Letter to Applicants
Welcome to the Division of Neonatology at Duke University Medical Center. Our division has a strong reputation for clinical excellence, and we pride ourselves on training exceptional clinical scientists. Our fellowship program recruits individuals interested in outstanding clinical care and multidisciplinary research. We offer a wide variety of research and training opportunities that are tailored to each incoming fellow.
A new neonatal intensive care unit at Duke was recently opened, and provides state-of-the art neonatal therapies. Our new 50-bed unit soon to be expanded to 65 beds, is directly adjacent to a recently renovated labor and delivery service. The ICN services over 8000 deliveries per year. This environment fosters excellent clinical training in a wide variety of neonatal conditions. Duke offers both primary and sub-specialty care to North Carolina and much of the Southeast United States. We also have an active Neonatal Life Flight Transport that services the surrounding communities and states. Fellows participate in the transport of critically ill neonates.
When our outcomes of mortality (<1000g) & bronchopulmonary dysplasia are benchmarked against the National Institute of Child Health & Human Development Neonatal Research, Duke ranks consistently in the lower quarter, even after risk adjustment.
The Duke neonatology fellowship program is based on the premise that neonatologists carry out important functions in neonatal research that include:
- Describing and categorizing disease,
- Elucidating basic disease mechanisms,
- Developing potential therapies, testing these therapies in clinical trials, and
- Educating practitioners in the implementation of new therapies.
It is our belief that outstanding physicians, depending on their aspirations and interests, can make significant contributions to health care policy, medical ethics, medical informatics and medical education in the context of a medical research career. Accordingly, we have developed a three-track approach to fellowship training. Each track is aligned with a specific curriculum.
To foster the academic fellow's growth and career, the Division and NPRI has been awarded a prestigious National Institute of Child Health & Human Development Training Grant (T-32) to train fellows to pursue academic careers in both basic and clinical research.
- Physician Scientist Track I (Basic Research)
- Clinical Scientist Track II (Clinical Research)
- Clinical Scholar/Educator Track III (Advanced Degrees and Translational Medicine)
We believe that effective training to accomplish these goals is supported in a milieu in which scientists with a broad variety of interests and backgrounds come together to share ideas and provide one-on-one mentoring of junior physician-scientists. Such a milieu exists in the neonatal training program at Duke and the Neonatal-Perinatal Research Institute (NPRI), a multidisciplinary group of basic, clinical and health care researchers dedicated to the study of developmental biology and health care problems in the neonate. The training of physician-scientists to carry out outstanding research is an integral part of the mission of the Medical Center, the Division of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, and the NPRI.
In 2000, Duke became an active member of the NICHD - Neonatal Research Network. This network is made up of 16 academic Divisions of Neonatology and ICN's dedicated to improving the quality of care for sick infants through the multicenter collaborative research. Neonatal fellows are encouraged to take part in clinical research under the auspice of the Neonatal Network.
Master's Level Training (Clinical Scholar)
A number of our fellows have chosen alternative academic pursuits during their training. NPRI sponsors master's-level programs are available in Clinical Research and Genomics as well as disciplines as varied as Biomedical Engineering, Medical Informatics, Medical Economics and Public Policy. Approximately 50% of our fellows have availed themselves of this opportunity.
Our program is as diverse as the many applicants who come to interview at Duke. I encourage you to explore our website to learn about the opportunities that exist in our fellowship program. I am happy to answer any questions that you may have, and I look forward to meeting you.
Ronald N. Goldberg, MD
Shaad-McBryde Professor of Pediatrics
Director, Neonatology Fellowship Training Program