The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Rheumatology fellows acquire clinical competence and selective expertise in the field of Rheumatology, promoting and providing state of the art patient care, advances in the science of medicine. They perform ethically responsible cutting-edge research and promote the highest standards of practice and clinical research.
Rheumatology Fellowship Training
The NIH rheumatology program strives to train the next generation of leaders and pathfinders in Rheumatology research. While those participating in our program will fulfill all requirements for certification by the American Board of Internal Medicine (Rheumatology) after two years of matriculation, we strongly encourage additional years of focused training in basic, translational or clinical research and offers to continue beyond the second year of study are based on merit and progress during the first two years of training. There are many opportunities for intensive clinical and basic science research training in the one thousand laboratories and clinical research units of the NIH research program. The combination of these research and sustained funding during up to eight years of training is a unique opportunity for research-oriented training in Rheumatology.
Structure of the Clinical Training Program
The first year is mainly devoted towards ensuring clinical competence in the practice of rheumatology. Clinical rotations in the consultative practice of adult rheumatology, pediatric rheumatology, rotations to the Johns Hopkins University and the Georgetown University Medical Centers and a community based practice of rheumatology provide opportunities to hone ones clinical skills. Exposure to research activities ongoing within the Institute is provided regularly. Participation in research activities is encouraged with more direct involvement in research endeavors beginning in the second year. Clinical conferences, core rheumatology lectures, and clinical and basic science journal clubs are held weekly throughout the entire year. Fellows are strongly encouraged to enroll in the NIH-Duke Health Sciences in Clinical Research Master’s Degree Program. Attendance at local and national scientific meetings is highly encouraged to assist with the development of insight into clinical research and scientific investigation.
Structure of the Research Training Program
Both basic and clinical research training is available. Trainees work under the direct supervision of one of the MD or PhD NIAMS senior staff. The research experience is characterized by close daily interaction with a preceptor and individual instruction. Ambulatory patient care is expected throughout the training period. The first year is structured similarly to that of the clinical program. During the first year, a fellow will select a research mentor (see Faculty and Mentorship) with approximately 20% of their time made available for the initiation of research projects. In the second, approximately 80% of one's time is devoted to research training. Beyond the second year, fellows focus on their research activity and may choose to continue their half-day continuity care clinic.