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The Division of Rheumatology offers a broad and diverse range of clinical, educational and research opportunities, which encompass common rheumatic disorders and systemic connective tissue diseases.

Rheumatology Fellowship Program Research

Fellows learn the research methodologies and basic science principles that constitute the underpinnings of success in rheumatology practice. Electives include:

  • Dermatology
  • Electromyography/nerve conduction velocity (EMG/NCV)
  • Interstitial Lung Disease Clinic
  • Muscle clinic/neurology
  • Musculoskeletal Radiology
  • Orthopedics
  • Pathology
  • Pediatrics
  • Private Practice Rheumatology
  • Rehabilitation/Physical Medicine

First-Year Research Project

The Division of Rheumatology requires fellows to initiate and participate in a research project mentored by a faculty member of the division. Fellowship Program Director Maya Mattar, MD, should be informed of each fellow's selected project by the end of the third month of rotation. By the sixth month in the program, each fellow should have started their project.

The project should come to fruition either by publication in a referenced journal or presented at the Annual American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Annual Scientific Meeting or from a project the mentor is currently working on. Faculty are available for mentorship.

  • Charles Malemud, PhD
  • David Blumenthal, MD
  • Maya Mattar, MD

Second-Year Research Abstract Submission

At the end of the second fellowship training year in August (late ACR abstract submission deadline), the second-year fellows should have an abstract on their scholarly activity to submit to ACR. Alternative markers of success include submission of a review article, case report or manuscript to a peer-reviewed journal or acceptance of an abstract at a national clinical/scientific meeting.

Research Timeline and Operation Plan

At the beginning of the fellowship, first-year fellows are advised of research guidelines and are given a list of potential advisors and/or projects to consider (including a broad descriptive paragraph of the potential project). Fellows need not choose any of these potential projects; rather, they are intended to serve as one resource.

Fellowship Scholarly Activity Committee

By the end of the third month of fellowship training, first-year fellows are expected to meet with all potential rheumatology faculty advisors, select a project and advisor, and compose and meet with their scholarly activity committee. The committee should be composed of:

  • The fellowship scholarly activity director (either fellowship program director or designated scholarly activity director) who will serve as committee chair for all committees
  • A project advisor (chosen by each fellow)
  • A third Case Western Reserve University/UH/VA faculty member with expertise on the area of focus.

Committee Meeting Schedule

The committee will meet every four months (fellows are responsible for scheduling meetings at times convenient for all committee members). Each meeting will have a content format of 30 minutes of project progress presentation, identified plans and goals for the following four months as well as the remainder of the fellowship. The remainder of the meeting (no more than one-hour total) should be designated to discussion and advice. At the end of each committee meeting, the committee chair should summarize the meeting and there will be a meeting summary paragraph composed by the committee chair. This paragraph will be distributed to the fellow and advisor (can be an email with cc to program administrator).

Optimal Action Plan

The fellow and advisor are to utilize the meeting summary paragraph as information to help identify the most optimal action plan for future progress:

  1. During the first six months of the fellowship, each first-year fellow will have an average of a half-day per week blocked off for three months in order to help get the research project started.
  2. During the course of the fellowship, fellows will utilize 2.5 months per year (can be divided into more than one block) designated time set aside for scholarly activities and electives to ensure project progress.
  3. By March of the second fellowship year, the committee will identify any remaining requirements needed to achieve scholarly activity goals (goals identified over the first two committee meetings) essential to complete before graduating from the fellowship training.