A physician with more than 20 years in obstetrics and gynecology practice, including eight years in high-risk obstetrical care, has been named the medical school’s obstetrics and gynecology residency program director.
Brian Nielsen, MD, MS, FACOG, who started his new role June 13, is not new to WMed nor educating residents, having served as a clinical assistant professor at the medical school since 2017.
While working as a clinical assistant professor at WMed, Dr. Nielsen worked as a maternal-fetal medicine physician at Bronson Methodist Hospital. Prior to his employment at Bronson, Dr. Nielsen was on the faculty at the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine for six years and Wayne State University School of Medicine for six years. He also served as the associate residency program director of obstetrics and gynecology at Beaumont Hospital in Dearborn from 2006 to 2011.
Dr. Nielsen is an alumnus of Alma College, receiving a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1997. He earned his medical degree at Wayne State University School of Medicine in 2001. He went on to complete his residency training at Beaumont Hospital in Dearborn. After several years of practice, he completed a maternal-fetal medicine fellowship at the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine. He also earned a master’s degree in clinical research design and statistical analysis from the University of Michigan School of Public Health.
Dr. Nielsen also has years of research experience. He was an NIH Women’s Reproductive Health Research Scholar from 2011 to 2014 at the University of Vermont. He is a top reviewer for the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology.
“I enjoy working with residents both in the office and in the hospital, and I think it’s essential,” Dr. Nielsen said. “Spending time with residents, watching them grow and using my skills and knowledge to help the next generation of physicians is important to me."
As residency program director, Dr. Nielsen said he plans to expand the medical school’s high-risk obstetrics practice and increase ultrasound training for the program’s 16 residents.
“I like the challenge of working with patients with high-risk conditions,” Dr. Nielsen said. “People are scared when they come to the high-risk doctor. Some will have significant medical complications, but many women can go on and have healthy pregnancies with our monitoring. Guiding them through that and easing their anxiety is important and it takes a unique skill set to do that. I enjoy spending time with those families.”
Dr. Nielsen has a special interest in taking care of patients with diabetes and said he plans to take a progressive approach to monitoring patients who have insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors. He said the obstetrics and gynecology residency will take advantage of pediatric subspecialties and other specialists available through WMed Health, the clinical practice of the medical school, when referring patients who may need to see other specialists. WMed’s obstetrics and gynecology residency program has gotten a great start, Dr. Nielsen said, and he plans to continue improving the program to give its residents a well-rounded education.
“Having a team around our patients to guide them will be our approach,” Dr. Nielsen said. “We want to build a patient population that exposes our residents to medical complications and congenital disorders."
He said he looks forward to more faculty members joining the program in the near future to increase the diversity of the program’s education.
“It’s been a lot of on-the-job learning, but I really have been enjoying this so much,” Dr. Nielsen said after his first two weeks on the job. “I’ve been hitting the ground running. I’m really excited to be here.”