Specific Goals

The specific goals of our training program are derived from the Mission Statement: 1) clinical competence, 2) capable of working in a variety of settings, 3) a life-long learner, 4) scholarly activities/research competence. These specific goals are further amplified as follows:


  1. Clinical competence is essential for all physicians and for a rheumatologist is defined as:
    1. A basic core of knowledge of clinical manifestations, clinical  presentations, pathophysiology and management of rheumatologic diseases or systemic diseases with rheumatic manifestations. This knowledge base should include an appropriate content of anatomy, genetics, biochemistry, immunology, physiology, pharmacology, epidemiology, statistics, ethics, and human behavior relative to the practice of rheumatology.
    2. The clinical skill of data collection including history-taking, physical examination and the appropriate request of laboratory and imaging studies.
    3. 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.
    4. The ability to perform as a consultant or a health-care team leader when summoned.
    5. 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.
    6. The performance and/or interpretation of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures common in the practice of rheumatology. This skill should include the understanding of the principles, indications, contraindications, risk, cost and expected outcome of these procedures.
    7. The further development of appropriate communication skills with patients, peer and paramedical personnel.
    8. The further development of qualities of professionalism and humanistic skills including integrity, compassion, and respect for patients, peers and paramedical personnel.
    9. Clinically competent rheumatologists must possess a level of skill and expertise in research. All fellows must 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.
  2. The ability to work in a variety of settings is essential for a clinically complete rheumatologist. The fellows will be able to demonstrate clinical competence in the following settings:
    1. As the primary health care provider in the acute inpatient setting, the ambulatory clinic, the emergency department, and the intensive care setting.
    2. 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.
    3. As the leader of a multidisciplinary health care team, i.e. rehabilitation facilities, home health care, etc.
  3. 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:
    1. Independent study habits in the acquisition of clinical and research knowledge and skills.
    2. Attendance, presentation and participation in the organization of continuing medical educational conferences.
    3. Attendance and presentation at regional and national professional scientific conferences.
  4. Scholarly activity/Research Training: understanding research methodology in order to critically evaluate the primary literature is necessary for practicing up-todate rheumatology.
    1. Fellows planning a career as physician-scientists, intensive, supervised laboratory research is a major activity in years 2 and 3.
    2. Fellows planning a career in patient-related research (physician-scientists), it is possible to earn an MSc degree in epidemiology. Participation in clinical research will be major activities in years 2 and 3.
    3. Fellows planning a career as clinician-educators will continue to work on clinical excellence. The opportunity to participate in clinical or educational research will be available. The development and delivery of lectures as well as other educational venues will be expected.