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Neonatal/Perinatal Medicine Fellowship

The UCI School of Medicine's three-year Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Fellowship, directed by Dr. Fayez Bany-Mohammed, is an ACGME accredited, a university-based program with 2 affiliated children's hospitals.

At the Department of Pediatrics, we believe that better patient care comes about through high-quality medical education supported by clinical, biomedical and applied research excellence. Graduates of our fellowship are well-trained for successful careers in academic medicine, as well as community-based Level III clinical neonatology.

 

Director's Message  »

Welcome to the University of California Irvine Joint Fellowship Program in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine. We are glad that you are considering our program for your future training and career development. Fellowship at UC Irvine provides physicians with unmatched training in neonatology with a comprehensive educational curriculum, a thorough clinical training and outstanding research experience individually tailored to each trainee’s area of interest.

Our program has been in existence for over 35 years; we have a proud history of graduating successful neonatologists who have worked in both academic and private-practice settings. Our academic curriculum provides training in clinical and basic science research methodology, quality improvement, educational methodology and multidisciplinary team leadership. Fellows receive protected learning time for didactic lectures and research.

We are lucky to have three training sites, each providing trainees with a unique experience and skill set. They are: UCI Medical Center (UCIMC), Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) and Miller Children’s and Women’s Hospital of Long Beach (MCWHLB). UC Irvine School Medicine, our sponsoring institution, is voted one of the best medical schools in the nation by US News and World Report (USNWR). We work closely with an integrated Maternal Fetal Medicine program with an accredited MFM fellowship. Specific therapies offered in the 3 NICUs include, but are not limited to, high-frequency oscillatory and jet ventilation, non-invasive mechanical ventilation, complex surgical care, total-body cooling for hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). Our 3 NICUs include specialized small baby “subunits” that cater to the meticulous care of ELBW infants. The neonatal program at CHOC is consistently ranked among the top 30 programs in the country by USNWR. 

Collectively, we admit more than 2400 patients to our NICUs annually including more than 700 VLBW infants and more than 400 neonatal surgeries with an average daily census of more than 140 patients in the 3 NICUs. Many of the patients we care for are transported from several community hospitals in Southern California. Our Obstetric and MFM colleagues provide care for more than 13,000 deliveries per year, and the patient population has a strong combination of patient acuity, diversity and complexity. The program offers fellows a personalized experience that combines academic medicine with a private practice flavor. The combined program faculty includes approximately 40 board certified neonatologists, in addition to many pediatric surgeons and every subspecialist.  

Fellows in the training program develop a strong foundation of medical knowledge in neonatal physiology and pathophysiology and learn to provide evidence-based medicine within a family-centered care model. Program fellows benefit from the abundant resources available for clinical and research endeavors within the three institutions. Fellows are offered varied opportunities to do laboratory, translational and clinical biomedical research, in addition to many quality improvement projects. Places of cutting edge research in our program include the Neonatology Stem Cell Research Center, the Institute of Clinical and Translational Science (ICTS), the Beckman Laser Institute and the Behavioral Perinatology Research Program. 

Additionally, living in sunny Orange County, California offers an abundance of exciting recreational and cultural opportunities. We are located a few blocks away from Disneyland, the “Happiest Place on Earth”. Orange County has everything that you are looking for, and whatever it doesn’t have, is only a short drive away. We have mountains, gorgeous beaches, awesome hiking trails, cool attractions for the kids, and so much more. You could be surfing the waves on the beaches in the morning and skiing in the snowy mountains in the afternoon!

Again, thank you for considering UC Irvine for your training needs. We are committed to training the next generation of NICU providers. If you need further information, please do not hesitate to reach out. My contact information is at the bottom of this page. We look forward to hearing from you!

Sincerely,

Fayez Bany-Mohammed, MD
Director, Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Fellowship Program
101 The City Drive
Building 56, Suite 600
Orange, CA 92868-3298
714-456-6933
Email: fbanymoh@hs.uci.edu
 
Fellowship Locations  »

Program fellows benefit from the abundant resources available for clinical and research endeavors by rotating at 3 different institutions:

  • UCI Medical Center – which offers the only high-risk academic center with combined maternal-neonatal clinical program in Orange County
  • Children’s Hospital of Orange County – this premier hospital for children in Orange County houses a state-of-the-art spectrum of subspecialty pediatric services with highly specialized neonatal care including ECMO, open-heart surgery, a Cardiovascular ICU, Small Baby Unit and Surgical NICU.
  • Miller Children’s Hospital in Long Beach – which boasts the largest NICU on the West Coast with large coordinated perinatal services and a diverse patient population.
Curriculum »

Clinical rotations at our three training institutions are limited to a maximum of 14 months of NICU and 3 months of electives (MFM, Cardiology, and CVICU) during the three-year fellowship.

