Gary Sutkin, M.D., M.B.A.

Professor, Associate Dean of Women's Health, Victor and Caroline Schutte Chair in Women’s Health
Department(s) of Biomedical and Health Informatics, Obstetrics and Gynecology
University Health - UMKC Health Sciences District
Education and Background

M.D. - Northwestern University
M.B.A. - J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management
Residency - Magee Womens Hospital, Pittsburgh, PA
Fellowship - Magee Womens Hospital, Pittsburgh, PA
Board Certification - American Board of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Subspecialty Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery

Both As a family of big sports fans, what are your favorite teams?

As an alumnus, I'm a big Northwestern fan. And living in Pittsburgh for 10-plus years, my kids grew up cheering on the Steelers, Pirates and Penguins, who by the way, won the Stanley Cup. I know we should get to like the KC Chiefs, but I was raised, you know, loyal to your team. So, in our house, it's Northwestern for college sports and Pittsburgh teams for everything else.

What do you enjoy doing away from work?

Everyone in the family likes roller coasters, especially Pittsburgh's famous wooden coaster called the Jackrabbit. And my wife and I like music a lot. There's no type that we don't like - we download, listen and talk about music. Pre-kids, we went to lots of concerts. Now, we look forward the kids getting older so we can stay up later and go to concerts again.

How did you become interested in doing research?

Picture that kid who would stay after school, meet with the teacher, spend extra time doing dissection and lab experiments - that kid was me. I loved science and would do anything to spend more time doing it. As a kid reading science textbooks and learning about great experiments, part of me said "I want to be a part of that process." And now, I'm at UMKC, which really promotes cutting edge research. It's such a great place to be.

A cut above:

What I love to do most outside of work is spend time with my wife and our two boys, who envision one day when cool lasers will be used in the OR to keep surgeons from making errors. I also am an avid music listener.

Needle unprotected:

My pet peeve is loud noises, like the garbage cart that rolls right by our lab door every morning.

Slice of life:

The most interesting thing about me you may not know is.. I once had the kitchen staff in a restaurant throw an egg at our table for staying too late.


Gary Sutkin is the Associate Dean and Victor and Caroline Schutte Chair in Women’s Health. He is a Professor with tenure in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Department of Biomedical and Health Informatics. He is the Vice Chair for Education in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Dr. Sutkin’s research interests center on surgical safety and error prevention. He is interested in surgical error prevention, related to improved team communication and improved biomechanics. He collaborates with cognitive psychologist, members of the School of Science and Engineering, a Semanticist, and more.

He is a practicing Urogynecologist and specializes in women with pelvic floor prolapse. He provides both reconstructive pelvic surgery and non-surgical treatments for women with pelvic organ prolapse, urinary incontinence, and other pelvic floor disorders.

Dr. Sutkin came to the University of Missouri Kansas City from the University of Pittsburgh. There he was in the Academy of Master Educators and directed the Obstetrics and Gynecology core clerkship. His research centered on surgical education and the prevention of postoperative urinary tract infections. He was a co-investigator in the NIH Pelvic Floor Disease Network. He contributed to the establishment of the Nazarbayev School of Medicine in Astana Kazakhstan.

Dr. Sutkin was born in San Antonio and grew up in Richardson, Texas. He attended Northwestern University’s Honors Program in Medical Education, worked at the Federal Reserve bank in Chicago, and attained his BS, MD, and MBA degrees at Northwestern. He is an avid Northwestern fan.

  • Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics Teaching Award – 2002
  • Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics/Solvay Scholar – 2002-2003
  • Alpha Omega Alpha Society – 2003
  • Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Dean’s Clinical Science Teaching Award – 2006
  • Council on Resident Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology Teaching Award – 2011
  • Residency Program Top 10% Golden Apple Teaching Award – 2011
  • Appointment to University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Academy of Master Educators – 2012
  • Finalist, Patil Teaching Innovation Award – 2015
  • Book Series accepted into the Library Research Center at the National Women’s Museum in the Arts in Washington, D.C. “Visual Excavation: Reconstructing Scientific Data into Visual Artifacts”  – 2020
  • UMKC School of Medicine Louise E. Arnold, Ph.D., Excellence in Medical Education Research Award – 2020
  • UMKC N.T. Veatch Award for Distinguished Research and Creativity – 2021
Research Focus

Dr. Sutkin is passionate about the education of tomorrow’s doctors. His current research interests address surgical education, safety and error prevention. He collaborates with multiple researchers outside of medicine to study how surgical education, communication, and safety can be improved. Collaborators include cognitive psychologists, members of the UMKC Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, a professor of linguistics with expertise in semantics, a humanities scholar, a sociologist, a theater professor with expertise in nonverbal communication, and a professor of composition. safety and error prevention, including interprofessional communication in the operating room. His National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering sponsored research focuses on surgeon kinematics and surgical error.

Selected Publications

Mueller F, Arif MA, Bachar A, King, GW, Stylianou AP, Sutkin G. Surgeon Estimation of Retropubic Trocar Position in Blind 3D Space. Accepted for publication. Int Urogyne J. April 2023

Davies A, Wickoren NL, Brommelsiek M, Qureshi F, Cianciolo AT, Sutkin G. Unpacked expertise: Difficult mask ventilation, judgment cues, and critical decision making. AANA Journal, Supplement to AANA Journal, Volume 91 + Number 2, ISSN 0094-6354 Apr 2023

Krishnan T, Rudy P, Viswanathan N, Brommelsiek M, Bachar A, Sutkin G. The Impact of Facial Personal Protective Equipment on Speech Intensity. Urogynecology, Nov 1, 2022. doi:10.1097/spv.0000000000001282. PMID: 36730870.

Arif MA, Stylianou AP, Bachar A, King GW, Sutkin G. Retropubic trocar modified with a load cell to verify contact with pubic bone. Surgery, 2022, IN 0039-6060 doi:10.1016/j.surg.2022.06.011. PMID: 35820973.

Balasubramanian S, Wang X, Sahil S, Cheng AL, Sutkin G, Shepherd JP. Risk factors for development of acute pyelonephritis in women with a positive urine culture. Neurourol Urodyn. 2022; 1- 8. doi:10.1002/nau.25005. PMID: 35788978.

Ablatt S, Wang X, Sahil S, Cheng AL, Shepherd JP, Sutkin G. Reoperation rates of stress incontinence surgery in rural vs urban hospitals. AJOG Global Reports, Volume 2(3). Aug 2022 PMID: 36276800.

Christensen K, Bauer AG, Burgin T, Williams J, McDowd J, Sutkin G, Bennett K, Thompson CB, Berkley-Patton JY. “Black Women Don’t Always Put Our Healthcare First”: Facilitators and Barriers to Cervical Cancer Screening and Perceptions of Human Papillomavirus Self-Testing Among Church-Affiliated African American Women. Community Health Equity Research & Policy. 2022;0(0). doi:10.1177/0272684X221115494. PMID: 36125430.

Brommelsiek M, Krishnan T, Rudy P, Viswanathan N, Sutkin G. Human-Caused Sound Distractors and their Impact on Operating Room Team Function. Accepted for Publication World J Surg, March 2022.

Sutkin G, Littleton EB, Arnold L, Kanter SL. Optimizing surgical teaching through the lens of sociocultural learning theory. Accepted for publication. Am J Surg, March 2022.

Mueller F, Brommelsiek M, Sutkin G. Mental 3D Visualization: Building Surgical Resilience for Performing High-Risk Procedures. J Surg Educ. 2022 Feb 2:S1931-7204(22)00007-1. doi: 10.1016/j.jsurg.2022.01.007. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35123912.

Davies A, Wickoren NL, Brommelseik M, Qureshi F, Cianciolo AT, Sutkin G. Unpacked expertise: Difficult mask ventilation, judgment cues, and critical decision making. Accepted for publication AANA Journal, Dec 2021.

