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Neonatal-Perinatal Fellowship

General Description

The Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Residency Program at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Arkansas Children's Hospital is an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-accredited training program requiring three years of training beyond successful completion of an accredited Pediatric Residency. Training takes place at both the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) NICU and Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) NICU, the ECMO Unit, the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit, Labor and Delivery Unit, and the Neonatal Research Laboratories.

The training is structured so that neonatal-perinatal fellows develop special competence in the management of critically ill newborn infants, and participate in a variety of scholarly and research activities including quality improvement. The overall goal for this program is to provide a comprehensive academic experience that allows the trainees to emerge as independent, well-rounded neonatologists with broad clinical expertise, teaching experience, and demonstrated research accomplishments.  Since our program was accredited for the first time, our first-time board pass rate is 100%.

First year fellows devote much of their time to research (7 months) along with 4 months of clinical time in the nursery and 1 month high risk obstetrics. Further research occupies most of the second year (8 months) with 3 months clinical and 1 month genetics/metabolic or cardiovascular intensive care. Research also occupies most of the third year with 7 months given to research along with 3 months clinical, 1 month cardiovascular intensive care or genetics and pharmacology.  There is also a longitudinal continuity follow-up clinic in the High Risk Newborn Clinic attended throughout the 3 years of fellowship.

Please navigate to the embedded link to learn more about our hospital, programs, and services


The Section of Neonatology is located at Arkansas Children's Hospital and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, ArkansasArkansas Children's Hospital is a private, not for profit, free standing children's hospital with 310 beds. Established in 1910, the hospital underwent rapid growth in the 1980's and is now one of the ten largest children's hospitals in the nation. The hospital serves as the major pediatric teaching affiliate for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.  The hospital is the only pediatric hospital in the state of Arkansas, and serves as a referral center for areas of Mississippi, southern Missouri, eastern Oklahoma, northern Louisiana and northeast Texas.  Having the largest NICU in this cachement area allows us to provide neonatal-perinatal fellows with abundant, thorough, and varied clinical experiences in the care neonates.  Nationally renowned programs such as the pediatric cardiovascular surgery program and the ECMO program attract patients from other areas of the country as well.  The ECMO program at Arkansas Children’s Hospital is one of the nation’s busiest.

Arkansas Children’s Hospital is the base for the UAMS pediatric residency program, which currently has 62 pediatric residents, 19 medicine-pediatric residents and two child neurology residents enrolled in the program. Fellows in neonatology play a key role in educating pediatric housestaff in the care of critically ill neonates.

The Arkansas Children’s Hospital operates Angel One - an extremely busy neonatal and pediatric transport service, utilizing two helicopters, three vans, and a variety of fixed-winged aircraft.  Fellows have ample opportunity to gain experience in transport and learning to provide medical control for a transport team.  The Angel One team averages approximately 80 NICU transports per month.

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciencesis the state's only academic medical center and is responsible for training more than 80 percent of the physicians in Arkansas as well as the majority of other medical professionals.  A recent UHC study of Intensive Care Nurseries at 30 teaching hospitals resulted in a Top Performer rating for the University Hospital Intensive Care Nursery.  The study involved newborns under 2 pounds, 3 ounces, who had been admitted due to prematurity or other pre-term diagnostic conditions (such as pulmonary, neurological and gastrointestinal complications).  Factors including the medical and nursing management of the infants and the outcomes of that care were also evaluated.  Fellows gain extensive experience in leading the resuscitation of high risk newborns, management of extremely low birth weight infants, and prenatal consultation with families of high risk pregnancies. In January 2009, the new NICU at UAMS opened with almost 60,000 sq ft of floor space. The new spacious unit has 64 private beds with six twin rooms. There is a large, comfortable family area with additional family sleep rooms and laundry facilities.


