Organization and Overview by Year
The pediatric rheumatology fellowship is a three-year program. The length of the program provides fellows with sufficient time to follow patients through the natural history of these chronic diseases and response to long-term therapies. This duration of training also allows for a relatively intense clinical immersion in the first year, with ample time in the second and third years to focus on scholarly pursuits and a research project.
Overview by Year
Outpatient clinic: The Vanderbilt Pediatric Rheumatology clinic is a high-volume program, with 1,766 patient visits during the six month period of July 2010 – January 2011. The first year fellow will see patients in the pediatric rheumatology clinic during four half-day sessions per week. The fellow will see both new and return patients, gradually building up their personal panel of patients over the course of the year. The fellow will have direct oversight by the attending physician – a board certified pediatric rheumatologist. This clinic schedule will be ongoing during the first year of training, with the exception of one vacation month.
Outpatient infusion center: Rheumatology patients frequently come to the Vanderbilt Outpatient Infusion Center to receive a variety of intravenous therapies including pulse dose corticosteroid, biologic therapies, and chemotherapeutic agents. The first year rheumatology fellow will not be responsible for all the infusion patients, but will be expected to organize and oversee the infusions for their continuity patients. The fellow will also be expected to respond to urgent calls from the infusion center to gain experience in managing infusion reactions. As always, these activities of the fellow will be done with direct oversight of the attending physician.
Consult service: The Pediatric Rheumatology service functions as the consult service for Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, covering the inpatient units as well as the emergency department. The rheumatology service saw 57 consults (wards ER) in the six month period of July 2010 – January 2011, essentially averaging 10 consults per month, or between two and three consults per week. This service provides a rich source of clinical experience with acute presentations of newly diagnosed rheumatologic diseases, serious exacerbations in patients with previously known diagnoses, as well as the opportunity to be involved in the diagnostic process of patients with undefined symptoms. The first year fellow will be responsible for seeing the consult patients with the attending physician. The fellow will also be the primary person to relay information and recommendations back to the primary service, thereby gaining experience in team-based management of patients.
Research: The first year fellow will meet with the fellowship director approximately six months into the first year specifically to discuss research interests and to start identification of a research mentor. This process will allow for early and organized planning of the fellows’ primary research focus for their second and third years of training.
Last Edited: July 11, 2013