The MedStar Health—Washington Hospital Center Fellowship Program in Maternal Fetal Medicine
The MedStar Washington Hospital Center Maternal Fetal Medicine Fellowship is a comprehensive training program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). The program is sponsored by the department of Ob/Gyn at both MedStar Washington Hospital Center and MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.
MedStar Washington Hospital Center, where the majority of clinical rotations occur for the fellowship, is a 926-bed teaching hospital and proud member of MedStar Health. MWHC is the largest private not-for-profit hospital in the nation's capital and consistently ranks among the nation's top hospitals as recognized in U.S. News & World Report. We deliver over 3500 infants annually in our large Labor and Delivery suite, with 12 LDR rooms with neonatal resuscitation areas, 3 operating rooms, 9 triage beds, and 3 recovery rooms. Patients admitted with pregnancy complications receive care on our 23-bed antepartum/post-partum unit. Critically ill patients are managed in one of our seven medical/surgical ICUs. The 30-bed level three NICU admits over 900 neonates annually. Fellows also train in our separate Prenatal Diagnosis Center, where they gain skills in ultrasound, amniocentesis, and chorionic villus sampling.
MWHCs medical campus is shared with Children's National Medical Center (CNMC), with their vast team of Pediatric subspecialists. MWHC serves as for the primary regional delivery site for pregnancies with prenatally diagnosed complex fetal conditions and utilizes the resources of CNMC for training opportunities in fetal cardiology and fetal MRI. MFM fellows also rotate to Fetal Medicine Institute at CNMC for Genetic rotation. This unique relationship with CNMC and their immense research infrastructure has fostered many strong collaborative research efforts with MWHC MFM division and is available for interested fellows.
MedStar Georgetown University Hospital (MUGH) is a 400-bed teaching facility. In 2000, Georgetown University entered into a partnership with MedStar Health to improve clinical efficiency and increase the diversity of clinical experiences available to students. At MGUH, perinatal services are provided on the Labor and Delivery Unit (containing 2 Delivery/Operating Rooms, a 2-bed Recovery Room that can function as an Intensive Care Suite, 5 LDR rooms each with neonatal intensive care resuscitation room, 3 labor Rooms, 4 transition/subacute care or step-down high risk antepartum or postpartum rooms, and 1 triage area) and the Postpartum unit with 20 beds. The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, located immediately adjacent to the delivery suite, features 22 Intensive, 12 Intermediate, and 10 Special Care neonatal beds. There is a separate Prenatal Diagnosis center at MGUH where fellows receive ultrasound training as well.
The Prenatal Diagnosis Center at MWHC and Prenatal Diagnostic and Ultrasound Center at MGUH are both accredited by the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) and all MFM faculty at both sites are NTQR certified in first trimester nuchal translucency evaluation. A full-time genetic counselor is on staff at MWHC site.
MWHC is the primary site for clinical rotations. Fellows also rotate at MGUH and CNMC. The fellow's outpatient clinical experience includes High Risk continuity clinic, Ultrasound, Genetics, and Fetal Imaging (MRI and echocardiogram) rotations. All fellows participate in an inpatient surgical intensive care unit (SICU) rotation and two months on L and D unit during their fellowship. Training in chorionic villous sampling (CVS) and amniocentesis is available to fellows.
A total of 12 months of research occur primarily in 2nd and 3rd years; however, a 2-4 month block in the first year allows the fellow to obtain a mentor and initiate a study protocol. Research support is vast and includes MedStar Health Research Institute, recipient of the Clinical and Translational Science Award, with its diverse core research services. Additional research resources are available within the MedStar Penn Medical Laboratory (PML), where current research including multiplex assays of inflammatory cytokines, biomarkers, transcription factors, immunoassay of vasoactive factors and markers associated with oxidative stress and cardiovascular risk is ongoing. PML animal research facilities are also available on the MWHC campus. Our close proximity to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) facilitates research collaboration and allows many options for graduate level courses.
We also partner with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in a four-year combined MFM/Genetics fellowship. A position for the MFM/Genetics fellowship is available every other year (odd years).
