Didactic Program

At Cedars-Sinai, our goal is to deliver a well-rounded educational experience to advanced trainees in rheumatology. We offer a very broad range of didactic conferences and mentoring. At the end of the basic two-year period, we expect trainees to be able to practice rheumatology independently and, if they choose, pursue an academic career with additional research training. Our conferences include:

Cedars-Sinai Core Curriculum Clinical Case Conference Series

This series is geared toward imparting clinical knowledge directly to fellows in training. Based on cases encountered at Cedars-Sinai, the faculty selects topics that are explored in depth — typically a case presentation followed by a scholarly literature review focused on differential diagnosis, etiopathogenesis, laboratory investigations and outcome. These conferences often generate research topics or manuscripts. The immediate goal for the series is for fellows to learn how to organize a scholarly presentation and deliver it to a receptive audience of mentors and fellow trainees. Here they learn how to educate peers in their chosen venue when they leave their training program.

Journal Club and Grand Rounds

During the past 15 years, Cedars-Sinai has attracted to our program some of the best and brightest minds in rheumatology. Our list of grand rounds speakers and topics covers 2008-16.

Visiting professors usually arrive at Cedars-Sinai on a Tuesday afternoon for meetings with key faculty. The fellows then lead journal club presentations of critically reviewed articles in the evening. The journal club discussions are lively and friendly, with informal jousting among the director of Rheumatology, Michael Weisman, MD, visiting professors, attending physicians and the resident statistician. The discussions expose fellows to leading-edge information in a relaxed manner. Fellows learn to dissect manuscripts and published papers, examining the strengths and weaknesses of the literature we are exposed to on a daily basis.

Grand rounds are held monthly on Wednesday mornings. The quality and caliber of the speakers and the level of discussion give fellows a taste of rheumatology at its best. Following grand rounds, visiting professors spend the rest of the morning at the fellow-run clinic and interact with the patients there. Part of the design of the grand rounds/journal club experience is for fellows to create lifelong relationships with the visiting professor.

  • Research Journal Club
    This monthly journal club is run by Daniel Wallace, MD, FACP, FACR, who brings to the conference his vast experience of having treated more than 2,000 lupus patients, as well as his writing and editing credentials. His ability to provide both historical context and laser-accurate dissection of complex scientific literature is much appreciated by fellows and attendings alike.
  • Chief Rounds
    Michael Weisman, MD, imparts his wisdom from years of practice at the top of his field. Fellows present interesting cases that are followed by attendings in the hospital. This is an opportunity to learn the tricks of the trade from a master clinician who challenges fellows to dig deeper into their consultations, reviews key literature articles and ultimately imparts to them what a scholarly consultation should contain. This is the kind of learning opportunity that fellows will keep with them for the rest of their careers.
  • UCLA Rheumatology Grand Rounds
    The UCLA Division of Rheumatology holds grand rounds once a week at the Westwood campus, where fellows attend this lecture series and interact with UCLA faculty and fellows. This is especially important at the beginning of the academic year, when UCLA presents a core curriculum emphasizing basic skills in interpreting clinical, laboratory and outcome data for basic rheumatologic diseases.

Imaging Conference

Musculoskeletal Imaging includes three outstanding specialists in the field and organizes a monthly multidisciplinary conference with continuing medical education credit for fellows and attendings in the Rheumatology, Orthopedics and Radiology divisions. The goal of this conference is to provide the fellow with both basic and sophisticated skills in interpreting radiographs and advanced imaging, including magnetic resonance imaging and other imaging modalities. Imaging studies of patients followed by fellows are carefully reviewed, and fellows' clinical decision-making skills are sharpened through the teaching imparted by expert faculty. Private attendings are encouraged to bring challenging cases to this conference, and these cases are a superb focus for discussion regarding the latest advances in imaging and other diagnostic techniques.

Combined Pathology/Rheumatology Conference

Our fellows are some of the most recognizable faces on the pathology floor. We encourage our fellows to personally review their patients' pathological slides and specimens and to develop a very strong working relationship with the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. Through review of actual cases, fellows are taught basic pathological findings in a variety of systems, including lung, renal, skin, muscle, neurological, hematological and cardiovascular. Since renal pathology is a premier referral specialty at Cedars-Sinai, our fellows have developed a separate renal pathology conference with the attending renal pathologist to review cases of interest.

Musculoskeletal Examination and Injection Training Course

This one-day intensive course is offered to fellows in the early part of fellowship training. It is taught by key attending faculty with extensive experience in musculoskeletal examination and injection techniques. This course has been so popular that it is offered to general practitioners at the biennial Klinenberg Symposium.

Ultrasound in Rheumatology Course

Our fellows undergo instruction in the use of ultrasound through a variety of sources, including an ongoing, one-year American College of Rheumatology (ACR) course, ACR Care, and the UCLA Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Course and Hands-on Workshop. Fellows gain practical experience in the use of ultrasound by scanning patients and colleagues in the offices of attending physicians.