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Fetal and Transitional Medicine Fellowship

Two-year Clinical Research Fellowship in Fetal and Transitional Medicine

This training track is designed for candidates who plan to pursue an academic career in fetal medicine, and who have a goal of establishing independently funded research careers.

During the first year of fellowship, the trainee is exposed to all aspects of prenatal pediatrics consistent with a schedule that also incorporates intensive training in basic research methodology, and higher level training in the application and interpretation of specialized fetal diagnostics.

The trainee is expected to design a research study in line with their longer term research goals, under the supervision of a primary mentor and members of the Children’s Research Institute. This research study forms the basis of their training during the second year of fellowship.

During the second year the trainee focuses primarily on his/her research study and begins to generate data towards applying for independent funding by the end of this fellowship. Trainees entering the two-year fellowship are assigned a primary mentor/supervisor and have access to specialized support in biostatistics and data management. No in-house call is associated with this program. On-page call is occasional during the first year and minimal during the second year. Moonlighting is not permitted during this fellowship.



The program has an intensive research component. During the first year, the trainee acquires clinical research skills through active participation in existing research protocols and ‘lab’ meetings of the principal investigators of these projects. In addition, the trainee is expected to design a research protocol with guidance from the principal mentor, and other selected specialists from the Children’s Research Institute, and other specialties at Children’s National Health System. All research activities will be conducted under the close supervision of his/her supervisor, the program director and the Clinical Research Program.



The overall educational purpose of this program is to assist in the development of clinical and research skills among the future leaders of multidisciplinary fetal medicine at Children’s National and beyond. This is achieved by developing in the trainee the expertise and special diagnostic skills needed for rigorous study of the mechanisms and manifestations of disorders in the fetus and newborn, as well as of the responses to such injury and its long-term outcome.

The approach to clinical and research training occurs through intense immersion in the Fetal Medicine Institute, including training in the diagnosis, counseling, and management of high-risk fetuses in general, with particular focus on the trainee’s primary discipline.

The program has a clinical component for the duration of the fellowship, which will be most intensive during year one, and in the second year focuses primarily on the trainees’ principal discipline. Patient care responsibilities include evaluation and supervised counseling of pregnant couples with fetal concerns. These evaluations occur in the multidisciplinary fetal care clinic. Trainees are required to attend weekly fetal imaging sessions. Finally, patients admitted to Children's National after fetal diagnosis, continue to be followed by the trainee. The trainee will also be responsible for the outpatient follow-up of cases seen in the fetal program by the trainee’s primary discipline.

A didactic component is primarily in the form of presentations of specific topics as part of the weekly fetal and transitional medicine meetings; in addition to attending, the trainee is also be expected to make formal presentations at these didactic sessions.

How to Apply

How to Apply

Our goal is to hire trainees who have completed specialty training in any discipline related to fetal medicine. Candidates must demonstrate a strong interest in fetal and transitional medicine. Candidates with a strong clinical research background in the area of fetal/neonatal medicine are preferred. Preference will be given to candidates identified by their primary specialty program directors as likely to assume a position in fetal and transitional medicine at their home institution.

Eligibility criteria for both fellowship tracks include completion of residency, fellowship or equivalent training in primary subspecialty, and licensure to practice medicine in the US.

Applicants should send their curriculum vitae and a letter outlining career goals/research plans to:

Adré J. du Plessis, MD, MBChB
Director, Fetal Medicine Institute
Children’s National Health System
111 Michigan Ave. NW,
Washington, DC.  20010

Faculty and Staff

Faculty and Staff

Dr. Adré J. du Plessis
Fetal Neurology
Board Certified in Specialty/training and education

Dr. An Massaro
Board Certified in Specialty/training and education

Dr. Mary Donofrio
Fetal Cardiology
Board Certified in Specialty/training and education

Dr. Dorothy Bulas
Fetal Imaging
Board Certified in Specialty/training and education

Dr. Tae Chang
Fetal Neurology
Board Certified in Specialty/training and education

Dr. Billie Short
Board Certified in Specialty/training and education

Dr. Catherine Limperopoulos
Fetal Imaging Research
PhD in Neuroscience/training and education

Dr. Anthony Sandler
Fetal Surgery
Board Certified in Specialty/training and education

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How many fellow spots are available each year?

One year

Is the program recognized by the ACGME?

Not yet. Fetal Medicine is budding field within pediatrics as we continue to explore disease processes before they appear in postnatal life.  This program is designed for physicians who have completed an ACGME- recognized subspecialty, and are looking to further study the origins of disease processes. This program is internally recognized by the Graduate Medical Education office at Children’s National Health System.

Q: What is the fellowship history?

This is a new fellowship at Children's National, as the Division of Fetal and Transitional Medicine was established in August 2010. Dr. Adré J. du Plessis, the Division Chief and Fellowship Director, ran a similar fetal - focused program for approximately nine years at the Children’s Hospital of Boston.

Q: What are the benefits?

Benefits include:

  • Health, Dental, Vision
  • Flexible Spending Accounts
  • Life Insurance
  • Annual & Sick Leave
  • Disability Insurance
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Backup Child and Elder Care

A detailed summary of all benefits can be found in our Benefits Guide.

Q: Can I see the sample contract for this program?

There is a sample contract used by the program.

Aidan's Story

Aidan Heart Story 2017 1

During his 1-month-old checkup at a local doctor’s office in California, Maryland, Aidan’s pediatrician detected a rapid heartbeat. He immediately sent them to Children’s National where doctors confirmed that Aidan’s tiny heart was beating twice as fast as it should be.

Read More of Aidan's Story