Fellows completing our maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) fellowship program will have developed strong skills in the diagnosis and management of fetal disorders, extensive experience with the management of complex maternal medical conditions, and robust research skills to support them in their pursuit of a successful clinical or academic based career.
Why train here
We have a robust ultrasound didactic schedule in collaboration with Georgetown University Hospital and Children’s National Medical Center, as well as hands-on ultrasound rotations spread throughout the fellowship training at both MedStar Washington Hospital Center and MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.
We have diversity in the patient population and pathology, which allows clinical experience in a challenging environment. Fellows get to provide prenatal care and deliver fetuses with congenital anomalies such as conjoined twins and meningomyeloceles. Third year fellows manage complex maternal and fetal cardiac conditions in their Special Mom and Special Baby continuity clinic.
The overall educational mission of the program is to ensure the graduate possesses the knowledge, skills, and professional attributes essential to be able to function as a consultant to obstetricians and gynecologists for women with complicated pregnancies. In addition, fellows will obtain skills which will allow them to function effectively in the arena of basic and clinical research in maternal fetal medicine.
The training objectives are based on the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG) Guide to Learning Maternal-Fetal Medicine. At the completion of training, fellows should demonstrate competence at the level of a new practitioner in Maternal-Fetal Medicine (MFM).
Research is another major focus of the fellowship at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. We provide a full range of services including study planning, study conduct, and data analysis.
The Office of Graduate Medical Education also offers each fellow guaranteed research grants and funding to conduct research projects and support the presentation of research at conferences or meetings.
For successful completion of this training program, the fellow will design, implement, complete, describe and report at least one research study that can serve as the thesis for certification in MFM through the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Twelve months of protected research time is included during the 36 months of fellowship training. This is largely clustered into 3-4 month blocks in the second and third year of training, although there is a 3-4 month block dedicated to research early in the first year to initiate a study and obtain a research mentor. Fellows develop a thesis project under faculty tutelage. They are encouraged to develop their own research projects, with emphasis on appropriate study design, understanding of analyses, submission and presentation at national meetings, and paper publication. Fellows must present their thesis for thesis defense prior to graduation and submit a version of the manuscript for publication. Fellows have the opportunity to apply for the Master of Science in Clinical and Translational Research Program through Georgetown/Howard University School of Medicine and GHUCCTS
The MedStar Research Institute’s core research laboratory is Penn Medical Laboratory (PML), led by Jason Umans, MD, PhD. Particular current interests of the lab include multiplex assays of inflammatory cytokines, biomarkers, and transcription factors, immunoassay of vasoactive factors and markers associated with oxidative stress and cardiovascular risk. PML serves as the core laboratory for several NIH-supported studies, conducted at multiple remote sites; they have provided study design and protocols for all lab related components, preparation of sample kits, staff training, lab analyses and long-term sample storage. Key lab resources include:
- Skilled sample acquisition and processing, including DNA isolation.
- Sample tracking using study-specific bar-coded labels and database.
- Computerized Laboratory Information Management System with flexible electronic, fax, or paper reporting by certified Medical Technologists. All computer systems secure, supported, and backed-up daily.
- Sample storage in continuously-monitored and alarmed -80degC freezers.
- Rigorous quality control with certification and proficiency testing by College of American Pathologists (CAP), CMS Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA)
- Standardization Program (NGSP, Level 1 certification), and Northwest Lipid Metabolism and Diabetes Research Labs.
- Expertise in automated and esoteric chemistries and immunoassays, including RIA, ELISA, and multiplexed microfluidic Luminex XMAP assays.
- Genotyping, immunologic, molecular and chromatographic methods; published experience in new method development and rigorous assay evaluation.
- Collaborative arrangements with a rich network of university, GCRC,NIH and hospital research laboratories (including the Georgetown GCRC bioanalytical core and MedStar hospital system labs) providing additional unique laboratory resources.
- Experience in clinical, laboratory animal, and in vitro studies; and in protocol development, staff training, and study implementation.
