Our mission is to train the future clinical and academic leaders in rheumatology by providing rigorous clinical teaching and experiences, fostering habits of lifelong learning, and closely mentoring fellow research projects and career planning.
Our three-year rheumatology fellowship program is designed to not only ensure competence, but to provide individualized experiences to support each fellow’s professional development. We are committed to providing high-quality care and skilled, compassionate, reliable service to our community in a safe and healing environment.
We welcome three first-year fellows into our program each year. We cultivate a collaborative culture and appreciate the important perspectives each of the members of our community shares. We value intellectual curiosity, collegiality, creativity, diverse perspectives, humility, integrity, teamwork, and connection, and foster these in the formal and informal components of our program. We apply various educational frameworks including experiential, self-directed, social, cognitive, critical, and developmental approaches. These help our fellows develop a thorough understanding of rheumatology along with skills and attitudes that will help them provide excellent clinical care and advance our field as rheumatologists.
Our fellowship offers extensive clinical experience in the outpatient rheumatology clinics at HSS and the inpatient consultative service at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital (NYPH-Cornell) and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC).
Each fellow sees outpatients in rheumatology clinics at HSS two to three half-days per week. One clinic session is dedicated to patients with inflammatory arthritis, another to systemic autoimmune connective tissue diseases like lupus, APS, scleroderma, vasculitis, and myositis. For each of these clinics, fellows work with faculty preceptors who have the relevant expertise, allowing fellows to learn from expert clinicians how to best evaluate patients presenting with the wide range of conditions seen in outpatient rheumatology practices. Fellows take responsibility for these patients and care for them throughout fellowship. Fellows have opportunities to work in specialty clinics with faculty in rheumatology as well as in other divisions and departments based on interest.
Each fellow on the rheumatology consult service sees around 1-3 new consults per day at NYPH and MSKCC. There are two fellows on the consult service at a time. Internal medicine residents from NYP and medical students from Weill Cornell Medicine join during electives. Patients seen on the consult service have a diverse range of diseases including lupus, vasculitis, antiphospholipid syndrome, myositis, crystal-arthritis, immune-therapy related and infection related autoimmunity, among others. Diverse ethnicities, nationalities and socioeconomic contexts are represented in our patient population. Patients seen on the consult service frequently follow up with our fellows afterwards for ongoing rheumatologic care.
Opportunities for fellow research span the full range of disciplines and topics, from basic and translational work on human samples and model organisms, to clinical research examining patient data and outcomes, and quality improvement. Examples of recent past fellowship research projects include molecular studies of synovial inflammation in RA, murine models of lupus and Sjogren’s, studies of reproductive issues in rheumatic disease patients, COVID-19 outcomes in rheumatic disease, and clinical and translational studies of antiphospholipid syndrome.
Our Centers including the Lupus and APS Center of Excellence, the Scleroderma, Vasculitis and Myositis Center of Excellence, the Inflammatory Arthritis Center of Excellence, and the Integrated Rheumatology-Orthopedics Center of Excellence offer robust registries and other resources for fellow research. The HSS Research Institute also offers trainees a chance to engage in basic science research, exploring through genomics and precision medicine the biology of tissue degeneration and musculoskeletal integrity, autoimmunity, and inflammation.
Fellows are assisted in identifying mentors and research projects aligned with their interests and supportive of their career goals. Fellows work closely with a primary research mentor, and a broader network of mentors provides additional input on each fellow’s research and career plans. Fellows have been very successful in presenting in high-profile meetings, publishing their results, and achieving early-career grant support. Our fellowship research program is supported by an NIH T32 research training grant.
We are committed to supporting our fellows’ career development through tailored experiences, mentorship, and opportunities for scholarship. In addition, advanced degrees and other programs can contribute to our trainees’ development of expertise that will help them advance the field in the future. The most common Masters’ degree program for our fellows is The Weill Cornell Medicine Clinical & Translational Science Center Master’s degree in Clinical & Translational Investigation.
Fellows have various opportunities for teaching, ranging from informal opportunities with residents and medical students when they are on rheumatology rotations, to formal opportunities in various formats with medical students, residents, fellows, faculty, and patients. We encourage fellows to participate in teaching activities to enhance their own mastery of the material and to help others learn. We provide mentorship for interested fellows to take scholarly approaches to medical education. The HSS Academy of Medical Educators provides support for innovations in medical education.
Our fellowship is a three-year program. The first two years are ACGME-accredited and result in eligibility for subspecialty board certification in rheumatology. The third year is fully funded and supports the development of each fellow’s expertise and scholarly work. The program begins July 1.
The first year is predominantly clinical, providing fellows with experiences across the breadth of inpatient and outpatient rheumatology to inform their practice and career interests. First year fellows have two or three half day outpatient clinic sessions per week, and they spend roughly two out of every three weeks on consult service. To support exploration of career interests, each fellow meets with the program director and associate program director regularly from the start of their first year in our program, and together they establish plans for subsequent experiences directed by their interests.
Second and Third Years
In their second and third years, fellows have two or three half day outpatient clinic sessions per week (one half day session for fellows on the ABIM Medical Research Track), and they spend two to four weeks on the consult service each year. This allows fellows to devote 60% their effort to scholarly work (80% for fellows in the ABIM Medical Research Track). Fellows’ scholarly work can be bench, translational, or clinical research, health science research, quality research, or education research. Fellows meet regularly with the program director and associate program director, their dedicated research mentorship committees, and their primary research mentor, who shepherds them to successful completion of their research projects. Fellows are expected to disseminate their scholarship through presentations and publications.
Introduction to Clinical Rheumatology
Arthrocentesis Skill Development
Consult Case Conference
Inflammatory Arthritis Clinic Conference
Lupus and Connective Tissue Disease Clinic Conference
Metabolic Bone Disease
Social Work Case Conference
Rheumatology Grand Rounds
Rheumatology Division Journal Club
Clinical and Translational Research Workshop
Enrichment Speaker Series
For detailed information about our program, visit the Hospital for Special Surgery Rheumatology Fellowship Program webpage.
S. Louis Bridges, Jr., M.D., Ph.D., Chief
Juliet Aizer, M.D., M.P.H., Program Director
Karmela Chan, M.D., Associate Program Director
Flaisa Roberts, Program Coordinator
535 East 70th Street
New York, NY 10021
Tel: (212) 774-2189