Health Care Providers: Neonatologists
en español: Profesionales de la salud: Neonatólogos
What Is Neonatology?
Neonatology (nee-uh-nay-TOL-uh-jee) is the medical specialty that treats newborns who are premature (born early) or have medical problems.
What Is a Neonatologist?
A neonatologist (nee-uh-nay-TOL-uh-jist) is a doctor who cares for newborns who were born early or have medical problems.
Why Would Someone Need One?
Neonatologists treat newborns with many conditions, including:
- health problems from being born early
- trouble breathing
- metabolic disorders
- seizure disorders
- meconium aspiration
- spina bifida and myelomeningocele
They do medical tests and procedures such as:
- breathing support
- feeding therapy and nutrition
- EEG (brain activity monitoring)
- EKG (heart monitoring)
- extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)
- hearing tests
What Is Their Training?
Neonatologist training typically includes:
- 4 years of pre-medical education at a college or university
- 4 years of medical school — a medical degree (MD) or doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO) degree
- 3 years of training in a pediatric residency program
- 3 years of fellowship training in neonatal medicine. A “fellow” is a doctor who had more specialty training after completing medical school and a residency.
Good to Know
Neonatologists work closely with respiratory therapists, physical therapists, social workers, Child Life specialists, and pharmacists to care for newborns.
Date reviewed: September 2022