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Maternal Fetal Medicine Fellowship


Michal A. Elovitz, MD

Director, Maternal Fetal Medicine Fellowship Program;
Director, Maternal and Child Health Research Program

melovitz@obgyn.upenn.edu

University of Pennsylvania Health System Department of OB/GYN
Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine
c/o Michele Steuber
3400 Spruce Street
2000 Ravdin Courtyard
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Phone: (215)662-6913
Fax: (215)349-5625

Please direct all fellowship application inquiries to Michele Steuber at: msteuber@obgyn.upenn.edu

The Maternal-Fetal Medicine fellowship at Penn is designed to train future academicians in the subspecialty. This unique three-year program offers extensive experience in the clinical management of high-risk patients as well as formal training and excellent mentorship in clinical, translational or basic research.

The fellowship is designed to support 18 months of protected research that can be divided over three years as best accommodates any formal research training. The clinical experience will enable a fellow to become extremely proficient at ultrasound, antenatal diagnosis, and the management of complicated medical pregnancies.

There are also numerous didactic sessions which enhance the educational experience, including a weekly fellow lecture series.

Prerequisites

Applicants must be ABOG eligible and have a state medical license. Applicants must also have completed an approved residency program in Obstetrics and Gynecology. A graduate of a foreign medical school must have a standard ECFMG certificate and completed postgraduate training in the United States.

Number of First Year Positions:  2 

Program Description

Clinical:

The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) is a tertiary care center in West Philadelphia. Approximately 3,600 deliveries per year occur at HUP, a majority of which are complicated by a high-risk condition. Penn also serves as a transport center for the Philadelphia region.

The Labor and Delivery Suites opened in 1998 and have been recently renovated. There are 15 LDR's, 2 OR's, 1 short procedure room, a Perinatal Evaluation Center and a new Antenatal Testing Suite.

There are 3 broad categories of clinical activity that fellows engage in over the course of our 3-year fellowship: inpatient care, outpatient care, and specialty rotations.

Our goals for the outpatient rotations are as follows:

  • To become proficient at performing and interpreting ultrasound, amniocentesis, CVS and other antenatal procedures.
  • To become knowledgeable in the field of genetics as it relates to preconceptional counseling, abnormal fetal ultrasounds, abnormalities in the neonatal period, advanced maternal age, and other related genetic conditions.
  • To be able to provide, appropriately and accurately, consultations for complicated maternal and fetal conditions using evidence-based medicine.

Goals for the inpatient rotation are as follows:

  • To become an expert in the care of high-risk patients during the antepartum, delivery and postpartum periods.
  • To become knowledgeable in the field of obstetrical anesthesia.
  • To understand the implications and outcomes of obstetrical complications (preterm birth, fetal growth restriction, fetal anomalies) on neonatal care.

Specialty rotations include:

  • Medical intensive care unit
  • Pediatrics genetics
  • Infectious diseases

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Research:

One of the strengths of training in MFM at Penn is the resources available for research. The Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Penn consitently ranks in the top five for NIH funding. Investigators in MFM have both NIH and extramural funding in basic science, translational and clinical research.

Approximately one half of the fellowship is devoted to the development of a scholarly research agenda for a fellow. This can include basic science, clinical research, translational research, or combinations of the above.  Importantly, fellows' research time can occur in up to 8-month blocks, which affords fellows the opportunity to obtain in-depth laboratory experience or to take graduate/PhD level courses in their area of interest. Fellows meet with Dr. Elovitz at the start of the fellowship and frequently thereafter to plan an individualized research agenda. All MFM faculty members can serve as mentors for individual projects.

Penn houses a specialized program in the Center for Research on Reproduction and Women's Health (CRRWH). There are several ongoing lines of research in the center including:

  • the biology of placental viral infection
  • the genetics/molecular biology of infection and preterm birth
  • the role of the host immune response in normal and abnormal pregnancies
  • the elucidation of signal transduction pathways in inflammation-induced preterm birth
  • the long-term implications of adverse obstetrical outcomes for maternal health
  • the pathophysiology of IUGR and fetal origins of adult disease (FOAD)
  • the pathophysiology of placental function and pre-eclampsia

Drs. Elovitz, Parry and Chou hold appointments in the center, and numerous MFM fellows have worked within the center.

In addition to CRRWH, there are other laboratories on the Penn campus doing work relevant to MFM, including the Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, The Gene Therapy Institute, and the Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics. The Center for Clinical Research in Women's Health provides an infrastructure to promote high quality clinical research and facilitate collaborative research, mentorship and training. The MFM Division has a new clinical research unit in the hospital.

Specialized training in clinical research methodology is available in the 2-year Master's Program in Clinical Epidemiology at Penn. This program includes graduate level courses in epidemiology, survey design, statistics, health economics and others. Tracks within this program relevant to MFM include Reproductive Epidemiology, Patient-Oriented Research, Health Services Research, and Genetic Epidemiology. Several MFM fellows have enrolled in this outstanding program over the past several years. 

In addition, the University of Pennsylvania offers a 2-year Masters in Translational Research (MTR).  This program provides a fellow with a strong foundation in which to pursue translational research.

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Education:

There are numerous didactic sessions that the fellows are involved in over the course of the fellowship. Most importantly, there is a dedicated MFM fellow lecture series, which covers the topics as laid out by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. This lecture series occurs weekly. In addition, we have a weekly journal club in which we review all pertinent articles from the top Ob/Gyn and medical journals that impact our specialty.

In addition to the fellow lecture series and journal club, the fellows attend numerous conferences, including:

  • Grand rounds (weekly)
  • OB statistics/ Morbidity and Mortality (monthly)
  • Fetal Heart Rate tracing review (weekly)
  • MFM division meeting (weekly)
  • Resident Journal Club (weekly)
  • High Risk Clinic Conference (weekly)
  • Pediatric-Obstetric Conference (weekly)
  • Genetics Rounds (weekly)

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Application Requirements

  • Updated Curriculum Vitae
  • Personal Statement
  • Three Letters of Recommendation (one letter must be from the current program director)

Our program is participating in Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) and the ERAS application deadline is May 31st.


Current Fellows and Research

  • Justin Brandt, MD
  • Neda Ghaffari, MD
  • Jeny Ghartey, DO
  • Adi Hirshberg, MD
  • Julie Romero, MD
  • Kelly Ruhstaller, MD

Helpful Links

National Resident Matching Program
Amercian Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

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