Gilstrap Fellowship Launches Public Health Career for an Obstetrician Gynecologist


Prior to medical school, I worked in the public health sector in both international development and reproductive health. I always planned to find a way to combine my public health background with clinical medicine after (OBGYN) residency. The Gilstrap Fellowship was the perfect way to do this, allowing me to work with experts in public health and focus on areas directly relevant to my field. Clearly, I was destined for this program since almost every attending physician in the University of North Carolina Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology (OBGYN) forwarded me the fellowship announcement.

During my Gilstrap fellowship, I was assigned to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of STD Prevention where I gained expertise in treating syphilis and other STIs. I worked with clinicians, scientists and researchers focused on STD prevention across several divisions, including the Division of Reproductive Health and the Division of Birth Defect and Infant Disorders, and spanning many areas of obstetrics and gynecology. I was fortunate to attend several national meetings and conferences, including meetings with experts about syphilis and developing STD treatment guidelines. These were phenomenal learning experiences and offered me the opportunity to meet many of my heroes in the field while making lifelong connections.

I also particularly appreciated the fellowship’s support of staying clinically active, which is often difficult for obstetrician gynecologists pursuing public health careers. During my fellowship, I served as Emory Adjunct Faculty, which allowed me to work with residents and medical students as an attending physician at Grady Memorial Hospital. In this role I was able to see patients in clinic, work on the Labor and Delivery floor and occasionally have gynecology operating room days. I also did locum tenens work (working temporary basis to fill gaps in care) at various hospitals, which allowed me to step in where I was needed, be the only obstetrician gynecologist in the room and work with patients through their highest and lowest moments. The Gilstrap Fellowship also connected me to Emory University, a great way for me to stay active in academic medicine. In addition to working with residents and medical students clinically, I love that I have the privilege of giving lectures and serving as a research mentor.

After the fellowship ended, I became a full-time CDC employee, and I use the skills and connections I made through the fellowship every day. I enjoy leveraging my clinical knowledge to help CDC implement public health initiatives, including during emergency responses such as COVID-19, Operations Allies Welcome and Mpox. I believe that the work I am doing is making systematic change and ultimately helps people attain their reproductive health goals. I am so thankful to the Gilstrap Fellowship and grateful that I can continue to work with this excellent program.

Kate Miele, MD, MA
Kate Miele, MD, MA, is a Medical Officer with the Prenatal Substance Exposure Surveillance and Research Team in the Division of Birth Defects and Infant Disorders at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Adjunct Faculty in the Emory Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics