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Alumni Testimonies

Here's what some former Neonatal-Perinatal fellows said about why they chose UT Southwestern for their fellowship training.

  • Myra H. Wyckoff, M.D. (1997-2000)

    Myra H. Wyckoff, M.D. 1997-2000

    Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatal Perinatal Medicine, UT Southwestern, Dallas, TX

    I chose UTSW for my Neonatal-Perinatal Fellowship for two reasons. Parkland Hospital delivered more babies than any other hospital in the country. I got to see everything there was to see as far as neonatal pathology, and I might have seen it twice. That being said, there was always something new to challenge me and the team. In addition, the research training was excellent. This was supplemented with the course work that really provided a solid foundation of evidence-based medicine, study design, statistics, and physiology. The building blocks were put in place to launch a successful academic career which was my dream.

  • Nathan Sundgren, M.D., Ph.D. (2007-2011)

    Nathan Sundgren, M.D., Ph.D. 2007-2011

    Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Section of Neonatology, Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston, TX

    I chose UTSW for my neonatology fellowship because of the world class research. What I didn't know was how rich my experience would be clinically at Parkland Memorial Hospital. I assumed any hospital that delivered around 15,000 babies a year would give me good exposure to every kind of neonatal disease. Parkland even exceeded that expectation. The highlight of the clinical experience for me was learning from the resuscitation team and going to so many deliveries. The nurses, respiratory therapists and NNPs were so good as a team they could run a code and make you feel like you were in charge. They instantly made me better, and I learned so much from them every time. Now I am physician leader of Texas Children's Hospital's neonatal resuscitation team and director of our NRP education program. My training at UTSW prepared me for this role, and I am very grateful for my training there.

  • Michel Mikhael, M.D. (2009-2012)

    Michel Mikhael, M.D. 2009-2012

    Assistant Professor of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, CHOC Children’s Hospital, Orange, CA

    I chose UTSW for my fellowship training because of the great potential opportunities for clinical and academic training. Parkland Hospital is considered one of the busiest delivery centers in the country, and faculty members are experienced in diverse areas of research. My training highlights were the autonomy as a fellow, opportunities for leading a team and the very well run didactic courses. My education at UTSW for sure helped me to prepare for a successful career as a clinician, mentor, educator and a leader.

  • C. Vivek Lal, M.D. (2011-2014)

    C. Vivek Lal, M.D. 2011-2014

    • Associate Professor - Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics
    • Associate Director of Business Development - Neonatology
    • Director - Golden Week Small Baby Program, Regional NICU
    • Chair, Scholarly Oversight Committee, Neonatology Fellowship Program
    • Physician Scientist - TReNND Program, Pediatrics
    • Physician Scientist - Program in Pulmonary & Matrix Biology, Department Medicine
    • University of Alabama at Birmingham, AL

    I firmly believe that if we chase excellence, success shall follow! It is with that goal in mind, I chose UTSW for my Neonatology fellowship. Over the years, I have come to appreciate that the training I received at UTSW was second to none. UTSW has one the most comprehensive Neonatal and Perinatal Medicine fellowship training programs in the country. Large patient volumes, complex high acuity cases and programs of excellence such as the resuscitation service, make the clinical enterprise unparalleled. The basic science and clinical research training are exceptional with an ingrained culture of organized and systematic mentoring. The environment is extremely friendly with most faculty very invested in the success of the fellows. Overall, the training at UTSW was one of the most enriching experiences of my life, and I owe all of my professional successes to my friends, mentors and colleagues at UTSW.

  • Reina Mayor, D.O. (2011-2014)

    Reina Mayor, D.O. 2011-2014

    Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, Pediatrics AdventHealth, Orlando, FL

    I chose UTSW's fellowship program because of the volume and diversity of the neonates that they care for. I also was drawn to this fellowship given the caliber of research conducted in neonatology at UTSW. One of the best parts of my training at UTSW were the faculty. During my fellowship, it was very evident that the faculty truly cared about the quality of my training. I was just not there to work on staff at the NICU. They were dedicated to ensuring that I had the best training possible. I felt well prepared to start as an attending physician in neonatology. The hands on and didactic training over the three years prepared me for what I have seen now as an attending.

