Rheumatology

  • Curriculum

    The first year of the fellowship is fully committed to clinical training, with the next two years primarily aimed at research training. In the clinical year, fellows are expected to spend most of their time in the clinic, as the subspecialty is largely outpatient based. However, fellows are also responsible for inpatient service, consults and nighttime / weekend call. With two fellows per year, each is on call approximately 50 percent of the time, except for weekend responsibilities, which are shared with senior fellows. Fellows participate in the teaching programs organized by Dr. Huggins.

    In the first year, fellows interview with faculty to identify potential research advisers / mentors, and are advised and counseled on how to choose which research tracks to pursue during the subsequent years of the fellowship. Fellows are required to participate in and contribute to the formal lectures, conferences and teaching sessions scheduled throughout the academic year. Evaluation of each trainee’s progress occurs at least every six months. In addition, a Scholarship Oversight Committee and Mentoring Committee, as mandated by the American Board of Pediatrics, will be established for each trainee.

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    Research Tracks

    • Track A involves a minimum of two years of laboratory research. With the division’s Immunology Graduate Program, fellows will have the opportunity to pursue a graduate (MS or PhD) degree. Laboratory-based fellows who are not interested in obtaining a graduate degree will still be strongly encouraged to take the new fundamentals of immunology course.
    • Track B is oriented toward clinical research and usually involves pursuing a master’s degree in epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of Cincinnati.
    • Track C focuses on obtaining a degree in medical clinician education. These fellows pursue research projects similar to those outlined for Track B.

    Clinical Work

    For the clinical portion of the Rheumatology Fellowship Program, all patient visits and inpatient rounds are closely supervised. There is a gradual delegation of clinical responsibility to each fellow, but with great emphasis on continuity of care, given the chronic nature of most rheumatic diseases. During the second and third years of training, fellows are required to attend a minimum, on average, of one half-day clinic per week for continuity. During this time, fellows also have the opportunity to attend outreach clinics once a month in Toledo, OH. In addition, pediatric fellows work on the inpatient / consultation service in adult rheumatology one month per year. The fellows also participate in various conferences.

    Evaluation of Trainees

    Formal evaluation by the training and Division of Rheumatology directors at Cincinnati Children’s takes place biannually, with intervening informal meetings between the directors every two months. Each trainee is required to establish a mentoring committee, with similar goals and composition to a PhD thesis advisory committee. This consists of:

    • The faculty adviser
    • A member of the executive committee
    • At least one other faculty member with scientific expertise in the area of the trainee’s research

    The evaluation takes into consideration the views of the faculty adviser and the mentoring committee. A faculty adviser who is on the executive committee (or a director) will offer his or her views, but will not take part in writing the formal evaluation.

    The following areas are evaluated:

    • Quality of protocols and experimental design
    • Bench productivity and performance
    • Attendance and participation at seminars
    • Performance in courses
    • Career development opportunities