Go to University of Chicago Medicine Home

Research & Awards

Dee Fenner, MD

Dee Fenner, MD

2024 Honoree

Dee Fenner, MD, has been named as the first ever recipient of the Bucksbaum National Award for Clinical Excellence.  Dr. Fenner is the Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Bates Professor of Diseases of Women and Children at the University of Michigan. She holds a joint appointment as Professor of Urology. As a Missouri native, she attended undergraduate and medical school at the University of Missouri – Columbia. She completed a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Michigan followed by a fellowship in Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery and Urogynecology at the Mayo Clinic-Scottsdale.

In 2001, Dr. Fenner returned to the University of Michigan where she continues her work in female pelvic floor dysfunction and medical education. She is nationally recognized as an expert in defecation disorders, surgical education, and reconstructive surgery. She has received research funds from the NIH and has served on several NIH study sections, organizing, and oversight committees. In addition, her research has been supported by private donors and industry. Working with a multidisciplinary team, her major contributions have been on understanding how birth injuries impact pelvic floor disorders and developing new and novel treatments for accidental bowel leakage. She has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and chapters.

She is the Past-President of the Association of Professors of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the American Urogynecologic Society. As Director of the Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery Board for the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the American Board of Urology, she was instrumental in obtaining official recognition of the Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery from the American Board of Medical Subspecialties. In addition, Dr. Fenner provided a decade of service on the Board of Directors of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, ending in 2021. In 2022 she became the President of the American Gynecological & Obstetrical Society.

At the University of Michigan, she has served on numerous committees including the Admissions Executive Committee, the Operating Room Oversight Committee, ACAPT Committee for the University of Michigan Medical School, the Leadership Development Advisory Board and many others. Dr. Fenner has received numerous awards for her contributions as a physician surgeon, educator, and leader. Most notably, in 2011 she was awarded the “Continence Champion” by the National Association for Continence, in 2014 she was given the Sarah Goddard Award by the University of Michigan for Leadership in the advancement of women and in 2015 she was recognized with the Life Time Achievement Award by the American Urogynecologic Society. In 2017 she was the recipient of the prestigious Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics Lifetime Achievement Award. And in 2019 she received the Rudi Ansbacher Leadership Award for Support of Women in Healthcare.

Dr. Fenner is un-matched in her clinical care and ability to form trustful and lasting relationships with her patients.  In our field, we often work with vulnerable populations such as new mothers, victims of sex trafficking, and elderly women. Even more, we are addressing very sensitive issues that profoundly affect women’s lives such as urinary and fecal incontinence, maternal birth trauma and other pelvic floor disorders. Unlike many, Dr. Fenner is able to seamlessly provide a comfortable space for her patients, develop trust with them and treat her patients with the utmost respect.”