Laboratory and animal research facilities are present on the WHC campus, with capacity for routine and automated chemistry analysis, immune assay, small scale molecular biology research, and real time PCR/Southern blotting. The laboratory also contains a biorepository for specimen housing. MedStar Research Institute provides core scientific support services in epidemiology and statistics and outcomes measurements, as well as a research pharmacy and core laboratory services.
For study design and statistical analyses, fellows will be assisted by the attending staff. The MedStar Health Research Institute coordinates the research activities of all institutions within the MedStar Health system, provides infrastructure to support clinical research and supervises the animal laboratories on site. The Statistics Cluster of the Department of Epidemiology and Statistics provides statistical consultation and support to intramural as well as extramural clinical and epidemiological research activities. We provide a full range of services including study planning, study conduct and data analysis. Statistical consultation is provided to MedStar researchers who are preparing research proposals or grant applications for funding. The Statistics Cluster is staffed by five PhD and Master’s level statisticians. The Office of Graduate Medical Education also offers each fellow guaranteed research grants and funding to support the presentation of research at conferences or meetings.
The fellow request his/her research mentor which must be approved by the program director. The availability of NICHD/NIH and Dr. Catherine Spong, and Dr. S. Katherine Grantz has been great assets in expanding the availability of research efforts. In addition, Alessandro Ghidini, MD and Sarah Poggi, MD at INOVA Alexandria Hospital in Alexandria, VA, have also been actively involved in mentoring fellow research in the former GUH program. Fellows’ research efforts will be monitored by the program director, Sara Iqbal, MD, through communication directly with their mentors and the fellows in an ongoing manner.
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 and basic research. Comprehensive research training is a key element of the program, which includes several graduate level courses such as:
Introduction to the Principles and Practice of Clinical Research sponsored by National Institute of Health
The objective of this course is to be able to discuss the principles involved in the ethics of clinical research, the legal issues involved in clinical research, and the regulations involved in human subjects research, including the role of institutional review boards (IRBs) in clinical research; To become familiar with the principles and issues involved in monitoring patient-oriented research; To be able to discuss the infrastructure required in performing clinical research and have an understanding of the steps involved in developing and funding research studies.
This online, National Institutes of Health (NIH)-sponsored program provides web-based training over a 4-month period on the fundamental aspects of clinical research. Topics include:
- Epidemiologic methods
- Study design
- Protocol preparation
- Patient monitoring
- Quality assurance
- Food and Drug Administration issues.
This course is conducted 2-3 evenings a week, from October through March. All lectures are recorded and can be viewed at your convenience. MedStar has signed up as an institution to provide this course free of charge to all MedStar Health residents, fellows, faculty and associates. Participants will be responsible for purchasing the textbook. Upon successful completion, participants receive a certificate from NIH. Register in September of any year.
NICHD young investigator’s conference
The goal of the Annual NICHD Conference is to enhance communication, promote interaction, and foster interest in a research career, as well as collaboration in research. This conference offers an extraordinary opportunity for young physician scientists to advance their knowledge and establish lasting personal relationships that will enhance launching their research and academic careers.
For a full listing of educational programs offered through the MedStar Health Research Institute
Past Thesis Projects:
Neggin Mokhtari, MD- Educational Video on Pain Management and Subsequent Opioid Use after Cesarean Delivery: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Andrew Haddad, MD- Evaluation of Early Screening for Gestational Diabetes Mellitus with Hemoglobin A1C
2020Tetsuya Kawakita, MD- Reducing Cesarean Delivery Surgical Site Infections: A Resident-Driven Quality Initiative
Elizabeth Coviello, DO- Prediction of Transfusion after Cesarean Delivery According to Blood Loss Measurement Techniques
April Adams, MD – Classification of Prenatal Phenotypic Severity in Mouse Models of Down Syndrome
2018Michail Spiliopoulos, MD–Determining Placental Stiffness in Healthy and Preeclamptic Pregnancies with the Use of Ultrasound-based Shear-Wave Elastography
Laura Parikh, MD – Urine congophilia in gravidas with diabetes and clinically diagnosed preeclampsia
Huda Al-Kouatly, MD – Prenatal whole exome sequencing identifies genetic causes of congenital heart disease in fetuses with normal karyotype and normal microarray
Cecily Clark-Ganheart, MD – The use of cell-free DNA in the investigation of intrauterine fetal demise and miscarriage
Annelee Boyle, MD – Pregnancy outcomes by degree of weight gain among obesity subclasses
Donna Raval, MD – The ingestion of a high protein diet during gestation magnifies in utero production of metabolites in methylmalonyl-CoA mutase (Mut) knockout mice.
