Our vision for education in the BIDMC Department of Neonatology is the natural extension of our culture of collaborative patient care: a group-learning environment in the forefront of newborn medicine. In the process of caring for newborns, the many people involved - medical students, neonatology fellows, neonatal nurse practitioners, respiratory therapists, nurses, dietitians, and social workers, as well as each baby's parents - benefit from asking questions and learning together. As HMS faculty members, attending neonatologists are able to facilitate this educational process while learning from the other participants.
Our department currently offers formal clinical training through HMS for four groups of medical learners: HMS-II students undertaking a half-day introductory session on newborns as part of Patient-Doctor II; HMS-III students on a 5-day rotation through the newborn nursery; HMS-IV students on a month-long elective subinternship in the newborn intensive care unit (NICU); and neonatal-perinatal fellows honing their team leadership and patient management skills in the NICU and high-risk antepartum consult service. We contribute to the clinical education of other trainees as well, supervising neonatal nurse practitioner education and instructing obstetrics/gynecology and anesthesiology residents in newborn-related topics and skills. We also play an important role in the Department of Maternal and Child Health at the Harvard School of Public Health, bridging the gap from clinical practice to health policy through roles as lecturers, course directors and thesis advisors. In addition, members of our department are involved in various other educational activities such as lecturing and tutoring in other HMS courses; speaking to graduate medical and other audiences locally and nationally; and tutoring and mentoring students, nurse practitioners, and house staff. Finally, but no less importantly, we consider parent education to be a central part of our educational mission.