Cook County Health’s Neonatal-Perinatal Fellowship Program is one of the oldest in the country.

Founded in 1968 and accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education in 1984, the program has developed into a three-year program that is designed to prepare fellows for the Neonatal-Perinatal sub-board of the American Board of Pediatrics examination.
The comprehensive curriculum provides the fellows a strong clinical foundation. The fellows participate in a wide variety of clinical, basic science and epidemiology research. The clinical service, including teaching round, neonatal transports and weekly conferences, is joined with weekly multidisciplinary high-risk clinics for a unique opportunity to learn and provide long-term follow up care to the NICU graduates who are at risk for neurodevelopmental disability. The curriculum is designed to ensure protected time for scholarly activities. 
The NPM Program equips the fellows with a strong academic and clinical training. Fellows who graduated from the program have successfully found employment working as neonatologists in level 3 NICU hospitals, level 2 hospitals and other academic institutions.
Our comprehensive training program strives: 
  • To ensure an appropriate environment for the well-being and care of the patients 
  • To provide NPM trainees adequate training in the diagnosis, critical analysis of clinical problems, and management of neonates and young infants 
  • To provide NPM trainees with opportunities for progressive acquisition of skills in investigative efforts 
  • To prepare NPM trainees to create and sustain a therapeutic relationship with patients 
  • To be involved as a teacher and supervisor 
  • To be involved with scholarly activities
  • To develop a commitment to lifelong learning and self-instruction on the part of the NPM trainees 
  • To enable NPM trainees to develop expertise as consultants in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine 
  • To provide progressive clinical, technical, and consultative experiences that will enable the NPM trainees to work effectively as members or leaders of patient care teams or other groups in which they participate as researcher, educator, health advocate, or manager. 


The NPM Fellowship Program participates in the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) and in the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP). The program accepts and reviews applications in July and interviews selected applicants from August to November. The NPM Fellowship Program supports H1B and J1 visas. 
Prerequisite training/selection criteria: 
  • Satisfactory completion of an ACGME-accredited pediatric residency 
  • Residents from an approved Doctor of Osteopathy Pediatric program (US only) 
  • USMLE/COMLEX transcript of scores 
  • Medical school transcript of grades 
  • At least three letters of recommendations are required 
  • Curriculum vitae 
  • Personal statement 
  • Residents with suitable training from non-US programs may be considered 


First year fellow:  1 month of clinical orientation, 5 months in direct patient care and supervision of residents and medical students, 5 months in research orientation and 1 month of vacation. 
Second year fellow:  4 months of direct patient care and supervision of junior fellows, residents and medical students, 7 months of research and 1 month of vacation. 
Third year fellow:  3 months of direct patient care and supervision of fellows and residents, 1 month of cardiac surgery rotation at Advocate Christ Medical Center, 1 month at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago level 4 NICU, 6 months of research and 1 month of vacation. 
Each fellow is assigned a half-day outpatient Neonatal High Risk Clinic throughout the fellowship. 
We have two maternal-fetal medicine attending specialists in the Department of OB/GYN and fellows are encouraged to do an MFM rotation at any time during their 3 years of fellowship. 

Learning Opportunities

  • Weekly grand rounds on neonatal topics: fellows present at least one GR per year 
  • Physiology lectures: geared for the fellows 
  • Yearly Neonatology Board Reviews 
  • Research conferences 
  • Weekly journal clubs presented by attendings and fellows 
  • Morning reports 3 times per week 
  • Weekly combined (Stroger Hospital/Rush Hospital) Pediatric Grand Rounds 
  • Monthly mortality & morbidity conferences 
  • Monthly simulation sessions for residents 
  • Quality improvement projects

Research Experience

Teaching and research are major focuses throughout the three-year program. 
Each fellow must select a choice of research area, either clinical and/or laboratory in nature. Special interests in the Division include epidemiology, perinatal risk factors and neonatal outcomes, clinical profile of necrotizing enterocolitis, patent ducus arteriosus, neonatal infection, calcium phosphate metabolism, vitamin D requirements, cord clamping and clinical surveys. The Scholarship Oversight Committee aids in research design, protocol submission, IRB and data analysis, as well as manuscript submission for publication. Fellows have protected time throughout their fellowship to participate in various research experiences.


Attending Neonatologists:

  • Mopelola Akintorin, MD, System Chair, Pediatrics

  • Vish Agrawal, MD

  • Christian Castillo, MD

  • Rajesh Dudani, MD

  • Manhal Khilfeh, MD, Chair, Division of Neonatology

  • Rajeev Kumar, MD

  • Janardhan Mydam, MD

  • Vishakha Nanda, MD, Director, NICU

  • Jacek Ubaka, MD

  • Shou-Yien Wu, MD, Program Director, NPM Fellowship

Current Fellows:

  • Nita Shrestha, MD, Third Year Fellow: 2020 to 2023

  • Aarti Kulkarni, MD, Second Year Fellow: 2021 to 2024

  • Bilal Manzoor, MD, Second Year Fellow: 2021 to 2024

  • Amani Qasem, MD, Second Year Fellow: 2021 to 2024

  • Aashika Janwadkar MD, First Year Fellow: 2022 to 2025

  • Ugoeze Otome, MD, First Year Fellow: 2022 to 2025


  • 4 weeks vacation, 12 sick days, 12 holidays, 7 conference days, 3 bereavement days 
  • Educational allowance
  • House Staff Association Union 
  • Malpractice, health, disability, dental, vision, life insurance 
  • Maternity/paternity/family medical leave 
  • Meal allowance 
  • Pension plan, flexible spending account 
  • Parking $70 for 4 weeks, 2 lab coats yearly, 2 sets of scrubs yearly 

Alumni/Past Graduates

The NPM Program equips the fellows with a strong academic and clinical training. Fellows who graduated from the program have successfully found employment working as neonatologists in level 3-4 NICU hospitals, level 2 neonatal-perinatal centers, and academic institutions.
Class of 2021 & 2022:
John H. Stroger Hospital, Chicago, Illinois (pediatric residency)
NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem, New York, NY (pediatric residency)
Class of 2020:
Advocate Christ Medical Center, Oaklawn, Illinois
Swedish American Hospital, Rockford, Illinois
Class of 2019:
Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (academic appointment)
The UnityPoint Health Methodist Hospital, Peoria, Illinois
Class of 2018:
Ball Memorial Hospital, University of Indiana Health, Muncie, Indiana
The Phoenix Children’s Hospital, St. Joseph Medical Center, and Maricopa County Hospital
Class of 2017:
Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (academic appointment)
Swedish American Hospital, Rockford, Illinois

Program Contact

Shou-Yien Wu, MD
Neonatal-Perinatal Program Director
(312) 864-4024

Melanie Li-Kastanes
Program Coordinator
(312) 864-4044