Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine – Overview

The Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Fellowship Program consists of the following components as outlined by the program requirements for education developed by the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) and ACGME Resident Review Committee (RRC) for Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine. Fellows are assigned to these components in an educationally appropriate sequence over 36 months of training.

Clinical Curriculum

The fellowship includes 15 months of clinical service. Clinical rotations the Connecticut Children’s Neonatal Intensive Care Units based in Hartford and in Farmington at UConn Health provide first year fellows with a high degree of supervised direct patient contact and responsibility in the NICU, and gradually increase autonomous responsibility for second and third year fellows. Typically, fellows will spend six months of the first year, five months in the second year and four months in the third year rotating between the two NICUs. During this time fellows function as primary consultants to the house staff in each of the participating nurseries, supervising hour-by-hour care of critically ill newborn infants. Transport of the critically ill newborn infant forms an essential part of this experience, during which they serve as team leaders for neonatal transports. Fellows take in-house call with calls weighted to the first year and decreasing as fellowship progresses. Fellows take 60 calls (approximately five calls/month) during the first year, 50 calls (approximately four calls/month) during the second year and 40 calls during the third year (approximately three to four calls/month during the third year.

With attending supervision and guidance, fellows are responsible for overseeing care of all NICU patients, whether cared for by pediatric residents or advanced practice providers, and are the first-line supervisor in the NICU. Fellows participate substantially in the education of pediatric residents as well as medical students doing a fourth year critical care elective. Fellows also participate in resident conferences and didactics, either as co-attendees or as presenters.

As part of the clinical curriculum fellows spend a month during their second year receiving training in quality improvement and beginning involvement in a QI project. This may include initiation of their own project or participation in an ongoing project. Participation continues through the third fellowship year.

Fellows attend the Neonatal Follow-up Clinic during all three years of the fellowship. Over the period of three years fellows attend 30 sessions during which they evaluate discharged high-risk newborns and perform neurodevelopmental evaluations.

Scholarly Curriculum

The program's research training provides a solid foundation for academic endeavors and successful independent inquiry in a supportive and collaborative setting. The program offers a broad variety of scholarly activities consistent with ABP guidelines, including but not limited to:

  • Basic, Clinical or Translational Biomedicine
  • Health Services; Quality Improvement
  • Bioethics
  • Education
  • Public Policy

Fellows must complete a research project. Fellows spend 21 months of their time in fellowship completing one or more scholarly projects. The fellow may choose a research mentor from among members of the faculty of the Division of Neonatology, other subspecialty divisions in the Department of Pediatrics, or other faculty at UConn Health or UConn School of Medicine. For fellows interested in basic laboratory project, a vast selection of research faculty members and laboratory facilities exist at the medical school.

We encourage fellows to attend a regional and/or national research conference during the first year. During the second or third years, fellows are encouraged to present their research at regional and/or national conferences.

The fellowship core curriculum consists of a physiology and pathophysiology based seminar and a weekly Neonatal Perinatal educational conference. The goal of all conferences is to provide fellows an education based on the Neonatal-Perinatal content specifications of the American Board of Pediatrics. During the weekly Neonatal-Perinatal educational conference, members of the division and NICU team meet to present and discuss cutting edge, critically appraised neonatal topics. The Neonatal and Obstetrics divisions at both Hartford and Farmington sites have collaborative monthly morbidity and mortality conferences as well as case-based reviews of upcoming high risk deliveries.