UNC's pediatric residents are responsible for direct patient care (i.e., writing orders, performing routine procedures, updating the families of patients, etc.) within the Department of Pediatrics. It is assumed that fellows in neonatal-perinatal medicine will have already had this kind of experience, and the fellowship program will not attempt to duplicate it.
Fellows in the Newborn Critical Care Center will fulfill the clinical role of consultant or "junior attending," with a level of responsibility between the attending physician and the senior resident. The fellow will become involved as a teacher and supervisor and will contribute to the care of high-risk infants without usurping the responsibilities of the pediatric house staff. It is expected that the fellow will be intimately familiar with all infants admitted to the Newborn Critical Care Center and their care plans.
Scholarship responsibilities for the fellow include identifying an area of interest and senior faculty member to oversee a project. Each fellow is expected to complete a scholarly project and prepare a report of that activity or a manuscript for publication within the three-year training period.
For fellows primarily interested in clinical research training, we encourage pursuit of an advanced degree in epidemiology or maternal and child health. A program leading to a Masters of Public Health (MPH degree) may be integrated into the training program. Fellow trainees are also eligible for inclusion in the Clinical Research Curriculum (CRC). This program is designed to provide an in-depth, two-year training program for persons committed to a career as a clinical investigator. Individuals interested in these training options should declare this early in the application process.
Schedules will be individualized with particular attention to the needs of each fellow and the availability of institutional resources but will in all cases meet the requirement of the American Board of Pediatrics. In general fellows are on clinical service 46 weeks over three years and are assigned in-house call an average of 45-50 days per year.
Year 1: The first year will be fairly uniform for fellows with emphasis on basic clinical neonatology. Four to six months of these 12 are typically spent in clinical care in the first year. Fellows will be expected to initiate a research project.
Year 2: The second year will be individualized with less emphasis on clinical neonatology and more on research. The fellow will be expected to make significant progress on his/her chosen scholarly project and may take advantage of increased teaching opportunities. Fellows interested in clinical/epidemiology research may have the opportunity to take this year to complete an MPH in epidemiology or maternal and child health at the UNC School of Public Health.
Year 3: The fellow's third year will be completely customized to his/her specific goals and will additionally include one month as acting attending in the NICU.