as well as pre-pregnancy consultation.
  • Training in the perioperative care of pregnant people with obesity undergoing planned Caesarean birth, including the use of ultrasound to map the maternal abdominal wall and plan incision sites.
  • Mastery of techniques related to complex Caesarean birth.
  • Post-operative wound assessment and care.
  • In depth training in Obesity Medicine language, and sensitive and effective communication related to weight stigma, bias and discrimination in obstetrical care and in society.

Completion of at least one clinical research project or review on a topic related to Pregnancy and Obesity Medicine.

Note: Training in this Fellowship can be used towards credits in obtaining Obesity Medicine certification by the American Board of Obesity Medicine. See

Applicant Criteria

Completed accredited residency training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Notes: If the training was not in the English language, you will need to successfully complete the TOEFL exam before you can be accepted into the program. Applicants who have not completed their training in the English language and have been invited for an interview will need to complete and submit their TOEFL exam results before the interview can be scheduled. All International Medical Graduate fellows must undergo a period of observation of clinical performance lasting 4-12 weeks at University of Toronto hospitals. This period of observation, called PEAP (Pre Entry Assessment Period), is done in the initial 4-12 weeks of the clinical fellowship. Successful completion of the PEAP is mandatory in order to continue in the clinical fellowship.

Application Process

Please submit a copy of your CV and a cover letter outlining your interest in pursuing training in POMS, along with the Application Form. Eligible candidates will be considered for an interview through a standardized process.


Funding is required for this fellowship. Proof of adequate institutional support (salary, scholarship or other sponsorship) is required by University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine Postgraduate Medical Education.