Educational Objectives

The  mission  of  the  Maternal‐Fetal  Medicine  (MFM)  Fellowship  at  Columbia  University/New York -Presbyterian  Hospital  is  to  train  perinatal  subspecialists  who  will  become  leaders  in  the field, both clinically and academically. This is a three‐year program that follows guidelines set by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG). In order to meet these guidelines, the division  enlists  specialists  in  MFM,  neonatology,  ultrasonography,  fetal  echocardiography,  obstetrical critical care, diabetes, infectious diseases, genetics, obstetrical anesthesia, and the basic  sciences. The  department  also  utilizes  faculty  from  Columbia’s  Mailman  School  of  Public Health to ensure that fellows have an education in epidemiology and biostatistics.


The  program  is  designed  to  train  graduate  specialists  to  provide  care  and  consultation  for  patients  with  obstetric,  medical,  and  surgical  complications  during  pregnancy.  Fellows  are trained  to  assess  and  treat  the  maternal  and  fetal  effects  of  these  disorders  and  to  manage  pregnancies  complicated  by  primary  fetal  conditions,  including  structural  and  functional abnormalities, or primary maternal conditions, including complex maternal cardiac disease and placenta accreta.


Fellows learn high‐risk pregnancy management through a combination of didactic lectures and conferences given by MFM, human genetics, neonatology, pathology, and anesthesiology faculty. Fellows  also  obtain  significant  hands‐on  experience  and  the  opportunity  to  make  independent decisions, in outpatient and inpatient settings, under the guidance of MFM faculty members.

Clinical Activity

Most  of  the  fellows’  first  year  is  devoted  to  clinical  activities,  focusing  on  management  of  patients in three main areas:

  • Labor and Delivery
  • High‐risk service, including critical care obstetrics
  • Operative deliveries
  • Vaginal breech delivery of second twin
  • Consultant to low‐risk service
  • Inpatient antepartum service and high‐risk perinatal clinics
  • Preterm labor and poor pregnancy outcome clinic
  • Multiple pregnancies and fetal anomalies clinic
  • Diabetes clinic
  • Maternal medicine clinic
  • Obstetric and gynecologic ultrasound
  • Hands‐on instruction in comprehensive ultrasound imaging
  • Progressive experience with invasive procedures

On all rotations, MFM faculty members directly supervise fellows, with the objective to develop decision‐making, consultative, and leadership skills so that they can function independently upon graduation.


In the second year, fellows complete six months of advanced clinical training in critical care obstetrics, including cesarean hysterectomies for placenta accreta, reproductive and pediatric genetics, training in chorionic villus sampling, and fetal echocardiography; as well as advanced procedures such as multifetal reductions, radiofrequency ablation, shunt placement, cordocentesis, fetal blood transfusion, fetoscopy, and laser photocoagulation.


Fellows will complete 18 consecutive months of protected research time. Research facilities are available for MFM fellows in clinical medicine, ultrasonography, and the basic sciences. They may work in the MFM Division of the OB/GYN Department, in the laboratory facilities at CUMC, at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health, or in other clinical departments. Fellows design and structure their research projects with consistent guidance from MFM faculty and mentors. They present their projects to MFM faculty, residents, and their mentors as the research progresses.


The MFM Fellowship Program is structured to provide extensive clinical and research experience. Individuals who complete the program are able to work independently, managing complicated pregnancies using the most current diagnostic and treatment modalities available. The program graduates fellows who can appropriately interpret the literature for clinical applicability and research design. The management of a busy perinatal service, the provision of consultation to the clinical obstetrical service, the proximity of the strong basic science and clinical research environment at CUMC, and design and completion of an independent research project all prepare fellows for leadership roles in the specialty of MFM.


Click on the links below to view the corresponding educational objectives: