The second and third years of training are largely devoted to research. The nature of the research will be individualized to the interests of each fellow, and their clinical activity will be tailored to fit those research interests as appropriate.
Vanderbilt offers rich opportunities for fellows’ involvement in both basic and clinical research. With regard to clinical research, Dr. Brent Graham has previously performed research in the areas of juvenile fibromyalgia and magnetic resonance imaging in juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). He recently has begun collaboration with Pediatric Radiology to study MR imaging prior to intra-articular steroid injection in the management of JIA. In the area of juvenile fibromyalgia, Dr. Graham was extensively involved in the publication of the largest randomized trial of cognitive behavioral management in juvenile fibromyalgia as well an extensive psychosocial assessment of children with juvenile fibromyalgia and their families.
The Division is a study site for CARRA (Childhood Rheumatology and Research Alliance), the national pediatric rheumatology research network. With regard to opportunities for basic science research, the Division of Adult Rheumatology has a robust research program, the resources of which will be available to the pediatric fellows, including the opportunity to compete for selection for T32 funding.
The process of selecting a research mentor will begin in the first year of training. The first year fellow will meet with the fellowship director six months into the year specifically to discuss research interests. Based on the fellows’ individual interests, the fellowship director will facilitate identification of a research mentor for each trainee. This timeframe will allow for sufficient and organized planning of the fellows’ research focus for their second and third years.