The Maternal Fetal Medicine division at McMaster University includes 9 faculty working at one site - the McMaster site of Hamilton Health Sciences. Our health region includes approximately 30,000 deliveries. Having all clinical experiences focused at one site allows the group to be close knit and enables constant encounters with all levels of learners. The site is also a Children’s Hospital so that all Pediatric sub-specialists are readily available for consultation and education. We have sessions several times per month between various Pediatric groups and our division. Our division is well supported by the generalist obstetricians.
For information about Maternal Fetal Medicine Electives, please visit McMaster University's Obstetrics & Gynecology "Electives" page.
About the Program
The fellowship program is a two-year program fully certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. We have the capability of accepting one to two fellows per year. Fellows have intensive time in clinical MFM, prenatal diagnosis, as well as neonatology, pathology and obstetrical medicine. There are also blocks of elective time which occur in both first and second year; commonly this is used to join the Toronto fetal therapy group but other experiences would also be encouraged. Another key element to any MFM fellowship program is ultrasound. McMaster Ultrasound provides obstetrical ultrasound services to a large number and wide variety of healthy and complex, high risk obstetrical patients from LHINs 3, 4 and 6. We see a high volume of fetal anomalies. Techniques provided in the unit include two dimensional (grayscale, Doppler) and 3D/4D dimensional scanning/reconstruction and invasive procedure guidance (amniocentesis and CVS). Fetal and maternal MRI is available for selected cases.
Learning opportunities are diverse including hands on scanning, reviewing images on a digital image archiving system, manipulation of 3D teaching volumes, amniocentesis simulator, ultrasound team rounds, as well as local digital and internet resources. An MFM-sonographer is in the unit daily to facilitate this teaching.
Our program has the flexibility to enable fellows’ career goals. Recently, one of our fellows undertook a Master’s degree in Health Research Methodology through the Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact during her fellowship. Dr. McDonald has graduate faculty status with HE&I and is the Department’s representative on the Clinician Investigator Program. This enables graduate studies (Masters or PhD) and she would be delighted to discuss these opportunities further. As well, the Clinician Educator Program is an excellent value-added training opportunity that a recent fellow has been accepted into. Dr. Morais was a successful candidate in this program as well, and would be happy to provide additional insights into the nature of this program.
Another of the strengths of our program, as noted by the fellows, is that there is a clinic specifically for patients to be managed by the fellow. New consultations are done as well as follow up visits. The fellow has input into the types of patients that are booked. MFM faculty supervise the clinic and there is increasing autonomy over the course of the program. This is a horizontal experience that continues as a commitment throughout rotations (other than elective). Residents have consistently praised this experience noting it gives them a high degree of independence and allows them to mature in their clinical judgment which are both essential o a smooth transition to independent practice.
Additionally, the relative low volume of fellows at our centre compared to some other training programs ensures that our fellows have excellent exposure to unique and interesting clinical and procedural opportunities.
Hamilton itself offers many advantages as a city. It is central with respect to liaising with other MFM units. There is ease of access to Toronto and London for not only MFM-related issues but cultural, travel and other activities. There is a large amount of green space and since it is on the Bruce Trail, excellent hiking and other outdoor activities are possible.
There are six blocks for research during the Fellowship. Each fellow meets with the MFM Research Coordinator, and a Clinician-Scientist in the department, upon their arrival to discuss their previous research experiences, potential areas of interest, and career goals. Opportunities with various MFM faculty are discussed as there are various areas of research interests amongst the faculty. Once the resident has selected a research topic, the MFM Research Coordinator sets up specific modules. These modules are taught by various faculty and are meant to guide the resident through key steps in developing a research project. The goal is to ensure the resident’s efficient progress towards contributing in a meaningful way to the literature.
Setting up multicenter research projects is also possible within the time span of the fellowship. For instance, a recent graduate from the fellowship established a multicenter collaboration with University of Toronto, and published results in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology all within the time span of her two-year fellowship, and also received an award for best MFM poster at the University of Toronto/McMaster MFM – Neonatology Research Day.
Our fellows are consistently invited to present their research at prestigious national and international meetings, and have successful publications in well-respected journals.
Upon graduation from our training program, all of our recent fellows have been immediately successful in obtaining a full-time position in various academic tertiary care centres across the country. Many have remained active with various scholarly endeavors during their faculty appointments.
We are proud of our program and our MFM graduates. We work well together. We receive very positive feedback from our fellows. Our division would welcome interested applicants to apply.
For further information on how to apply, required documentation and to submit your application, please use the Fellowship Application Portal.
Incomplete applications with missing documents will not be considered.
We are now considering applicants for the 2020 Match (for candidates who would begin the fellowship in July 2021). Applications are due July 30, 2020 with interviews to follow prior to the Match. Virtual Interviews will take place in August. The Match date is currently pending.
Reference letters and inquiries regarding the program should be directed to the Fellowship Administrative Assistant – Education. Please visit our web page, McMaster University's Obstetrics & Gynecology, "Contact Us" page and full contact information.
Sapna Sharma, MD, FRCS(C)
Maternal Fetal Medicine
1280 Main Street West, HSC-4D5
Hamilton ON L8S 4K1