The Fellowship Training Program in Rheumatology at the University of Virginia has been ongoing for more than 40 years. It is administered by the Division of Rheumatology and accredited by the ACGME. Upon successful completion of the program, an individual is eligible for the certification examination in Rheumatology that is administered by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM). The Program combines a rich and rigorous clinical experience with many clinical research opportunities.
UVA Health System serves a population of approximately 2.5 to 3 million people from the Charlottesville metropolitan area and reaching across the state to rural and semi-rural communities. Most of the localities in this region do not have a rheumatologist available for consultation, so the patient population seen at UVA is quite diverse and encompasses the full spectrum of rheumatic diseases. The rheumatologists in our division have over 10,000 patient visits per year.
Clinical training is done at the UVA Hospital and at the Rheumatology Clinic. The clinic is located in the Fontaine Research Park, which is also home to Orthopedic Surgery, the Pain Management Clinic, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, and Musculoskeletal Radiology; this physical configuration encourages interactions among rheumatologists, orthopedic surgeons, psychiatrists, and musculoskeletal radiologists. There is also an outpatient facility for physical therapy and occupational therapy, the division has certified musculoskeletal ultrasound training, and the Rheumatology Clinic has two musculoskeletal ultrasound machines for diagnostic and procedural applications, and for teaching purposes. Thus, the clinical environment is excellent for an interdisciplinary approach to rheumatology education.
Elective clinical time includes opportunities in Orthopedic Surgery (Hand, Foot, and/or Sports Medicine), Dermatology, Metabolic Bone Disease, Nerve Conduction Study and EMG, Pain Management, Pediatric Rheumatology, Occupational and Physical Therapy, Musculoskeletal Radiology, and Physical Medicine, and Rehabilitation.
Clinical and translational “bedside-to-bench” research opportunities are ongoing through collaboration with researchers and faculty throughout the medical center.
The fellowship program emphasizes the development of academic and clinical rheumatologists and is tailored to ensure the success of fellows with this interest. During the 1st year, the fellow attends (on average) 4 half-day clinic sessions per week. All clinics are supervised onsite by a rheumatology faculty attending physician. 1st-year fellows also rotate on the Rheumatology Consultation Inpatient Service for approximately 3 1/2 months and 2nd-year fellows for 2 1/2 months. The program is structured to the specific needs of the fellow with time for research experience and electives. Weekend call rotates and averages 1-weekend call out of 4.
Division conferences include weekly Rheumatology Grand Rounds and Case Conference, monthly Research in Progress meetings, monthly Journal Clubs, monthly Musculoskeletal Radiology Conferences, and a variety of other seminar and lecture series. Priority is given to applicants who desire a robust clinical experience and a scholarly approach to clinical Rheumatology, with an interest in academic careers.