  • John Ibrahim, M.D. (2015-2018)

    John Ibrahim, M.D. 2015-2018

    Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, Pediatrics UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, PA

    When I applied for the neonatology fellowship program, I set my search criteria for a program with a very solid research foundation, strong and diverse clinical experience as well as rigorous QI training. Well, UTSW, an establishment where six scientists have received the Nobel Prize far exceeded my criteria. During my three years of fellowship, I learned about all the landmark trials, participated in NRN clinical trials, worked in a basic science lab, presented in national and international meetings, and received grants and awards. Additionally, I have learned from all the complicated and bizarre cases at CMC as well as practiced bread and butter neonatology at Parkland Hospital. I was honored to be trained on neonatal resuscitation at Parkland Hospital under Dr. Wyckoff, where a lot of the research work behind the current NRP guidelines was born. QI was a strong component. Not only was I trained on it, but I got to see the birth and result of ambitious QI neonatal and educational projects. UTSW in my opinion has prepared me and shaped me to join and strive in one of the largest academic NICUs in the country.

  • An Nguyen, M.D. (2016-2019)

    An Nguyen, M.D. 2016-2019

    UTSW stood out to me from all the places I interviewed because of the specialized resuscitation team and the opportunity to train at a place with one of the NRP gurus! Also, the number of deliveries at Parkland was one of the highlights of the program. I wanted to train at a place where I would get to see a lot of pathology, and I definitely feel like I got exposure to a wide variety of diseases - both rare and common. The attendings here are super supportive and dedicated to teaching. I definitely feel like I made the right choice coming to UTSW!

  • William Smithhart, M.D. (2016-2019)

    William Smithhart, M.D. 2016-2019

    I was attracted to the program primarily because I felt that it would be a unique and valuable clinical experience. The resuscitation rotation that we participate in as first-year fellows was critical to me, as it helped me rapidly get comfortable resuscitating critical infants and transitioning into the fellow role. I feel that there really is no substitute for patient volume, and being a fellow in a huge delivery center such as at Parkland Hospital has been instrumental in giving me confidence as I transition to an attending role. Additionally, our experience at Dallas Children's gives us a lot of valuable training in taking care of medically complex babies requiring multidisciplinary care. Finally, my research experience at UT Southwestern has been really rewarding, and my manuscript has already been accepted for publication before I finish the program.

  • Margaret "Katie" Hoge, M.D. (2017-2020)

    Margaret "Katie" Hoge (PGY5) 2017-2020

    Throughout the interview trail, it was evident to me that this program and the people here truly stand behind the fellows in their learning and personal endeavors. The program is extremely well represented in every area a training neonatologist would want: clinical care, research, quality improvement, and leadership. You don't compromise anything by choosing UTSW. With one of the largest volume centers in the nation, you easily see a variety of common to rare pathologies. You are learning from leaders in the field who help you really understand the nuances of NICU care, keeping you up to date on all of the latest evidence-based medicine, and fostering your own curiosities and scholarly endeavors. I think this was one of the best places to learn to be an excellent neonatologist in every sense. Equally important, the faculty and fellows are invested in each others' success, and that is worth the world to me. It's great to come to work and see amazing physicians lead their successful work careers while supporting the important aspects of life outside of the hospital. It was clear to me that this was an amazing program, and I'm so grateful to be able to train here.

  • Jesse Banales, M.D. (2018-2021)

    Jesse Banales, M.D.

    I chose UT Southwestern as my fellowship program because I wanted to train in a program that offered extensive clinical experience, accomplished faculty who would also take personal interest in my development, and education in how to evaluate and establish future standards of care in neonatology. Through the opportunity to rotate here prior to fellowship and my experience during interview day, I found UT Southwestern to fulfill all of these hopes and I’ve felt the same way through my first year of fellowship. What I love most about the program has been the support and warmth I’ve experienced with the faculty here and the delivery room experience. Here, you can learn how to manage sick babies in the delivery room with the guidance of a member of the NRP steering committee while also getting personal advice from impactful faculty in the field who genuinely care about you. The common theme here is a group of people who have a passion for doing the best for our babies and who want to show us how to do the same.

  • Lorraine Bautista, M.D. (2018-2021)

    Lorraine Bautista, M.D.

    I chose UTSW because of its rich history in preparing neonatologists for both clinical and academic careers. My interest in public health also led me to seek training facilities like Parkland and Children's Medical Center Dallas where we serve a unique population in high volumes with many opportunities to focus on health disparities. As I finish my first year, I'm thrilled to be part of this stimulating and supportive community where faculty are passionate about patient care, research, and investing in the future of the fellows.