From Nurse to Neonatologist: Meet Nicole Deptula, MD ‘09
Class of 2009 graduate Dr. Nicole Deptula is an attending neonatologist at St. Louis Children’s Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, a Level IV 130-bed neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). She is responsible for the care of the most critically ill infants, and she serves as a teacher and supervisor for many medical students, residents and fellows.
Dr. Deptula was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. She completed her BSN at St. Louis University in 2005 and worked as a surgical ICU nurse for several years, until she decided life had different plans for her. She enrolled at AUC in 2005, completing her first two years of coursework in Sint Maarten, and was an active participant in the clinical skills lab. After completing her clinical rotations in New York City, Dr. Deptula graduated in 2009 and headed to New Jersey to complete her pediatric residency at Meridian Hackensack Jersey Shore University Medical Center. Subsequently, she was accepted into a neonatal-perinatal fellowship at St. Louis University School of Medicine.
During fellowship, Dr. Deptula performed basic science research using the fetal lamb lung model, the results of which she published in the American Journal of Physiology: Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology. She accepted a position in a private practice group, but always felt her calling was back in academic medicine. Two years later, she took on the position of Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Newborn Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri.
Academic medicine keeps Dr. Deptula busy. She holds positions on multiple committees including Labor and Delivery Quality Improvement and the Neonatal-Perinatal Fellowship Boot Camp. She is a Neonatal Resuscitation Instructor Mentor and has spearheaded the Micrognathia Guideline Committee. She is a member of the Fetal Care Institute and a newborn medicine clinical faculty member. On a national level, she is an active member of The Children’s Hospital’s Neonatal Consortium Micrognathia Focus Group. In addition, she has presented her work at the American Academy of Pediatrics Perinatal and Developmental Medicine Symposium and at the Pediatric Academic Society Meetings.
Dr. Deptula lives in St. Louis with her husband, Dr. Karna Sherwood—a neurologist and fellow Class of 2009 AUC graduate—and her three young children. In her free time, she enjoys running and reading mystery novels.
In addition, Dr. Deptula recently served as keynote speaker for the AUC May 2021 class's Virtual White Coat Ceremony. “I will be forever grateful to AUC for believing in me. The education I received opened many doors and gave me the opportunity to follow my dream of becoming a physician,” said Dr. Deptula. “I knew if I could just get my foot in the door, I would succeed. Hard work and dedication have served me well as a neonatologist.”