University of Chicago
Melissa Gilliam, MD, MPH, is Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Chicago. She is Chief of the Section of Family Planning and Contraceptive Research in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Director of the Fellowship in Family Planning and heads the Program in Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology. In her clinical work, Dr. Gilliam treats the gynecologic needs of children and young women up to the age of 27.
Dr. Gilliam’s research draws on qualitative and quantitative methods to understand and address issues that affect young women. She is particularly interested in studying vulnerable populations at risk of unintended pregnancy due to health care disparities, including low-income populations, women of diverse racial/ethnic groups, and adolescents.
Dr. Gilliam currently serves on the Editorial Board of Contraception and is the consultant editor for global issues for Obstetrics and Gynecology. She is the President-Elect of the Board of The Society of Family Planning and is the former Board Chairman of the Guttmacher Institute. Dr. Gilliam has a bachelor’s degree from Yale University, her master’s degree in philosophy and politics from Oxford University, her medical degree from Harvard Medical School and a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Researchers at the University of Chicago interviewed African-American, first-time adolescent mothers to determine what obstacles (other than cost) preventing them from obtaining IUDs.
Behind virtually every abortion is an unintended pregnancy. African American women have higher abortion rates than their white peers because they have much higher rates of unintended pregnancy — three times higher than those of white women.