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Fellowship in Maternal Fetal Medicine

MFM Fellowship Application

General Description


The fellowship is currently approved for three positions by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology with one fellow at each year of a three year program. Requirements include completion of an approved Residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology and eligibility for the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and New Jersey licensure.

The main clinical sites for the fellowship are Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and Jersey Shore University Medical Center. However, the faculty of the Division provides MFM services for five additional hospitals in central New Jersey. The Regional Perinatal Center at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital is a referral center for complicated pregnancies in a central New Jersey catchment area covering 18,000 deliveries. The Division is staffed by 8 MFM faculty physicians, one clinical geneticist, one molecular biologist, three MFM fellows, two full-time perinatal epidemiologists, two research nurses, three genetic counselors, one nurse clinical specialist and sixteen ultrasound technicians.

Additional faculty from the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences and faculty from other departments of the Medical School participate in the educational experience of the fellow.

The fellow participates in a variety of experiences which cover the entire clinical range of Maternal-Fetal Medicine supplemented by formal lectures, courses (Biostatistics and Genetics) and research activities. This 3-year fellowship program includes 18 months of full-time clinical activity and 18 months of research activities. A didactic program of two university courses, formal lectures and conferences cover important topics in the field. Fellows are responsible for literature reviews and presentations and participate in the educational programs for medical students and residents.

The Division maintains one of the most academically productive research programs in the United States. The research activities of the Division are in both clinical and basic science areas, and the fellows are expected to participate in several projects. At least two research projects are expected to be completed and submitted for publication by the end of the fellowship. The research activities of the Division are complemented by a well-equipped ultrasound unit and other research laboratory facilities. In addition, an extensive perinatal computer network of local, regional and national perinatal data is available to facilitate fellows’ research.

The on-call schedule is approximately every 8th night and every 4th weekend (one day). The fellow functions essentially as a faculty member and attending soon after entry into the program. However, a full-time faculty member is always on-call with the fellow.

Approximately 18,000 deliveries take place in the central New Jersey area. Over 4,000 deliveries occur at our main clinical sites and a large number of these are high-risk because of an extensive referral service, our very active High-Risk Obstetric Clinic and the high-risk practice of the Maternal-Fetal Faculty in surrounding facilities.

Referred high-risk patients are seen in an ambulatory setting throughout their pregnancies. Frequently, these patients are seen prior to pregnancy, for pre-conceptional counseling, because of a previous obstetrical complication or specific risk factor. Special services (for referral) include: Fetal Cardiovascular Service, Genetic Sonography, First Trimester Aneuploidy Screening, Perinatal Genetics, Recurrent Pregnancy Loss Service and Preterm Birth Evaluation and Prevention Service. Recently, we have started an invasive fetal therapy surgery and treatment program using endoscopic laser and radiofrequency ablation techniques. Additionally, an active Maternal-Fetal transport service receives patients with more acute problems. The fellows have an active role in all these special services and patients.

Our ultrasound and prenatal diagnosis unit, a unit of the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, investigates patients who have had current or prior problems and helps manage them through their pregnancies. Incorporated into this evaluation may be non-stress testing, biophysical profiles, amniocenteses, chorionic villus sampling, ultrasounds, percutaneous umbilical blood samplings, and intrauterine transfusions. The unit is adjacent to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and is equipped with 5 state-of-the-art ultrasound machines, all with color Doppler capabilities and computerized data collection. The ultrasound facilities at other sites are similar. The unit is operated by the Maternal-Fetal Division and provides direct "hands on" experience for the fellows. Ultrasound equipment with 3D/4D capabilities is available at clinical sites

A very active perinatal genetics service is staffed by three masters trained genetic counselors. A medical geneticist provides additional support for this program. The Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine performs approximately 1,100 procedures each year, including amniocentesis, Chorionic Villus Sampling and Percutaneous Umbilical Blood Sampling.

The University graduate courses offered are "Biostatistics I" and "Human Genetics."

Five formal conferences take place each week. During the weekly Research Meeting, the progress of all research projects is summarized and new projects are discussed. Twice weekly Chairman’s conferences cover a wide range of MFM topics in a case-based teaching format. Other meetings include a joint Perinatal Conference held with the Department of Neonatology, Placental/Perinatal Pathology, an Ultrasound Review, didactic Fellow Presentations, Journal Club, and a monthly meeting of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The academic schedule of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology includes a Visiting Professor lecture on Friday morning and a variety of other programs.

The complete range of obstetrical anesthesia including epidural anesthesia is provided by full-time physician anesthesiologists.

The high-risk obstetric clinic involves the fellow in a wide range of pregnancy problems. Nutritional and psychosocial counseling are available with the incorporation of appropriate allied health personnel.

In addition, ongoing communication and perinatal outreach is maintained with various clinics, surrounding hospitals, family practice centers and obstetricians who refer their complicated obstetrics to the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Division.

Several grants for the improvement of pregnancy outcome have been obtained. These grants provide for a multi-disciplinary approach to pregnancy with improvement of access and quality.

The fellowship provides a complete experience in all aspects of Maternal-Fetal Medicine with extensive contact and teaching by the full-time hospital based faculty.