Liu C, McKenzie A, Sutkin G. Semantically Ambiguous Language in the Teaching Operating Room. J Surg Educ. 2021 Apr 23:S1931-7204(21)00073-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jsurg.2021.03.020. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33903062.

Kurian R, Kirchhoff-Rowald A, Sahil S, Cheng A-L, Wang X, Shepherd J, Sutkin G. The Risk of Primary Uterine and Cervical Cancer After Hysteropexy, Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery: March 2021(27)3:e493-e496. doi: 10.1097/SPV.0000000000001030. PMID: 33620910.

Kanjilal D, Mahmud F, Sutkin G. Constructivist Grounded Theory to Establish the Relationship Between Technical Error and Adverse Patient Outcome: Modeling Technical Error and Adverse Outcomes. Published Online ahead of print, The American Surgeon, Nov 2020. doi:10.1177/0003134820952837. PMID: 33170022.

Brommelsiek M, Kanter SL, Sutkin G. An Ethnographic Study Examining Attending Surgeon Persona in the Operating Room and Influence on Interprofessional Team Action. Journal of Interprofessional Education & Practice. September 2020;20 doi:10.1016/j.xjep.2020.100359.

Brommelsiek M, Kanter SL, Sutkin G. An ethnographic study examining attending surgeon persona in the operating room and influence on interprofessional team action. Journal of Interprofessional Education & Practice. 2020;20

Sharif F, Mahmud F, Suman S, Cheng, A-L, Shepherd J, Sutkin G Risk Factors for Returning to the OR for a Second Surgery After Midurethral Sling for Stress Urinary Incontinence Female Pelvic Med Reconstr Surg. 2020 Jul;26(7):443-446. doi: 10.1097/SPV.0000000000000804. PMID: 32217917.

Sutkin G, Zyczynski HM, Sridhar A, Jelovsek JE, Rardin CR, Mazloomdoost D, Rahn DD, Nguyen JN, Andy UU, Meyer I, Gantz MG, for the NICHD Pelvic Floor Disorders Network, Association between Adjuvant Posterior Repair and Success of Native Tissue Apical Suspension, American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (2019), doi:

Jelovsek JE, Markland AD, Whitehead WE, Barber MD, Newman DK, Rogers RG, Dyer K, Visco AG,  Sutkin G, Zyczynski HM, Carper B, Meikle SF, Sung VW, Gantz MG. Controlling Anal Incontinence in Women by Performing Anal Exercises with Biofeedback or Loperamide: A Randomized Clinical Trial, Contemp Clin Trials, 44, 164-174. doi:10.1016/j.cct.2015.08.009

Ackenbom MF, Littleton EB, Mahmud F, Sutkin G. The Complexity of the Retropubic Midurethral Sling: A Cognitive Task Analysis, 2019 Female Pelvic Med Reconstr Surg. doi:10.1097/spv.0000000000000736

Sutkin G, Littleton EB, Kanter SL. Maintaining Operative Efficiency While Allowing Sufficient Time for Residents to Learn. The American Journal of Surgery, 218(1), 211-217. doi:

Sampene KC, Littleton EB, Kanter SL, Sutkin G. Preventing Error in the Operating Room: Five Teaching Strategies for High Stakes Learning. J Surg Res. 2019 Apr;236:12-21. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2018.10.050. Epub 2018 Dec 3. PMID: 30694745

Nager CW, Grimes CL, Nolen TL, Wai CY, Brubaker L, Jeppson PC, Wilson TS, Visco AG, Barber MD, Sutkin G, Norton P, Rardin CR, Arya L, Wallace D, Meikle SF. Concomitant Anterior Repair, Preoperative Prolapse Severity, and Anatomic Prolapse Outcomes After Vaginal Apical Procedures. Female Pelvic Med Reconstr Surg. 2019 Jan/Feb;25(1):22-28.  PMID: 29232267

Sutkin G, Littleton EB, Kanter SL, Cianciolo AT, Chen X, Cope A, Koschmann T. Teaching, Learning, and Performance in the Surgical Workplace:  Insights from the Examination of Intra-Operative Interactions. Teaching and Learning in Medicine. 2017. Teach Learn Med. 2017 Oct-Dec;29(4):378-382. PMID: 29020522

