Harvard Neonatal-Perinatal Fellowship Training Program | Training Overview

Based in the Division of Newborn Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital, fellows in the Harvard Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Fellowship Training Program undertake intensive, state-of-the-art clinical training across the spectrum of newborn medicine, as well as research training in areas ranging from basic to translational, clinical and health outcomes research.

Clinical Training

In order to optimize the diversity of clinical experiences and to ensure exposure to the full range of neonatal illness and practice styles, in addition to Boston Children’s Hospital, fellows rotate through the other three Harvard Program hospitals (Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Massachusetts General Hospital), where they learn from more than 50 faculty mentors who work with both high-risk perinatal and outborn referral populations.  Fellows spend the majority of their first fellowship year (approximately nine months) obtaining clinical experience in the NICU setting that includes antenatal consultation, delivery room resuscitation and stabilization, acute intensive care management, convalescent care, coordination of community consultation and neonatal transport, and infant follow-up.  The proportion of time devoted to daytime clinical experience is reduced in second year to approximately two to three months, and in third year to one month, with the remainder of time spent in scholarly activity, including research and skill building through didactic coursework.  Trainees take call every fourth night in one of two hospitals for a total of approximately 18 months.  Fellows participate actively in teaching residents and nurse practitioners, and have graduated clinical responsibility, culminating in a one-month “pre-attending” role in the final year, in which they perform the duties of an attending faculty physician under the supervision of a faculty member. 

Fellows have exposure to the longer-term outcomes of their patients through the High-Risk Infant Follow-Up Program, the Neonatal Neurology Program and the Center for Healthy Infant Lung Development. Trainees also undertake an intensive rotation on the critical care team of the Boston Children’s Hospital Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, one of the largest and most sophisticated facilities in the country solely dedicated to cardiac care of children. Electives are available in other clinical areas based on the individual interests.

Research Training

The majority of training in the second and third years is focused on research activities.  In addition, fellows in the Harvard Neonatal-Perinatal Fellowship Training Program are encouraged to participate in structured didactic programs in Research Methodology available either locally or nationally.  Examples include:

Typically, two to three trainees per year participate in one of the above programs.