The Fellowship Training Program in Rheumatology at the University of Virginia has been on-going for more than 40 years. It is administered by the Division of Rheumatology & Immunology 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 in a mostly rural to semi-rural environment. 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. Rheumatologists in our division have, on average, 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 Orthopaedic Surgery, the Pain Management Clinic, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, and Musculoskeletal Radiology; this physical configuration encourages interactions among rheumatologists, orthopaedic surgeons, and musculoskeletal radiologists. There is also an outpatient facility for physical therapy and occupational therapy, and the division has two physicians certified in musculoskeletal ultrasound, 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 a rheumatology education.
Elective clinical time includes rotations 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 basic science research opportunities are available through collaboration with researchers and faculty in the division and the Center of Immunity, Inflammation and Regenerative Medicine (CIIRM).
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 4 months and 2nd-year fellows for 2 months. The program can be 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 scholarly clinical experience and those with a strong interest in academic careers.