The NICU at Arkansas Children’s Hospital is a 100-bed equipped and staffed to deliver a full range of care to critically ill neonates from throughout the state. Specially trained neonatal nurses are available for one-on-one patient care when needed. Neonatologists and pediatric house officers and neonatal nurse practitioners provide coverage to the unit, including 24-hour in-house staff neonatology coverage and Arkansas’ only complete head cooling experience. Subspecialists from all the pediatric disciplines are available for consultation 24 hours a day.


Ashley S. Ross, M.D.
Assistant Professor, Pediatrics
Program Director, Neonatal-Perinatal Fellowship
Co-Medical Director, UAMS Intensive Care Nursery

Dr. Ross joined the faculty in 2006.  He assumed directorship of the fellowship program in 2008.  He was certified in general pediatrics by the American Board of Pediatrics in 2003.  He completed his neonatal-perinatal fellowship at UAMS/ACH in 2006 and was board certified in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine in 2008.  Dr. Ross serves as the Co-Medical Director of the UAMS NICU.  His research interest during his fellowship was adipocyte differentiation from adult human stem cells and was funded through an intramural grant at the ACH Research Institute. Current research endeavors include collaborative studies involving pharmacokinetic studies of antimicrobials used in the neonatal period and the role of fluconazole prophylaxis in extremely low birth weight newborns.  He is an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics.  His other interests include content design for the electronic medical record, resident and fellow education, newborn ethics, advanced ventilator management, and ECMO.

Franscesca Miquel-Verges, M.D.
Assistant Professor, Pediatrics
Assistant Program Director, Neonatal-Perinatal Fellowship

Dr. Miquel-Verges assumed the assistant fellowship director position in June of 2010.  She completed her medical school at Universidad La Salle in Mexico, Pediatric residency at Penn State Hershey Medical Center and Neonatal Perinatal Medicine fellowship at Johns Hopkins University.  She was certified by the American Board of Pediatrics in General Pediatrics in 2006 and Neonatal/Perinatal Medicine in 2010.  She is an Assistant professor in Pediatrics, division of Neonatology.  Dr. Miquel-Verges has an interest in teaching, has participated as an instructor in medical school courses and has received several awards as “teaching resident”.  She completed the Teaching Scholars Program at UAMS in 2010 and has developed a course in simulated neonatal resuscitation for a multidisciplinary team.  She is a clinician-educator.  Her research interests include prenatal counseling, education of patients and families as well as improving medical education. She serves in the Residency Advisory Committee at ACH as well as the Palliative Care Committee at UAMS. 

Robert McGehee, PhD.
Professor, College of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics
Associate Professor, Department of Physiology and Biophysics
Associate Professor, Department of Pathology
Dean, Graduate School
Neonatal-Perinatal Research Director

Dr. McGehee joined the faculty in 1993.  He was board certified in Physiology/Biophysics in 1990. His research interest includes biochemical mechanisms responsible for adipocyte, differentiation and the factors that can influence their production and reproduction.  Dr. McGehee has maintained active NIH grants and has published extensively in his field. He is responsible for the coordination of research activity for all fellows and serves as the Dean of the Graduate School at UAMS.

Richard Hall, M.D.
Professor, Pediatrics
Former Program Director, Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine

Dr. Hall joined the faculty in 1976. He is the former fellowship director of the program from 2002 to 2008.  He was certified in general pediatrics by the American Board of Pediatrics in1979. He was certified in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine in 1995 and recertified in 2001 by the American Board of Pediatrics. He is a professor of Neonatology. Dr. Hall has been the director of the UAMS Intensive Care Nursery since 1993 and recently stepped down to pursue telemedicine and regionalization research.  He is now the Vice-Chief of Neonatology and serves on the Housestaff Advisory Committee, the P & T Committees for both hospitals and the Patient Care Committee. He has an NIH funded COBRE grant to study the effects of neonatal pain.

