Fellowship Program

Neonatology Fellowship Program

The University of Chicago Neonatal-Perinatal Fellowship program prepares highly qualified pediatricians for careers as excellent independent investigators, teachers, and clinicians in neonatology. The three-year fellowship program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education of the American Board of Pediatrics and accepts three to four fellows each year. The fellowship training consists of 12 months of direct patient care responsibilities and 24 months of research training.

Clinical Activities Clinical Training Research Training Educational Opportunities Qualifications

 

Clinical Activities

Facilities:

Fellows will gain a broad and comprehensive clinical experience at Comer Children’s Hospital at the University of Chicago and at the affiliated NorthShore University HealthSystem. The Comer Children’s Hospital neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is located on the University of Chicago campus in Hyde Park and serves as the base for the fellowship program. The patient population is one of the highest risk and most challenging perinatal populations in the United States. The NICU is among the largest in the Midwest, with over 900 admissions every year. The facility consists of 47 designated tertiary care beds and 24 intermediate care beds.  With our Obstetric services, the Neonatology section serves as the tertiary referral center for all community hospitals affiliated with the University of Chicago Perinatal Network. Our Center and twelve network community hospitals take care of approximately 25,000 births annually. NorthShore University HealthSystem is located just north of Chicago in suburban Evanston. Its 44-bed Infant Special Care Unit (ISCU) admits 550 newborns annually.

Nine full-time academic neonatologists direct patient care and provide education at Comer Children’s Hospital and another 12 neonatologists fill the same role at NorthShore.  Both sites provide training for University of Chicago pediatric residents and feature neonatal nurse practitioners to assist with patient care of critically-ill newborns.  

Clinical Training
           
The clinical training curriculum is designed to emphasize the fundamentals of clinical diagnosis and management through an understanding of patient care, physiology, pharmacology and bioethics as well as an appreciation for the outcomes of the patients. The major portion of clinical training occurs in Comer Children’s Hospital.

Fellows play an active role in patient management and in the supervision and teaching of the housestaff. Fellows complete a one-month high-risk fetal-maternal medicine rotation as well as a rotation in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit and with the Pediatric Sedation service. Fellows also spend time caring for NICU graduates in the Center for Healthy Families - NICU Follow-Up Clinic. Additional electives may be arranged from a wide array of opportunities offered by the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine.

While on clinical service, fellows are expected to organize and run the clinical service under the supervision of a neonatology faculty member on clinical service. Fellows provide supervision, guidance, and technical assistance to the housestaff caring for the infants in the unit. In addition, fellows attend all high-risk deliveries with pediatric residents, are involved in resuscitations and obstetric consultations, and may attend neonatal transports. Fellows may also receive training in helicopter transport of neonates from the University of Chicago Aeromedical Network transport service. Fellows on clinical service participate in all aspects of clinical activities, including the preparation, presentation, and discussion of the clinical management of the patients. The senior fellow who is on clinical service is responsible for conducting formal teaching bed-side rounds once a week, without the attending neonatologist present, to provide leadership experience.  Neonatology fellows are also responsible for entry of patients into research protocols.

Research Training

The Neonatology faculty is dedicated to teaching the skills required for research design and implementation. Fellows are encouraged to identify a mentor and project early in their field of interest and begin work early in their first year of training.  Mentors may be chosen from within the Section of Neonatology, within the Department of Pediatrics or from other departments in the University.
 
During the fellowship, each fellow is expected to present the progress of his or her work in section research seminars. Furthermore, fellows are expected to submit abstracts for presentation in national research conferences and the Annual Postgraduate Biomedical Research Symposium of the University of Chicago. Fellows are encouraged to apply for extramural funding.

Educational Opportunities

The program offers a variety of  basic science courses and clinical teaching conferences.  Faculty members from Neonatology, other pediatric sections as well as other departments contribute to these lecture series on a regular basis. Fellows are expected to conduct formal lectures, conferences, and seminars as well.

  • The Neonatology Lecture Series aims to increase the understating of both basic pathophysiologic and biochemical processes of fetal and neonatal disease. 
  • Radiology Rounds allows fellows to gain experience interpreting radiologic studies. An attending pediatric radiologist reviews with the NICU team the most current radiologic studies of NICU patients.
  • The weekly Walk-around Rounds,  coordinated by both the attending neonatologist on clinical service and the fellow on service, features unusual and challenging cases for discussion from a medical, ethical, psychosocial perspective.
  • Multidisciplinary Rounds provides an interdisciplinary meeting where the psychosocial, ethical and medical aspects of patients’ management and their families are discussed.
  • The Core Lecture Series is designed to present state-of-the-art advances in neonatology. This series enables the fellows and faculty to remain up to date in neonatology and allows the fellows to develop a fund of knowledge that will assist them in  preparing for their subspecialty board examination.
  • Journal Club serves to teach fellows to critically review literature, emphasizing the development of skills in critiquing study design, analysis and interpretation.
  • Research in Progress is intended to facilitate communication within the section about current research works.
  • In the Pathophysiology Conference, fellows review and present topic in fetal and neonatal  pathophysiology.
  • Mortality and Morbidity conference is a discussion coordinated by the fellows.  The conference reviews a M&M case and offers an opportunity for discussion, quality assurance and improvement.
  • The monthly Joint Obstetrics/Neonatology Mortality and Morbidity conference reviews maternal and neonatal deaths and stillbirths.
  • OB Complications conference provides a forum for interdisciplinary discussion of perinatal cases.
  • Ethics Case Conference fosters in-depth thought on extremely difficult and often controversial issues.
  • The Fetal Center Conference discusses, in a multi-disciplinary approach, patient care and management of the pregnant woman and addresses the supportive needs of the family as a whole.
  • BioSc22226 Human Developmental Biology, a class offered by the University of Chicago, provides an understanding of the major principles of human and mammalian development. 
  • Clinical Research Training Program (CRTP) is offered by the Department of Health StudiesThe fellow is encouraged to enroll in any of the three available tracks – Track 1: Essentials of Patient-Oriented Research Course; Track II: CRTP Certificate Program or Track III:  Master of Science in Health Studies.

                                  
Qualifications

Candidates must have completed three years of pediatric training in an American Board of Pediatrics accredited program before beginning the fellowship. They must have or be eligible for an Illinois medical license. Application procedures require a curriculum vitae, three letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and a completed fellowship application form. An interview is mandatory. We participate in the NRMP and applicants should submit materials through ERAS.

For further information, please contact:

                         William L. Meadow, MD, PhD
                         MC6060
                         Comer Children’s Hospital at the University of Chicago
                         5841 S. Maryland Avenue
                         Chicago, IL  60637
                         Tel. (773) 702-6210
                         Fax (773) 702-0764
                         E-mail:  WLM1@uchicago.edu