Rheumatology Fellowship

Program Overview

The Cedars-Sinai Rheumatology Fellowship trains fellows to become knowledgeable and disciplined practitioners in the rheumatic diseases, as well as critical thinkers, researchers and educators. Our rheumatology training and education philosophy is that fellows actively engage in "hands on" patient care, reviewing every imaging study, pathologic specimen, synovial fluid sample and literature article. There are no shortcuts — "up-to-date" is not allowed. We go directly to the sources. In this way, we instill good habits that we hope will last a lifetime. Fellows in our program can expect to be listened to, guided and actively taught the nuances of the field.

Our focus is on clinical care. Our fellows are some of the most capable clinical rheumatologists in the country. We train strong and well-rounded rheumatologists whose clinical practice is informed by the highest standards and a scholarly approach.

For those interested in a research career, our fellowship offers an alternate academic track, which requires a third year of fellowship training. Fellows who wish to conduct clinical and translational research upon graduating from the program can participate in the Clinical Scholars Program, which provides funding, career guidance, education and skill acquisition for aspiring clinical scientists.

Intra- and extramural faculty mentor rheumatology fellows in research tracks that include epidemiology, clinical trials, and health services and outcomes research, among others. The Cedars-Sinai Division of Rheumatology has forged strong and ongoing clinical research ties with institutions in the area, such as Center for Health Sciences-UCLA; Children's Hospital Los Angeles; Harbor-UCLA Medical Center; Loma Linda University Medical Center; University of California, Irvine; and University of Southern California. We have ongoing research projects with each of these regional institutions, and the possibilities for additional collaborations are growing with time.

The Cedars-Sinai Rheumatology Fellowship has more than 30 active attending physicians, making us one of the most diverse rheumatology training programs in the country. Our faculty draws on the extensive collaborative research opportunities that exist at Cedars-Sinai, nationally and internationally. Our ongoing and extramurally funded collaborative projects involve investigators nationally at National Institutes of Health; Northwestern University; Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation; Stanford University; University of California, San Francisco; University of Chicago; University of Colorado, Boulder; University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston; and internationally at Second Military Medical University in Shanghai; University of Queensland in Australia; University of Santo Tomas in the Philippines; and University of Toronto in Canada.

In 2011, our faculty members were featured as podium speakers at the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) annual conference. In the past academic year, faculty members have participated in the development of ACR guidelines to treat lupus nephritis and the International Osteoporosis Foundation guidelines for the treatment of steroid-induced osteoporosis. In 2012, we recruited additional faculty members and have seven ongoing studies funded from grants from industry as well as the Vasculitis International Consortium.

Michael Weisman, MD, Rheumatology Fellowship program director, and Daniel Wallace, MD, Rheumatology Fellowship associate director

At Cedars-Sinai, a fellow has sufficient time and freedom for self-directed educational activities in addition to an exceptional amount of mentorship from our outstanding faculty. In the first year, fellows learn primarily through direct, supervised clinical care of patients at Cedars-Sinai and outpatient continuity of care clinics, including Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Saban Community Clinic, Venice Family Clinic and our outpatient clinic at Cedars-Sinai.

During the second year, fellows leave Harbor-UCLA Medical Center for rotations at the Veterans Affairs (VA) Sepulveda Ambulatory Care Center and Wadsworth VA Hospital but continue their rotations at the Saban Community Clinic and outpatient clinic at Cedars-Sinai. Also during the second year, fellows take advantage of unique opportunities to learn in private practice offices of selected attending staff, as well as in optional rotations at Children's Hospital Los Angeles and the lupus clinic at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.

In the first year, fellows decide on their research project, which is planned and executed with the help of a research mentor who provides extensive guidance throughout the process; fellows present their data in abstract form at the ACR annual meeting and publish results during their fellowship program. The second year is geared toward acquiring additional research and clinical skills.