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Yeh Named Chair of OB-Gyn Department

Distinguished Clinician Trained at Beth Israel Hospital

  • Date: 8/11/2009
  • Phone: 617-667-2286

BOSTON -- John Yeh, MD, has joined Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) as the new Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The appointment represents a homecoming for Yeh who was a resident in Ob/Gyn at the Beth Israel Hospital in the mid-'80s.

"It is wonderful to return to BIDMC," says Yeh, "not only because this is where I learned to be an obstetrician-gynecologist, but also because BIDMC and the Department have such superb clinicians and provide the highest quality of patient care."

Yeh comes to BIDMC from the University at Buffalo, the State University of New York, where he has served as Professor and Chairman of the Department of Gynecology-Obstetrics since 2000. A sub-specialist in reproductive endocrinology and infertility, Yeh has authored or coauthored more than 200 articles, review articles, conference proceedings and abstracts. He currently serves on the editorial boards of several journals. In May of 2009, Yeh received one of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology's highest national honors, the "Distinguished Service Award."

His clinical interests include infertility, irregular menstrual cycles, polycystic ovarian disease, hirsutism and complex reproductive medicine disorders. Yeh also brings to BIDMC his laboratory research in ovarian reproductive aging and biomarkers of chemotherapy-induced ovarian damage.

Yeh will lead a department of 80 physicians who practice obstetrics and gynecology at BIDMC and throughout the community. The department covers a full range of women's health issues including gynecologic oncology, reproductive endocrinology, clinical genetics, minimally invasive surgery, urogynecology, high-risk pregnancy management, and a full range of inpatient and outpatient childbirth care. More than 5,000 babies are delivered at BIDMC each year.

The department also has a well received program for medical student education within Harvard Medical School. In addition, the Department has a nationally recognized residency program in obstetrics and gynecology as well as highly regarded fellowship programs in reproductive endocrinology and infertility and in maternal fetal medicine.

In 2007 BIDMC's Obstetrics and Gynecology Department was the recipient of the prestigious John M. Eisenberg Award for Patient Safety and Quality from The Joint Commission, which recognized leadership and dedication to improving the quality of health care and patient safety through innovation. In addition, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts named the Department the first recipient of its Health Care Excellence Award in 2007 to recognize exceptional achievement in improving the safety and effectiveness of health care in Massachusetts.

Both awards recognize the groundbreaking "team training" approach to reducing medical errors in the BIDMC obstetrics unit, based on safety principles from the military, commercial aviation and other industries. It was the first obstetrics unit, and one of the first health care operations in the country, to adopt such an approach.

"This department has demonstrated a focus on patient safety in an unprecedented way," notes Yeh. "To be part of a team and a hospital so dedicated to this effort is an extremely rewarding opportunity."

Yeh received his undergraduate degree from Harvard College and his medical degree from the University of California, San Diego. He was an obstetrics and gynecology resident at Beth Israel Hospital, completing his residency in 1987 as a chief resident. He went on to do a clinical fellowship in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH), followed by a research fellowship as an NIH Reproductive Scientist Scholar through Harvard Medical School and Boston's Children's Hospital.

He served as Assistant Professor and then Associate Professor in Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology at BWH. In addition, Yeh served as a Jefferson Science Fellow and Senior Science Advisor with the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. National Academies from 2007 to 2008. He was the first physician-scientist to be named as a Jefferson Science Fellow. He worked in the Global Health Bureau of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), concentrating on strengthening policies and programs in maternal and child health to increase collaboration between USAID, individual countries and international organizations, to develop practices designed to improve maternal mortality and health rates, and to develop health system infrastructures.

Yeh is married to attorney Barbara Watson and they have two school-aged children.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a patient care, teaching and research affiliate of Harvard Medical School, and consistently ranks among the top four in National Institutes of Health funding among independent hospitals nationwide. BIDMC is clinically affiliated with the Joslin Diabetes Center and is a research partner of Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. BIDMC is the official hospital of the Boston Red Sox. For more information, visit