Sutkin G, Littleton EB, Kanter SL. Intelligent cooperation: A framework of pedagogic practice in the operating room. Am J Surg. 2017. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 28711151

Oliphant S, Littleton EB, Gosman G, Sutkin G. Teaching the Retropubic Midurethral Sling Using a Novel Cadaver and Model-Based Approach. Cureus. 2017. 9(5): e1214. DOI 10.7759/cureus.1214. PMID: PMC5453826

Paradis E, Sutkin G. Beyond a Good Story: From Hawthorne Effect to Reactivity in Health Professions Education Research. Medical Education. 2016. PMID: 27580703

Lowder J, Oliphant S, Shepherd J, Ghetti C, Sutkin G. Genital Hiatus Size is Associated with and Predictive of Apical Vaginal Support Loss. Am J Obstetrics Gynecology. 2016 Jun; 214(6):718.e1-8. PMID: 26719211

Sutkin G, Littleton EB, Kanter SL. How surgical mentors teach: A classification of in vivo teaching behaviors part 2: Physical teaching guidance. J Surg Educ. 2015; 72(2), 251-7. PMID: 25468768

Sutkin G, Littleton EB, Kanter SL. How surgical mentors teach: A classification of in vivo teaching behaviors part 1: Verbal teaching guidance. J Surg Educ. 2015;72(2), 243-50. PMID: 25456208

Sutkin G, Dzialowski K. A gynaecologic clinic dedicated to student teaching. Clin Teach. 2013 Jun;10(3):181-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-498X.2012.00633.x. PMID: 23656681

Nager CW, Brubaker L, Litman HJ, Zyczynski HM, Varner RE, Amundsen C, Sirls LT, Norton PA, Arisco AM, Chai TC, Zimmern P, Barber MD, Dandreo KJ, Menefee SA, Kenton K, Lowder J, Richter HE, Khandwala S, Nygaard I, Kraus SR, Johnson HW, Lemack GE, Mihova M, Albo ME, Mueller E, Sutkin G, Wilson TS, Hsu Y, Rozanski TA, Rickey LM, Rahn D, Tennstedt S, Kusek JW, Gormley EA; Urinary Incontinence Treatment Network. A randomized trial of urodynamic testing before stress-incontinence surgery. N Engl J Med. 2012 May 24;366(21):1987-97. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1113595. Epub 2012 May 2. PMID: 22551104; PMCID: PMC3386296

Skoczylas LC, Littleton EB, Kanter SL, Sutkin G. Teaching techniques in the operating room: the importance of perceptual motor teaching. Acad Med. 2012 Mar;87(3):364-71. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e31824484a0. PMID: 22373633

Sutkin G, Alperin M, Meyn L, Wiesenfeld HC, Ellison R, Zyczynski HM. Symptomatic urinary tract infections after surgery for prolapse and/or incontinence. Int Urogynecol J. 2010 Aug;21(8):955-61. doi: 10.1007/s00192-010-1137-x. Epub 2010 Mar 31. PMID: 20354678

Sutkin G, Littlefield JH, Laube DW. Nursing staff assessment of residents’ professionalism and communication skills. Med Educ. 2009 Nov;43(11):1104. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2923.2009.03461.x. Epub 2009 Oct 2. PMID: 19799729

Sutkin G, Lowder JL, Smith KJ. Prophylactic antibiotics to prevent urinary tract infection during clean intermittent self-catheterization (CISC) for management of voiding dysfunction after prolapse and incontinence surgery: a decision analysis. Int Urogynecol J Pelvic Floor Dysfunct. 2009 Aug;20(8):933-8. doi: 10.1007/s00192-009-0885-y. Epub 2009 Apr 10. PMID: 19582384

Sutkin G, Wagner E, Harris I, Schiffer R. What makes a good clinical teacher in medicine? A review of the literature. Acad Med. 2008 May;83(5):452-66. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e31816bee61. Review. PMID: 18448899

Additional Publications and Links of Interest