The training you receive during our two-year program will develop your professional character, foster lasting relationships, provide opportunities to serve an underserved population, and build confidence to practice as a competent rheumatologist.

Our close-knit group provides an inclusive and informal environment that promotes learning by doing and asking. No question is not worth asking here.

Wellness and Mentorship

Whole person care does not only apply to our patients. Our rheumatology fellowship program incorporates wellness into the curriculum through the following:

  • Fellows have one to two mandatory sessions with physician vitality to address health and wellness
  • Wellness fellow: Fellows select one colleague to serve as a ‘wellness’ fellow. Wellness fellows receive formal wellness training with the Internal Medicine Residency program and plan wellness events with co-fellows and the program director and coordinator.
  • Monthly compassion rounds
  • Academic half day: Rather than having daily conferences, the fellows are given a four-hour weekly block for educational sessions.
  • Office hours: Fellows have direct access to the program director to ask any questions or address any concerns.

Teamwork and Mentorship

You are entering a fellowship program. Presumably, you have already completed or are completing a residency, and, by the end of this fellowship, you will be a colleague of ours. With this mindset, we want our fellows to recognize that we are not just members of a team but also establishing long-term relationships, both personally and professionally.

Fellows are assigned mentors to ensure they receive feedback on their fellowship milestones but are also offered various avenues for mentorship based on their personal and professional goals. The faculty’s goal for you at the end of your fellowship is that you truly feel like a colleague. — because that’s what you will be!


We cannot emphasize enough the importance of feedback. It is human nature to become defensive when receiving feedback; but without it, we cannot grow. We ask our fellows to embrace this concept and seek feedback with their rotations and clinical practices. You also receive formal feedback after the clinical competency committee meetings (conducted quarterly).

In addition to receiving feedback, you can provide feedback to the program through various avenues:

  • Office hours with program director (available weekly)
  • Anonymous survey submission
  • Program evaluation committee: First- and second-year fellows each have a fellow representative to discuss various concerns related to their training.
  • Each clinic has a core clinical faculty site director for fellows to directly approach regarding location-specific issues.
  • Dottie Acosta, our program coordinator, is a critical point of contact for our fellows. We greatly appreciate her years of service to this fellowship program.