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Maternal Fetal Medicine Fellowship Program

Mission and Program Aims

The mission of the Maternal Fetal Medicine fellowship is to train highly qualified experts in perinatal medicine well equipped to enter independent practice serving the clinical needs of diverse academic and private communities, and to engage in the field of perinatology through research and leadership. 

Aims:
  1. To train competent and compassionate physicians to manage complex obstetrical, medical, and surgical complications of pregnancy, prenatal ultrasound and diagnosis, and to serve as consultants to obstetricians and other medical specialists
  2. To establish a strong research foundation, through a culture of scientific inquiry and critical evaluation, to promote continued engagement in advancing the field of Maternal Fetal Medicine
  3. To foster the development of educators in Maternal Fetal Medicine to meet the needs of the communities they will serve 

Program Description

Clinical: Fellows in Maternal Fetal Medicine learn all aspects of inpatient and outpatient care of the MFM patient. As the regional referral center, and the only referral center in Vermont, the fellow is exposed to a robust clinical experience. Outpatient MFM clinics cover consultations and antenatal and postpartum care for high risk patients. The Fetal Diagnostic Center performs anatomic surveys, first trimester screening, antenatal assessment, and fetal diagnostic and therapeutic procedures and serves as the regional referral center for all anomalies and complicated pregnancies. Inpatient care includes antepartum, intrapartum, and postpartum management of complicated patients; ICU admissions; and consultations. 

Research: Research is an integral part of the MFM fellowship. Fellows have the opportunity to work with well established, NIH-funded researchers both within the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and throughout the University. The relatively small size of the University fosters close collaboration among researchers across disciplines. The fellow thesis is a hypothesis-driven, mentored project, based on fellow interests. 

Education: The educational objectives of the program are outlined to the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the Guide to Learning in Maternal-Fetal Medicine. Educational objectives are assigned to each rotation, specific to the level of training. As outlined by the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), in addition to practicing technical skills, physicians should cultivate the ability to expand and apply those skills. Knowledge of ethical principles, communication skills, and the ability to acquire and continually update information are important components of professional development. The educational objectives incorporate the six core competencies developed by the ACGME including patient care and procedural skills (PC), medical knowledge (MK), practice-based learning and improvement (PBL), interpersonal and communication skills (ICS), professionalism (PROF), and systems-based practice (SBP). The educational objectives are met through clinical care of patients, didactic education sessions, multidisciplinary conferences, simulation, and self study. 

Resources

The Birthing Center and Mother-Baby Unit: The Birthing Center has 8 labor/delivery rooms, 3 antepartum assessment rooms, and 2 operating rooms. The suite has 24-hour anesthesia coverage. The neonatal intensive care and Mother-Baby units are adjacent to the birthing center.  The Mother-Baby unit includes mostly single-bed rooms equipped with fetal monitoring capability. The NICU has 29 beds.

Ambulatory Care Center: The ACC houses all of the obstetric practices at the University of Vermont Medical Center, including Maternal Fetal Medicine and the Fetal Diagnostic Center, allowing for consultation, ongoing obstetric care, fetal diagnosis and antepartum testing. 

Fetal Diagnostic Center: The Fetal Diagnostic Center is an AIUM accredited site equipped with 4 rooms for fetal imaging and diagnosis, adjacent to another 2 rooms for gynecologic/early pregnancy imaging.  The unit is staffed by dedicated Obstetric ultrasonographers. The unit offers amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling, Doppler evaluation, fetal echocardiography, and other complex ultrasound examination and fetal procedures. 

Research Labs: The division of Reproductive Sciences within the Department has dedicated laboratory space in the College of Medicine. There is ongoing funded research in the areas of pregnancy-induced hemodynamic and vascular adaptations, preeclampsia, preterm birth, and maternal-fetal immunology.

Library: The Dana Medical Library provides free access to a host of electronic databases for literature search and retrieval. The library offers periodic training workshops and reference retrieval services, including interlibrary loan services.

Teaching Academy: The Teaching Academy of the University of Vermont College of Medicine supports educator development and scholarship to improve the quality of medical education. Fellows can benefit from the many educational sessions and retreats offered by the Academy, and have the opportunity to join the Academy as a protégé.

Clinical Simulation Laboratory: The simulation center located within the College of Medicine allows multidisciplinary simulation of obstetric emergencies and procedures. 


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Julie Phillips, MD 

Program Director