Maternal-Fetal Medicine Fellowship

  • NorthShore University HealthSystems/ University of Chicago Medicine

    Our MFM Fellowship is an educational collaboration between the Divisions of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at NorthShore and the University of Chicago

We are very proud of our integrated Maternal-Fetal Medicine fellowship that represents an educational collaboration between the Divisions of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at NorthShore and the University of Chicago. This program was built on the foundations of the U of C program that has a legacy of outstanding fellowship trainees over multiple decades. The American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology approved our combined program to train three fellows at a time to become subspecialists and consultants in the care of women with high-risk pregnancies.

Under the guidance of the program director David Ouyang, MD, this fellowship provides extensive experience in the diagnosis, treatment and management of medical, surgical and obstetrical complications of pregnancy. In addition, the fellows are trained to develop proficiency and expertise in ultrasound and antenatal diagnosis, including procedural skills such as amniocentesis, chorionic villus sampling and fetal blood sampling.

Our Educational Objectives are as follows:

1. To provide comprehensive training to obstetrician-gynecologists so they can master outpatient consultative activities unique to the subspecialty of Maternal-Fetal Medicine as well as inpatient evaluation and management of women with complications of pregnancy, delivery and the puerperium.

2. To further develop the skills of scientific inquiry that will become the basis for maternal-fetal medicine fellows’ engagement in clinical and/or basic science research activity upon completion of their training.

3. To exploit specific areas of program strength to differentiate maternal-fetal medicine fellows completing our program; areas of outpatient and inpatient emphasis include advanced knowledge and skill acquisition in fetal ultrasound, echocardiography and prenatal diagnosis, antepartum and intrapartum expertise including intensive maternal care, operative vaginal and breech delivery and the consultative interface with general obstetricians via fully functional perinatal systems of care.

These educational objectives can be readily accomplished because of the unique strengths that our integrated program possesses, including:

  • The union of a renowned academic medical center with an integrated healthcare system, bringing diverse patient populations complemented by active maternal transport services via two separate State of Illinois-sponsored Level III referral networks covering an annual delivery volume of 39,000 pregnancies.
  • Robust faculty including 14 board-certified maternal-fetal medicine subspecialists with fellowship training spanning 12 different institutions.
  • NorthShore’s active participant in the NICHD-sponsored Maternal-Fetal Medicine Unit network since 2004, through at least 2016 at which time grant renewal will be sought.
  • Opportunity to apply for the internationally recognized MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics fellowship at the University of Chicago.  This intensive curriculum examines ethical issues that arise in encounters between patients, families, and physicians, and aims to improve the process and outcome of patient care.
  • Optional Masters Degree for clinical professionals (MSCP) through the University of Chicago’s Department of Health Sciences.  The MSCP offers a course of study in the theory, methods, and concepts of biostatistics, epidemiology, and health services research needed to design and carry out clinical and epidemiologic research.
  • NICHD and March of Dimes-funded basic science laboratory programs at both sites with multiple active R01 grants in relevant perinatal topics of infection induced preterm labor, mechanisms of biology and preeclampsia, risk reduction for cerebral palsy, mechanisms of fetal growth restriction, prevention of necrotizing enterocolitis and determinants of adverse pregnancy outcomes in vulnerable populations of women, with a specific focus on the relationship between chronic maternal stress and preterm birth.
  • A state-of-the-art, hi-fidelity multidisciplinary 13,000 square foot simulation center that will augment procedure and situation-based training including prenatal diagnostic techniques and obstetric emergencies.

The fellowship includes abundant protected research time (at least 12 months) for the fellows to develop a thesis that will be defended at the end of their training. Mentorship in clinical, translational and basic science research as well as enrollment in the Exxcellence in Clinical Research program or graduate level courses in statistics and epidemiology provides the framework for the fellows to launch an academic career and advance the field of maternal-fetal medicine.  Some areas of research by our fellows include:

  • Evaluation of fetal cardiovascular overgrowth in diabetic patients as well as its possible role in unexplained stillbirth.
  • Harnessing the Electronic Health Record to actively manage preconception care and improve pregnancy outcomes.
  • Study of how NOD-like receptors interact or synergize with Toll-like receptors to amplify the inflammatory response in preterm labor.
  • Role of anelloviruses in spontaneous preterm birth.
  • Role of high-fidelity simulation experiences in improving resident education and procedural competence.
  • Relationship between perinatal depression and stress biomarkers on postpartum weight retention.
  • The relationship between maternal cortisol and postpartum weight retention as a predictor of subsequent obesity.
  • The effects of progestins on cell-mediated immune response to influenza virus.

The program also incorporates numerous didactic sessions at both campuses including multidisciplinary conferences, a weekly fellow lecture series, monthly journal clubs and simulation lab experience.