We have reached that time of year again when we are looking at admitting a number of people into our St. John Paul II Fellowship in Medical & Surgical NaProTECHNOLOGY®. This year, we have accepted three doctors into this program. They are all three finishing their residency in obstetrics and gynecology and have a deep commitment to learning the principles of Medical & Surgical NaProTECHNOLOGY®. This is an important group for us because it is also where we can make inroads into qualified physicians and surgeons we can, eventually, add to our staff. So I’m especially grateful for your consideration of this request.
The three people we have accepted into the program are currently located in Washington State, Maine and New York. It is geographically the widest ranging group of students we have enrolled in this program, and it is really a terrific group. Two begin August 1st and one on October 9th.
I’m anxious to have these students, as they have expressed a real and deep desire to practice obstetrics and gynecology in a way consistent with Catholic teaching. Saint Paul VI is the Pope who wrote Humanae Vitae. This document was released in July 1968 and has been fighting uphill ever since. However, there is a section in Humanae Vitae called the “Pastoral Directives.” In that section, Saint Paul VI identified seven different groups in the culture who he wanted to see make special contributions. Two of these related to the type of students we are attracting into this program. Those two groups are “men of science” and “physicians and healthcare professionals.” Incidentally, we have other programs which reach out to married couples with the Creighton Model FertilityCare™ System, a natural means for avoiding and achieving pregnancy and also monitoring and gaining insight into a woman’s health. It is the only system currently available that accomplishes all three. Most natural methods currently available are only for avoiding pregnancy.
I mention the information in the previous paragraph because that makes it even more difficult; we live in a contraceptive culture. Many of our medical students and young doctors, as well as practicing doctors have been formed by this contraceptive and abortion-related culture. It makes our work just that much more difficult!!!
Having said all this, however, we are in a unique position to reach young people of faith who do not go floating in the direction of the various breezes. When you think about it, that is really incredible, and, in many ways, exciting. Our fellowship is one year in duration. Physicians learn how to perform surgical procedures, which can be quite extensive. Because of research completed here at the Institute to help prevent the formation of scar tissue and adhesions from such a surgery, we developed a new surgical procedure called pelvioplasty. This is a plastic surgery approach to the pelvis, really significantly reducing the adhesion formation and allowing us to complete the types of extensive surgeries often necessary. In fact, the Institute and its reputation have grown so much in the last 15 years; the level of cases we see — the severity of them — has also grown. This is mostly because patients have seen other doctors in their local communities who have performed surgical procedures but do not know how to perform these procedures or are unwilling to take the time to do so in such a way as to eliminate scar tissue formation.
These young doctors, the overwhelming majority of them being young women, incidentally, are physicians with a very strong faith formed by documents like Humanae Vitae and others written by St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. It has been a marvel for me, personally, to be involved in this effort and gifted with the courage to be able to research and develop the education programs so necessary for this approach to these types of issues.
It costs the Saint Paul VI Institute about $75,000–$80,000 per year for each of these doctors (includes salary, malpractice insurance and other items). So, in this current class, with three fellows coming, we need to raise $240,000, a lot of money, which I am fully aware. However, we do need to be competitive in terms of other fellowships particularly those fellowships training doctors to perform in vitro fertilization (a highly abortive technology).
Thanks for considering this request. I know in this inflationary economy — which, incidentally, is hitting the Institute like every other institution — it is made even more difficult.
So, I would very seriously ask you to consider a very significant contribution to this program. Your donation to the Saint Paul VI Institute is tax deductible because we are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Education and research is a lot of what we do and it is the sort of thing that has built many major medical institutions in this country. So, please, be generous! Consider a donation.
Thanks again for considering this effort. It is really so incredibly important and, yet, since we started this fellowship program 15 years ago, we have relied upon donations such as these — those people who have been generous enough to gift the Institute in a large amount allow us to continue this program. We have trained 30 obstetrician-gynecologists located all throughout the United States, and with the addition of these three, 33. In addition, we already have two physicians accepted into the program for 2024!
Thanks again for all you do. I pray that God will continue to be with you and your family in a very special way. You will be remembered for your gift not only with the usual thank you note, but also with a Mass said for you and others in our Chapel of the Holy Family.
Thanks so much for everything. God Bless.
Thomas W. Hilgers, MD
Director Research and Education
P.S. In research we recently completed, we found that, at two years, the pregnancy rate in a group of patients who saw a NaProTECHNOLOGY® fellowship-trained physician to be near 70%. For those who saw other specialists it was only 48%. Both pregnancy rates are higher than IVF, but if the physician was a graduate of this program, the pregnancy rate was 20% higher.