One half-day per week (Wednesday afternoons) is dedicated to providing educational activities for the trainees. No fellows are on call Tuesday nights so that Wednesday afternoon didactics are protected. During this time, lectures based on the "content outline" published by the American Board of Pediatrics are delivered by both fellows and attendings. Additional educational activities include case conferences, weekly neonatal radiology rounds, weekly rounds with maternal-fetal medicine fellows and faculty, monthly combined perinatal pathology conferences, monthly maternal-fetal and neonatal didactics conducted by the trainees, monthly morbidity and mortality conferences, and quarterly regional conferences with other fellowships in the area, including UC San Diego and Loma Linda University.

Research training is accomplished with an assigned research mentor in clinical, applied or bench research for 21 months of the three-year training. Most months fellows will be taking call as well but 6 of the 21 months are call free and fellows can dedicate their time entirely to their research project.

Specialty clinics include high-risk infant developmental follow-up clinic and a pulmonary clinic for the NICU graduates. Fellows are required to spend six half-days per month for six months attending clinic during the research month assignment. Both these clinics are located at CHOC.

Elective rotations consist of one month of Maternal Fetal Medicine in your 1st year (2 weeks at Miller Children’s Hospital and 2 weeks at UCI), one month of Cardiology at CHOC in your 2nd year, and one month of CVICU at CHOC in your 3rd year. Fellows have an opportunity to follow patients with complex cardiac lesions (pre-, intra- and postoperatively) as well ECMO patients.

The program provides valuable educational resources for the trainees. These include free access and utilization of the medical libraries at the training institutions as well as the science library at the university. These services include computer facilities, access to internet and intranet, and audio-visual equipment.

Trainees are given an educational stipend for book purchases and for the preparation of poster presentations and publication of manuscripts as well as reimbursements for travel expenses to make presentations at research meetings.

Trainees get 4 weeks of vacation each year.

View and download a detailed copy of the curriculum ›

Applications »
Applications are submitted through the AAMC Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) website.
Current Fellows »

Bret Nolan, DO

Medical School: Ohio University School of Osteopathic Medicine
Residency: LAC+USC Medical Center
Research Projects: Microbiome in preterm infants, Medical Education
Hobbies: Running, Yoga, Folk Violin, Reading, Baking Bread, Making my own beauty and cleaning products (it’s fun, I promise!)

PGY6

Bret Nolan  

Bret Nolan, DO

Medical School: Ohio University School of Osteopathic Medicine
Residency: LAC+USC Medical Center
Research Projects: Microbiome in preterm infants, Medical Education
Hobbies: Running, Yoga, Folk Violin, Reading, Baking Bread, Making my own beauty and cleaning products (it’s fun, I promise!)

 

PGY5

Gladys Rojas

Gladys Rojas, MD

Medical School: Ross University School of Medicine
Residency: Hackensack Meridian Health Jersey Shore University Medical Center 
Research Project: TBD
Hobbies: Hanging out with husband, family, and friends, reading on the beach, watching movies and reality TV shows, bike riding, and riding my Peloton bike.

Amina Qayum, MD

Medical School: University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine
Residency: Rainbow Babies Women and Children’s Hospital/Case Western Reserve University
Research Project: 
Dexcom G6 Continuous Glucose Monitoring in High-Risk Neonates: A Pilot Study
Hobbies: 
photography, exploring the outdoors, playing with my puppy, and relearning how to play the piano 

 

PGY4

 

Smrithy Jacob, MD

Medical School: SUNY Downstate Medical Center (Brooklyn, NY)
Residency: Staten Island University Hospital, Northwell Health (Staten Island, NY)
Research Interests: 
noninvasive monitoring, cardiac physiology
Hobbies: 
theater, live music, reading, finding new places to eat

Shruthi Janardhan 

Medical School: Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore
Residency: Zucker school of medicine - Staten Island University Hospital
Research Interests: 
sepsis, nutrition-related
Hobbies: r
eading thriller novels, cooking, baking, running, scuba diving 

