ACGME Fellowship Training


Active for over three decades, the Rheumatology Fellowship Program at The University of Chicago, currently under the direction of Dr. Kichul Ko, provides a fellowship experience that combines exceptional clinical training with the opportunity to pursue rigorous basic or clinical research relevant to the rheumatic diseases. A primary goal of the training program is to prepare fellows for careers in academic rheumatology as clinician-educators, clinician-scholars, or physician-investigators.

A robust exposure to both common and uncommon rheumatic diseases well prepares the fellow for independent clinical care.  Fellows assume increasing responsibility during their clinical studies as they care for patients in the outpatient clinic and on the inpatient consultative service.  Throughout the training program, fellows are closely guided by an active, full-time faculty composed of experienced clinicians, research scientists, and translational researchers.  Critical thinking is fostered and developed throughout the fellowship years.

Clinical and research skills are refined through regular conference attendance, self-guided learning, fellow lecture presentations, journal clubs, medical student and resident teaching, and laboratory research meetings.

Two fellows are usually accepted each year for a two year ACGME-accredited rheumatology fellowship. The first year of fellowship emphasizes clinical training. Fellows have three rotating outpatient continuity clinics per week. In addition, the hospital consult service is covered for approximately five months per year by a first year fellow. Pediatric rheumatology, orthopedics, and musculoskeletal ultrasound, among other rotation occur when the fellow is not on the inpatient consultation service.

Second year fellows have the opportunity to design and carry out original research in a clinical, translational, or basic science area under the guidance of an experienced investigator – acquiring skills in study design and data analysis needed for critical appraisal of the literature and for later independent research. Fellows select one of  two research paths: the basic research or clinical scholar track although non-traditional research opportunities also exist (medical education, health services delivery, etc.). Two half-day continuity clinics continue during the second year of fellowship.

A third, elective, year of fellowship may follow successful completion of the ACGME-accredited fellowship.  This additional year of training is offered to those fellows who demonstrate exceptional promise for academic rheumatology and wish to continue their research project or pursue an advanced degree.

The University of Chicago Medical Center – which includes the Comer Children’s Hospital – is the teaching site for the rheumatology fellowship. The medical center offers fellows exceptional training opportunities not only in rheumatology but also the opportunity to rotate through musculoskeletal radiology, orthopedic surgery, pediatric rheumatology, ultrasound, and bone metabolism.