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Clinical Opportunities

During each academic year, there are regularly scheduled lectures on the fundamentals of perinatal medicine. These include teratology, genetics, infectious disease, and fetal and maternal physiology. In addition, biweekly divisional conferences will cover critical appraisal of the literature in controversial areas of perinatology. Weekly clinical conferences will cover the entire field of obstetrics and maternal-fetal medicine. The department will pay the expenses for one educational conference per year for each fellow.

The fellowship program is designed to include clinical experience on the antepartum ward caring for complicated disorders of pregnancy. Each fellow has the opportunity to participate in the Maternal-Fetal Medicine clinic, managing pregnancies complicated by diabetes, Rh isoimmunization, multiple gestations, medical problems, etc. The fellows rotate through the ultrasound unit for six months during the first year of fellowship. At the end of the first year, the fellow becomes confident in most areas of diagnostic ultrasound and has an introduction into fetal echocardiography. Each fellow also becomes proficient in performing amniocentesis and has clinical experience with fetal blood sampling.

The other six months of the first year are spent covering labor and delivery, and the antenatal and postpartum wards. During this time the fellow gains knowledge in the management of obstetrical complications, medical illnesses, and all aspects of maternal and fetal intensive care. In addition to patient care, the fellows will be responsible for teaching rounds with the residents, for review of fetal heart rate tracings, and for participation and organization of regularly scheduled conferences.

Each candidate selects an area for specific investigation that is expected to result in a first authored publication in a peer-reviewed journal. Areas of investigation may include clinical or basic research. The faculty will help guide the fellow in this endeavor and it is the hope that each fellow will have at least one presentation a year at a regional or national meeting during their fellowship. Each fellow spends one and one-half years doing research. Dr. Craigo is the Clinical mentor and Dr. Diana Bianchi is the Basic Research mentor. Areas of clinical and research excellence within the division include: detection of fetal anomalies by sonography, fetal medical treatment, non-invasive genetic diagnosis and molecular cytogenetics. An opportunity also exists to undertake additional training leading to separate board certification in medical genetics.

For fellows who desire a more comprehensive exposure to basic research, we have recently received funding from the NIH to provide protected time for perinatologists to received research training in genetics.

The intent of the educational process is to provide the essential understanding and knowledge to render excellent maternal-fetal care. In addition, it will provide opportunities for individualized academic investigations, which are not only required for subspecialty certification, but will lead to a lifelong spirit of inquiry.