Rhucha Joshi

Medical School: University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix
Residency: UC Irvine - Children's Hospital of Orange County
Research Projects: TBD
Hobbies: Baking, cooking, going to the beach, exploring new restaurants, anything coffee, traveling

Meaghan Neary 

Medical School: Saint Louis University
Residency: Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles
Research Projects: 
neurodevelopmental outcomes, infant and maternal
mental health

Hobbies: 
cooking, gardening, hiking, taking our dog to the beach

Testimonials from Recent Graduates 

Kari Bruce, MD                             https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcv0r5md8rQ

Joanna Bisquera-Cacpal, MD         https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJZLXy6TJx0

Preeti Singh, MD                           https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ozglg2vyCn8

Meghali Singhal, MD                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBerOY8qwAA

Raissa Fobi, MD                            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2hIkMzlF5s

Azif Safarulla, MD                         https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mtwAO6tvOiE

Sneha Taylor, MD                          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mcmVXublG0

Gladys Rojas, MD

Medical School: Ross University School of Medicine
Residency: Hackensack Meridian Health Jersey Shore University Medical Center 
Research Project: TBD
Hobbies: Hanging out with husband, family, and friends, reading on the beach, watching movies and reality TV shows, bike riding, and riding my Peloton bike.

Faculty  »

UCI Faculty

CHOC Core Faculty

  • Irfan Ahmad, MD

  • Amir Ashrafi, MD

  • Kushal Bhakta, MD

  • Christine Bixby, MD

  • John Cleary, MD

  • Vijay Dhar, MD – Division Chief

  • Sudeep Kukreja, MD

  • Jina Lim, MD

  • Michel Mikhael, MD – site director, Associate Program Director.

  • Anita Shah, MD

Miller Children's Affiliated Faculty

  • Albert Antonio DO

  • Steve Cho MD

  • Elaine Chu MD

  • Michael Doti MD

  • Leonel Guajardo MD

  • Lena Kim MD

  • Ting-Yi Lin MD

  • Rebecca Meyer MD

  • Tony Soliman MD – NICU Medical Director

  • Rose Tan MD

Research »

Dr. Muhammad Aslam is a Professor of Pediatrics and Director of Research and Scholarly Activities in the Neonatology Division of the Department of Pediatrics at UC Irvine Medical Center. He is also the founding director of the Neonatology Stem Cell Research Center (NSCRC) located at the Irvine Campus of UC Irvine. NSCRC is involved in basic and translational science as well as clinical & quality improvement (QI) research related to diseases in neonates and children. A major focus of research is utilization of stem cells in the prevention and treatment of chronic neonatal conditions where current therapies are limited. NSCRC is equipped with state of the art equipment and facilities to conduct a diverse array of experiments. The live animal vivarium for the center is located at Gross Hall with expert veterinarian support. Dr. Aslam has mentored residents, fellows, and junior faculty with presentations at National and International Meetings as well as publications in peer-reviewed journals. NSCRC has received local, regional, and national funding in addition to philanthropic support which has enabled the state-of-the-art research work at the center. 

One huge focus of NSCRC is to find a treatment or cure for neonatal chronic lung disease, also known as Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD). BPD is a chronic respiratory disease of babies born prematurely causing immediate and long-term health issues, frequent hospitalizations, home health care (need for oxygen and equipment to help lungs expand), and even death in extreme cases. The number of infants diagnosed with BPD each year is currently at its highest given the survival of more and more extremely preterm babies. Despite advances in medicine, success in preventing BPD in premature newborns has been limited. At present there is no cure for BPD. All current treatment options are to slow the disease progression and decrease problems associated with it. Fortunately, Dr. Aslam and his team at NSCRC have identified that stem cells and their secreted proteins prevent as well as partially cure BPD in animals. The center has successfully isolated and maintained human umbilical cord stem cells and extracted their secreted factors to test against BPD in experimental animal models before proceeding to FDA approval for a clinical trial. 

 
Contact Us  »
To learn more about our faculty, please visit the Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Faculty page.
For further information, please contact:

Fayez Bany-Mohammed, MD
Director, Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Fellowship Program
101 The City Drive
Building 56, Suite 600
Orange, CA 92868-3298
714-456-6933
Email: fbanymoh@uci.edu

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