Rheumatology Fellowship Program Research

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The Division of Rheumatology offers a broad and diverse range of clinical, educational and research opportunities, which encompass common rheumatic disorders and systemic connective tissue diseases. Fellows learn the research methodologies and basic science principles that constitute the underpinnings of success in rheumatology practice. Electives include radiology, EMG/NCV, muscle clinic/neurology, orthopedics, pathology, pediatrics and rehabilitation/physical medicine.

The Division of Rheumatology requires fellows to initiate and participate in a research project mentored by a faculty member of the division. The Fellowship Program Director, Ali Askari, MD, should be informed of each fellow’s selected project by the end of the third month of rotation. By the sixth month of being in the program, each fellow should have started his or her project. The project should come to fruition either by publication in a referenced journal or presented at the Annual American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Annual Scientific Meeting, or from a project the mentor is currently working on. Available divisional mentors include: Donald Anthony, MD, Charles Malemud, PhD, and Roland Moskowitz, MD.

At the end of the second fellowship training year in August (late ACR abstract submission deadline), the second-year fellows should have an abstract on their scholarly activity to submit to ACR. Alternative markers of success include submission of a review article, case report, or manuscript to a peer reviewed journal, or acceptance of an abstract at a national clinical/scientific meeting.

Timeline and operation plan:

  1. At beginning of fellowship, first-year fellows are apprised of research guidelines and are given a list of six potential advisors and/or projects to consider (icluding a paragraph broad description of potential project). Fellows do need not choose any of these six potential projects, rather they are intended to serve as one resource.
  2. By the end of third month of fellowship training, first-year fellows are expected to meet with all potential rheumatology faculty advisors, select a project and advisor, compose and meet with their scholarly activity committee. The committee should be composed of: a) The Fellowship Scholarly Activity Director (Either Fellowship program director or designated Scholarly Activity Director) (will serve as committee chair for all committees); b) A project advisor (chosen by each fellow); and c) a Third Case/UH/VA faculty member with expertise on the area of focus.
  3. The committee will meet every four months (fellows are responsible for scheduling meetings at the times convenient for all committee members). Each meeting will have a content format of 30 min project progress presentation, identified plans and goals for the following four months as well as remainder of fellowship. The remainder of the meeting (no more than one hour total) should be designated to discussion and advice. At the end of each committee the Committee Chair should summarize meeting there will be a meeting summary paragraph composed by the committee Chair. This paragraph will be distributed to the fellow and advisor (can be an email with cc to program administrator). The Fellow and Advisor are to utilize this information to help identify the most optimal action plan for future progress.
  4. During the first six months of fellowship, each first-year fellow will have an average of 0.5 day/week blocked off for three months in order to help get the research project started.
  5. During the course of fellowship, fellows will utilize 2.5 months per year (can be divided in more than one block) designated time set aside for scholarly activities and electives to ensure project progress.
  6. By March of the second fellowship year, the committee will identify any remaining requirements needed to achieve scholarly activity goals (goals identified over the first two committee meetings) essential to complete before graduating from the fellowship training.