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Research for Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Fellowship

All division members are actively involved in clinical or laboratory research. Research opportunities are not restricted to the Division of Neonatology and the fellows are encouraged to explore avenues of research with any faculty member in the MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, Medical Center, or at the National Institutes of Health. Clinical research may be carried out in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, which receives about 400 admissions per year, or in the high risk follow up clinic where about 600 patients return for follow up each year. The laboratory facilities include 400 square feet of dry and wet laboratory space. A large simulation laboratory is under development.

A Scholarship Oversight Committee, (comprised of the research mentor and two or more individuals, at least one of whom is outside the subspecialty discipline of Neonatology) is appointed in the first year to monitor the Fellows progress. The research mentor guides the Fellow in developing the research hypotheses, to design the study and develop the protocol. Four to five months of research time are provided in the first year of training to allow the residents initiate the process of protocol development and allow sufficient time for the various approval processes (Institutional Review Board or Animal Care and Use Committee) to take place so that data collection may start in a timely fashion.

The division has a research nurse available to assist in clinical research. Fellows receive assistance with data analysis and manuscript preparation by the senior author/faculty member. There is a formal research methodology course which emphasizes study design, formulating the right question, data collection and analysis, as well as data presentation. Additional teaching of Research methodology occurs as part of Journal Club discussions, where each fellow critiques a published paper on the basis of validity of the research, the study design, methodology, and appropriateness of conclusions.

There is also a monthly conference where proposed research protocols by fellows and/or faculty are presented and discussed in detail with constructive critique provided by faculty and subspecialty residents. Material learned in the didactic course is put to practical use and reinforced during design and implementation of each resident's specific research project under the close supervision of the research mentor. Fellows are encouraged to present their work at national and international meetings.