Fellowships

Our program is one of the oldest and most highly regarded in the U.S., and we take great pride in the quality and accomplishments of our trainees. To help you better understand our program we are providing you with this very brief summary of its various elements.

The program consists of four elements: the hospital rotations, the outpatient clinic experience, the didactic lectures and conferences, and research training. 

THE HOSPITALS

Our program is proud of the extraordinary size and diversity of our patient population. All fellows spend time on service at each hospital, doing consults and managing patients.

Bellevue Hospital: Bellevue Hospital: This is the flagship of the NYC public hospital system, and the oldest public hospital in the country. Bellevue is a place to see many acute illnesses, rare illnesses, and the natural history of illness in people who have not previously sought medical attention. At this institution you will find one of the broadest and most interesting patient populations to be found anywhere, with a strong representation of nearly every type of rheumatologic disease.

NYU Langone Medical Center Tisch Hospital: NYU Langone Medical Center Tisch Hospital: Tisch Hospital is the university hospital of the NYU Langone Medical Center. This is a large, private institution, whose admissions by our full-time and voluntary faculty include a large number of tertiary referrals and unusual cases. The opportunity to rotate through this world-class status institution further broadens our already extraordinary patient experience and offers a chance to participate in patient management with some of our most seasoned attending physicians.

The NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases: One of the few institutions in the country dedicated specifically to rheumatologic and orthopedic diseases. This private hospital with a large public service mission is noteworthy for a large patient complement of individuals with lupus and seronegative arthritis. However, all rheumatologic illness is represented here and HJD is one of the few institutions in the nation to have its own inpatient rheumatology service. It is also an exceptional place at which to learn about the orthopedic and rehabilitation aspects of rheumatology.

The NY Harbor Health Care System (Manhattan VA): One of the largest VA hospitals in the country and the flagship VA hospital center for the region, this hospital provides exceptional exposure to the management of RA, OA and crystal diseases, as well as vasculitides and myopathies. Virtually all other diseases, including male lupus, are also represented.

In each of these above settings, attending supervision rotates on a monthly basis. In addition to the service attending, we are proud of the fact that virtually all of our faculty members are available for consultation, both formally and informally, on cases of particular difficulty.

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THE CLINICS

Our training program has an exceptionally rich outpatient base, and we operate five half-day continuity clinics weekly, including two lupus and two arthritis clinics (one each at Bellevue and HJD) and a general rheumatology clinic at the VA.

In the first year, each fellow attends three of these clinics: one lupus, one arthritis, and the VA rheumatology clinic. The schedule is designed to assure that each fellow gets at least one clinic experience at each hospital. Our clinics are quite busy and provide an exceptional exposure to outpatient rheumatology and rheumatology clinical research.

In the second year, fellows generally discontinue their VA clinic experience and maintain a lupus and an arthritis clinic as their continuity clinics. This allows more time for scholarly activities.

In addition to these regular clinics, first-year fellows have the opportunity to attend one or more subspecialty clinics on a rotating basis. These clinics have been selected to provide enrichment in areas directly related to rheumatology and currently include a pediatric rheumatology clinic, a specialized psoiatic arthritis clinic at our own psoriatic arthritis center, a connective tissue diseases dermatology clinic, and an osteoporosis clinic.

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THE TEACHING/CONFERENCE SCHEDULE

We are especially proud of our didactic programs here at NYU and believe that they are unmatched anywhere in the country. Our teaching and conference schedule is designed to promote both the education of our trainees and the lifelong scholarship of our faculty. The initial programs for the fellowship are designed to teach you the foundation of rheumatology. As the first year moves on, you continue to learn in the setting of Divisional conferences in which fellows come together with the attending staff as colleagues in learning; everyone participates together and teaches in these conferences.

Our didactic programs consist of:

The Summer Course: Each year NYU rheumatology provides a unique series of lectures designed to provide our new fellows with a strong starting background in rheumatology. On weekday mornings throughout the summer, faculty members present a lecture on an important aspect of rheumatology (more than 40 lectures in all!). By the end of the summer, you should be extremely knowledgeable and begin to develop a level of comfort in evaluating even unusual cases. We are extremely proud of this program; to our knowledge, no other didactic program matches the breadth and depth of what we do. Topics include rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, lupus, crystal disease, myopathies, etc., but also include training in radiology, EMG/NCS, rehab, metabolic myopathies, and other related subjects. 

During the academic year, we sponsor several conferences weekly designed to provide teaching on various aspects of clinical or academic rheumatology. Fellows are expected to be full participants in these conferences, presenting alongside their faculty colleagues. These conferences include:

Fellow’s Monday morning conference: rotating series of conferences consisting of lectures on core rheumatology topics, reviews of treatment guidelines, discussion of board review questions, as well as a unique inter-disciplinary monthly session on autoimmunity and pregnancy involving the obstetrics and maternal-fetal medicine departments.

Tuesday Bellevue Case Conference: The Bellevue fellow presents an interesting inpatient case, which is then discussed by senior faculty. This conference includes bedside rounds to evaluate the patient.