Julia Timofeev, MD – Obstetric Complications, Neonatal Morbidity and Indications for Cesarean Delivery by Maternal Age
Jasbir Singh, MD – The Impact of Prepregnancy Body Mass Index on the Risk of Gestational Diabetes.
Dennis Amini, MD – A retrospective comparison of perinatal outcomes for twin gestations conceived using in-vitro fertilization and twin gestations conceived without assisted reproductive technologies
MedStar Washington Hospital Center
110 Irving St. NW
Washington, D.C., 20010
Children’s National Medical Center
111 Michigan Avenue NW
Washington, D.C., 20010
Interested in applying?
Maternal Fetal Medicine/Medical Genetics Fellowship Program
Recruiting now for July 2023 start date!
Program Director: Sara N. Iqbal MD, FACOG
Fellowship Coordinator: Jacqueline DeLeon
The Maternal-Fetal Medicine and Medical Genetics is a combined fellowship program at MedStar Washington Hospital Center in collaboration with the Medical Genetics program at the National Institute of Health (NIH). The combination of these two programs provides a unique training opportunity for understanding the genetic etiologies seen in prenatally diagnosed anomalies and the impact of genetic and metabolic disease on healthy and high risk pregnancies.
The four year training program is open only to those who have already completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology.
About the Course
The fellowship is structured to allow two years of focus on maternal-fetal medicine and two years of focus on medical genetics. As part of the maternal fetal medicine component, fellows will obtain advanced knowledge of obstetrical, medical, and surgical complications of pregnancy and their effect on the mother and fetus, ensuring a continuum of excellence in care from fetal to newborn periods. They will also develop expertise on the most current approaches to diagnosis and treatment of women with complicated pregnancies, including ultrasound, fetal echocardiography and MRI, and invasive procedures such as amniocentesis, chorionic villus sampling, and cordocentesis. Medical Genetics is a complementary training program in the genetic basis of disease, both adult and pediatric, including cytogenetic, molecular, and metabolic evaluations, and extensive exposure to dysmorphology.
During the four years of training, there are 12 months of focused research in combined areas of maternal fetal medicine and medical genetics. This program has been designed to ensure that upon successful completion, the graduating fellow will possess clinical competence in maternal-fetal medicine and medical genetics and will be able to function both as a consultant to obstetricians and gynecologists for women with complicated pregnancies and as a basic science and clinical researcher in maternal fetal medicine and medical genetics.
After completion of the combined fellowship, the fellow will be eligible to sit for the subspecialty boards in both Maternal Fetal Medicine and Medical Genetics.
MFM-Genetics program is recognized by the individual boards and they take their respective board examination at the end of the fellowship. MFM portion is approved by ABOG and ACGME and the Genetics portion is approved by ABMGG. As a combined program it is not accredited by ACGME. MFM Genetics fellow takes the written Genetics boards at the end of their fellowship program in addition to MFM written and MFM Oral boards.
For more information contact:
Jacqueline De Leon
Academic Program Coordinator
Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology
MedStar Washington Hospital Center
110 Irving Street, NW Suite 5B-45
Washington, DC 20010
Learn more about the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) Medical Genetics Fellowship Training Program.
We welcome your questions about our program. For additional information, please contact:
Jacqueline De Leon
Academic Program Coordinator - Ob/Gyn Fellowships
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
MedStar Washington Hospital Center
110 Irving Street, NW Suite 5B-45
Washington, D.C., 20010