Rheumatology Fellowship

Program Overview

The Cedars-Sinai Rheumatology Fellowship consists of more than 30 active attending physicians, making it one of the most diverse training programs in the country. We train 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. 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 taught the nuances of the field.

While the major focus is on clinical care, our program also emphasizes the acquisition of research skills and, more importantly, the dissemination of research. Our fellows are some of the most capable clinical rheumatologists in the country. In other words, 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 not only with institutions in the area, such as Center for Health Sciences-UCLA, Children's Hospital Los Angeles and Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, but with national and international organizations such as the National Institutes of Health, the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Stanford University, University of Queensland in Australia, University of Santo Tomas in the Philippines, and University of Toronto in Canada.

For several years, the Division of Rheumatology has experienced unprecedented growth. We have added faculty members and have made strategic partnerships within Cedars-Sinai to advance our research agenda. Our faculty members have won awards and have held leadership positions with the American College of Rheumatology.

Michael Weisman, MD, Rheumatology Fellowship program director, (left) 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. 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 annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology, and they publish results during their fellowship program.

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, Venice Family 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. The second year is geared toward acquiring additional research and clinical skills.