Wednesday Fellows’ scientific conferences: Rotating series of conferences relating to an assortment of topics, paying special attention to scientific education. The sessions will consist of 1. a basic immunology session, where fellows learn with the guidance of one of our basic science faculty the core principles of immunology as it relates to human physiology and rheumatic disease, 2. a clinical research methodology session, where fellows will learn basic principles of clinical research methods from expert faculty, and 3. a monthly inter-disciplinary case conference between the rheumatology, pathology and nephrology divisions where a case is dissected and a topic relevant to the case is discussed in detail with input from the senior faculty from each department.

Wednesday afternoon rotating conferences: Various conferences take place on Wednesday afternoons, including a radiology conference with one of our expert musculoskeletal radiology colleagues; an outpatient case conference, in which fellows and faculty discuss outpatient both bread-and-butter and unusual outpatient cases; and a conference specifically to address osteoporosis management, lead by expert faculty.

Thursday morning Journal Club: Clinical and basic science articles presented weekly by faculty and fellows.

Thursday evening Rheumatology Seminar Series: Weekly presentations by prestigious outside speakers as well as our own faculty, on current research relating to rheumatology. In addition, fellows give presentations during this session, including morbidity and mortality and pathology conferences.

Thursday evening Rheumatology Grand Rounds:Monthly session that takes place on a Thursday evening. Speakers are invited from all over the country and this is considered our "premier" conference of the month

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Friday Case Presentation/Systems-Based Practice Conference: Weekly conference prior to VA clinic for first-year fellows, with presentation of cases from the VA or Tisch Hospital, discussion of soft-tissue rheumatology topics, x-ray reading, and other topics.

Friday Case Presentation/Systems-Based Practice Conference: Weekly conference prior to VA clinic for first-year fellows, with presentation of cases from the VA or Tisch Hospital, discussion of soft-tissue rheumatology topics, x-ray reading, and other topics.

Finally, all fellows are welcome and encouraged at all times to take advantage of the rich educational opportunities of our exceptional medical school, including many conferences daily given by other branches of the Department of Medicine and other departments of the school. These include Medical Grand Rounds, and The Honors Lecture, the medical school's flagship clinical and research conferences, respectively.

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THE FACULTY

Our faculty is one of the largest anywhere in rheumatology (more than thirty physicians, as well as PhDs) and ranges the gamut from superb private practitioners to full-time clinical staff to clinical researchers and bench scientists. All of our faculty have strong local, and many have national and international reputations, with research interests ranging from lupus to rheumatoid and osteoarthritis to pure cell biology and pharmacology. We believe that this breadth is especially useful for the intellectual growth of our trainees, who have the opportunity to learn from people with great enthusiasm for a wide range of rheumatologic issues. 

In addition to their research, our faculty take teaching very seriously, and we both emphasize and value teaching on the part of both our faculty and fellows. We are particularly proud of the fact that, from among the approximately 100 rheumatology training programs in the country, nearly 10% are headed by graduates of the NYU fellowship and/or the School of Medicine. Many other graduates of NYU serve as chairs of rheumatology and/or research divisions, both nationally and internationally. 

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THE SHAPE OF THE PROGRAM

We offer a two-year accredited program in rheumatology, with the option of a three-year research track for select candidates. We are looking for the strongest possible candidates, and are interested in future clinicians, as well as clinical researchers and bench researchers. Regardless of your current interests, what we seek in our fellows is future leaders, people who have the potential to make an impact on the field of rheumatology in one aspect or another. 

The first year of fellowship is almost exclusively clinical in nature, but with important didactic introduction to the science (both basic and clinical) behind rheumatology. The clinics, wards, and conferences discussed above make up the bulk of the first-year fellows’ experience. Four weeks of vacation are provided, generally in two-week blocks.

The second year of fellowship continues the fellows' clinical training, mainly in the form of our outpatient clinics fellows cut back to two weekly clinics in this year (as noted above), with some limited time spent on the wards. Much of the second year is intended to give trainees an exposure to research in its various forms, including a project that you will be expected to perform under the supervision of a faculty mentor. This project may take the form of a basic or translational research project, or of a clinical study. While we do not expect everyone to pursue a research career in the long term, we expect rigor and productivity from our trainees during this research experience. We believe that learning how to do research is critical to your future as a rheumatologist who is capable of keeping up with the cutting edge of the field.

While our mandatory program is a two-year training experience, a three year track for academic and research training is available at the mutual agreement of the fellow and faculty and is strongly encouraged for those interested pursuing an academic career. Interest in a third year should be declared as early as possible, ideally at the time of application to the program. Fellows who join the program on the two-year clinical track can also be considered for transfer to the three-year research track, and should alert the program to their interest as early as they are aware of it. Fellows who seek to remain for a third year are strongly encouraged and mentored to apply for grants during their second year of fellowship, as a first step towards developing independence. Many of our research fellows pursue additional training, such as a Masters of Science in Clinical Investigation through the NYU Clinical and Translational Science Institute, providing a valuable framework for future success in research.

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IN CONCLUSION

We at NYU are proud of our triple commitment to teaching, academic scholarship, and patient care. We think we have one of the finest rheumatology training programs anywhere, and hope you will agree. Since this synopsis can only touch upon our many resources, we encourage you to contact us if you have any further questions. Staff at our administrative office (212-598-6368) can direct you to the appropriate faculty member or fellow. Application to the program is made through the ERAS online system. More information about ERAS is available through the AAMC website at https://www.aamc.org/students/medstudents/eras/fellowship_applicants/

Good luck, and congratulations on your choice of rheumatology as a future career!

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