Dr. Robert Arrington, M.D.
Professor, Department of Pediatrics
Section Chief, Neonatology
Wal-Mart Endowed Chair in Neonatology

Dr. Arrington has been a member of the Department of Pediatrics since 1972.  He has been Section Chief of Neonatology for over 30 years.  He was named as the inaugural recipient of the Wal-Mart Endowed Chair in Neonatology in 2009.  He has received many awards and honors during his tenure.

Sherry Courtney, M.D.
Professor, Department of Pediatrics

Dr. Courtney joined the faculty in 2012. She was certified in General Pediatrics and Neonatal Medicine in 1979. Dr. Courtney brought a wealth of clinical and research experience to the Department of Pediatrics. She is currently the local PI of several multicenter trails in the NICU and is collaborating with Dr. Mark Heulitt on respiratory physiology studies in the animal lab. Her primary research interests are respiratory disease and ventilation of the neonate. Dr. Courtney is the research mentor for several of the follows.

Charlotte Hobbs, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor, Pediatrics
Professor, College of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics
Assistant Professor, College of Public Health
Section Chief, Birth Defects Research
Pamela D. Stephens Endowed Chair in Birth Defects Research

Dr. Hobbs joined the faculty in 1996. She is a general pediatrician with a master in public health. Dr. Hobbs is extensively involved in clinical research and biostatistics. She has large federally funded regional project to study birth defects for this region. She works closely with fellows who are more interested in clinical research. She provides them with a background for data entry and research with large data bases.

Click on this link to view all Neonatology faculty.

The ACH/UAMS pediatric faculty includes over 260 faculty members representing virtually every pediatric subspecialty, including 20 cardiologists, nine pulmonologists, four nephrologists, 16 neonatologists, five gastroenterologists, four infectious disease specialists, five hematologists-oncologists, four pharmacologists, and 24 emergency medicine physicians.

Surgical specialists include two cardiovascular surgeons, five pediatric surgeons, two pediatric neurosurgeons, and five pediatric otolaryngologists. There are 30 pediatric anesthesiologists at Arkansas Children's Hospital.

Critical support physicians for the NICU include 11 pediatric radiologists and six pediatric pathologists.

How to Apply

The Neonatal-Perinatal Fellowship at UAMS/ACH participates in the E.R.A.S. application system and NRMP fellowship match.  All applications must be submitted through E.R.A.S.  A common letter of recommendation is appreciated.  We are approved by ACGME for a total of 5 fellowship positions.

Applicants must be board eligible in General Pediatrics by the standards of the American Board of Pediatrics by the start date of fellowship.

The application season begin in November.  We will begin to review applications in January.  We will accept applications through the end of the E.R.A.S cycle which usually at the end of May.  Interviews will be conducted beginning in February and extending into July as needed to accommodate an applicant’s schedule.  Applicants will be contacted through E.R.A.S to schedule an interview.

Links and Resources

Candidate Benefits and Terms
Contract Example
UAMS GME Handbook
UAMS College of Medicine - Current Residents
Organization of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Program Directors (ONTPD)
Common Letter of Recommendation for Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Fellowships
Perinatal Section, American Academy of Pediatrics
Neonatal-Perinatal United States Fellowship Directory
American Academy of Pediatrics, Section on Perinatal Pediatrics

For further information, please write or call to:

Ashley S. Ross, M.D.
Program Director
Neonatal-Perinatal Fellowship Program
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
4301 West Markham, Slot 512-5B
Little Rock, AR 72205
(Phone) 501-526-3580
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Francesca Miquel-Verges, M.D.
Assistant Program Director
Neonatal-Perinatal Fellowship Program
Arkansas Children’s Hospital
1 Children’s Way, Slot 512-5
Little Rock, AR 72202
(Phone) 501-364-1028
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Diana Hershberger
Program Coordinator
Neonatal-Perinatal Fellowship
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
4301 West Markham, Slot 512-5B
Little Rock, AR 72205
(Phone) 501-526-3580
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and has a Conrad 30 waiver program. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.

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