Program Specifics

Mission and goals

To produce physicians who are clinically competent in the field of rheumatology, are capable of working in a variety of settings and possess habits of life-long learning to build upon their knowledge, skills and professionalism.

These Division guidelines are not all inclusive -- they supplement the Department of Medicine Policies and Procedures and the Housestaff Policy and Procedure Manual as implemented by the GME Office. These specific goals are further amplified below.

Clinical competence for a rheumatologist is defined as:

  • A basic core of knowledge of clinical manifestations, clinical presentations, pathophysiology and management of rheumatologic diseases or systemic diseases with rheumatic manifestations (Program Content - Appendix A). This knowledge base will include an appropriate content of anatomy, genetics, biochemistry, immunology, physiology, pharmacology, epidemiology, statistics, ethics, and human behavior relative to the practice of rheumatology (Core Curriculum - Appendix B).
  • The clinical skill of data collection, including history-taking, physical examination and the appropriate request of laboratory and imaging studies.
  • The ability to formulate appropriate differential diagnoses and therapeutic plans based on an ability to critically analyze the clinical data and integrate this analysis with the basic fund of medical knowledge.
  • The ability to perform as a consultant or a health-care team leader when summoned.
  • The knowledge to treat the common and uncommon diseases found in the practice of rheumatology. To develop the understanding of the principles, indications, contra-indications, risk, cost and expected outcome of the various treatments. To recognize the need for appropriate consultation and the reasonable expectations from a consultant.
  • The performance and/or interpretation of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures common in the practice of rheumatology. These skills will include the understanding of the principles, indications, contra-indications, risk, cost and expected outcome of these procedures (Technical Skills - Appendix C).
  • The further development of appropriate communication skills with patients, peer and paramedical personnel.
  • The further development of qualities of professionalism and humanistic skills, including integrity, compassion, and respect for patients, peers and paramedical personnel.
  • Clinically competent rheumatologists must possess a level of skill and expertise in research. All fellows will be capable of demonstrating competence in the understanding of the design, implementation and interpretation of research studies; specifically including research methodology, critical interpretation of data, critical interpretation of published research, and the responsible use of informed consent.

The fellows will be able to demonstrate clinical competence in a variety of settings:

  • As a primary health care provider in the acute inpatient setting, the ambulatory clinic, the emergency department and the intensive care setting.
  • As the consultant to other internists or non-internists in the acute inpatient setting, the ambulatory clinic, the emergency department and the intensive care setting.
  • As the leader of a multidisciplinary health care team, i.e. rehabilitation facilities, home health care, long-term care facilities and in a geriatric center.

Life-long learning is an essential component for clinically competent physicians and required for the acquisition, critical analysis, synthesis and reassessment of knowledge, skills and professionalism. All fellows will be capable of demonstrating their ability to be life-long learners by their:

  • Independent study habits in the acquisition of clinical and research knowledge and skills.
  • Attendance, presentation and participation in the organization of local educational conferences.
  • Attendance and presentation at regional and national professional scientific conferences.

Specific Objectives

At the completion of the rheumatology fellowship training, the fellow will have mastered the following specific objectives as they pertain to each of the specific goals of the curriculum:

Clinical competence in a variety of clinical settings:

  • All fellows will have mastered those specific clinical objectives for the majority of diseases seen in the practice of rheumatology, including the uncommon and complicated diseases.
  • Demonstrate proficiency as a consultant and/or leader of a multi disciplinary health care team.
  • Possess communication skills that will allow the fellow to perform as the health care team leader with peers and professionals.
  • The clinical proficiency of the fellow will be mastered at a level where they not only demonstrate their proficiency, but are capable of teaching these skills to trainees at junior levels.
  • Qualities of professionalism and humanistic skills will be demonstrated at a level which serves as a model for trainees at a junior level.
  • All fellows should have mastered those specific research objectives outlined for the fellowship program and have produced sufficient research work to enable them to submit their work for peer reviewed presentation, scientific meetings, manuscript submissions, or grant applications for research funding. It is expected that the second year trainee will present a case report at the Kansas American College of Physicians Meeting which occurs in September of each year.

Life-long learning:

  • Fellows will demonstrate proficiency at attending and participating in conferences, and coordinating conferences, conference topics and conference schedules.
  • Fellows will demonstrate mastery of teaching skills in their interaction with trainees in junior levels of training. This may include supervised teaching interactions with trainees such as junior-level fellows, residents and medical students.

Last modified: May 17, 2013