Fellowship Curriculum

Focused areas of learning include patient safety and healthcare quality as well as care delivery during transition. Our fellows also acquire skills to be supervisors and trainers, recognize and manage fatigue through optimizing work-life balance, and serve has professional and positive role models to society.

Areas of Focus

  1. Neonatology Immersion: We provide fellows with the clinical expertise and skills they need to succeed. They develop an appreciation for the continuity between pregnancy, birth and infancy, learning about the etiology of congenital anomalies and diseases affecting newborns as well as the risks associated with preterm birth. Immersion commences with fetal care, managing complex pregnancies over time. Fellows gain competency in delivery room and emergency room management, neonatal transport, and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) management. They work with affiliated nurseries and programs as well as home care services.
  2. Education and Leadership: Our Neonatal Fellows engage in the medical education of residents, students, and healthcare professionals. They also, participate in simulation-based learning at the Center for Advanced Pediatric and Perinatal Education. They are expected to seek teaching opportunities beyond the medical school that serve the community, region and/or nation.
  3. Research and Scholarly Activity: Each fellow selects a unique research topic and picks a faculty mentor who will serve as a resource for designing and implementing a research project. Mentors also help fellows by facilitating access to all University resources, identifying collaboration opportunities, and offering individual career and scholarship guidance.
  4. Procedural Skills: Fellows learn how to manage perinatal care in the NICU by mastering technical skills, knowing when to refer to sub-specialists, and employing diagnostic tools and/or technologies when appropriate. These concepts are taught through simulation-based learning and faculty direction. Mastery comes when fellows, under faculty supervision, instruct residents and medical students.
  5. Care in Transitions: Neonatology fellows meet the anticipated Resident Review Committee (RRC) and American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) expectations by engaging in the follow-up of our NICU graduates, especially as it pertains to graduates’ neurodevelopmental growth. High-risk infants are tracked by fellows through expanded clinical electives in out-patient neurology, genetics and metabolism, nephrology and pulmonology, hospice, surgery, and related surgical sub-specialties including retinal, neurosurgical, and orthopedic services. Fellows learn ways to "hand-off" to each sub-specialty that extends beyond discharge from the NICU. Service time is designed for each fellow to develop a portfolio of longitudinal follow-up for selected patients.
  6. Patient Safety: At Stanford, we promote safety culture through a series of didactic lectures, daily practice and individual projects. In year 1, fellows learn how to report and conduct de-briefing; during year 2, they develop the capacity to mitigate any at-risk situations; and by year 3, they are encouraged to participate as a leader within the NICU Patient Safety Council.
  7. Quality Improvement: Engagement in the NICU Quality Improvement (QI) Program builds upon residency experiences. In year 1, fellows learn the variety of quality matrices that are employed in the NICU; during years 2 and 3 they lead their own QI initiative and are encouraged to participate in other QI projects and/or assignments.
  8. Fatigue and Lifestyle Management: Through faculty and NICU leadership oversight, fellows are encouraged to promote education on the non-punitive identification of fatigue among their peers, hospital staff and themselves. They make individual assessments and provide personalized mitigation plans. A back-up plan is in place to relieve fatigued personnel. The fellows also engage in root cause evaluations, supportive guidance, and the review of non-punitive intervention options for individuals with recurrent fatigue.
  9. Leadership: To enhance their personal and professional character, fellows participate in ethical and humane decision-making within the NICU and perinatal settings. They demonstrate compassion in doctor-parent/patient interactions.
  10. Post-Fellowship Support: Our graduating fellows pursue leadership roles both regionally and nationally.