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Pediatric Rheumatology Fellowship


Program  Mission

The mission of the University of Colorado Denver’s pediatric rheumatology fellowship program is to train outstanding pediatric rheumatologists in the clinical, educational and research realms with the goal of increasing the number of pediatric rheumatologists in the United States including the Mountain West region. We achieve this by providing trainees with the necessary knowledge and skills to provide excellent care to patients and advance the field of pediatric rheumatology.

 

Program Aims

We aim to provide a comprehensive curriculum for our trainees with guidance from outstanding mentors so that our graduates will become: 

    • Providers of outstanding clinical care.
    • Competent educators with a broad knowledge base and effective teaching strategies.
    • Independent and collaborative investigators.
    • Academic clinicians who conduct research that improves patient care through quality improvement project participation.
    • Local and national leaders in pediatric rheumatology.
    • Skilled professionals serving patients of diverse backgrounds including underserved populations.
    • Self-aware, mindful physicians with skills to seek support and promote wellness among self and others.
       

      Program Overview

      Fellows complete one year of clinical training and two years of scholarly training to prepare for a career that combines clinical pediatric rheumatology with clinical/translational investigation, basic laboratory investigation, health services research, educational scholarship, or other areas of academic focus. The fellowship is designed to meet the requirements of the ACGME, prepare fellows for the American Board of Pediatrics subspecialty certification examination, and allow fellows to follow their own passion in contributing to progress in the field of pediatric rheumatology.

      Our program is based primarily at Children’s Hospital Colorado (CHCO), with adult clinics and research programs at the University of Colorado Hospital (UCH) and University of Colorado School of Medicine, all based at the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colorado. CHCO is consistently in the top ten best children’s hospitals in the nation and was rated the #1 hospital in the nation for family friendliness in 2015 by Parents magazine. It has Magnet Status, as awarded by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, and was given the prestigious McKesson Quest for Quality Prize, which is awarded to just one hospital every year for demonstrated commitment to safe, reliable, and quality patient care.

      Our program is comprised of ten pediatric rheumatology faculty and is closely aligned with the Adult Rheumatology program at UCH, offering a full spectrum of rheumatology clinical experiences and research opportunities.

       

      Program Leadership

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      Program Director
      Megan Curran, MD
      Associate Professor 
      Email: Megan.Curran   
      ​Associate Program Director
      Jennifer Soep, MD
      Associate Professor
      ​Program Coordinator
      Katie Rowan, M.Ed 
      Email: Kathleen.Rowan

       


      ​First Year

      The first year of fellowship is devoted primarily to direct clinical care. Trainees gain experience in the evaluation, differential diagnosis, and management of children and adolescents with the full spectrum of rheumatic conditions in both inpatient and outpatient venues.

      Each first year fellow has four weeks of protected time to explore areas of research interest, speak with potential mentors, and begin to develop projects to be conducted in years two and three.

       

      Outpatient Clinics

      • Pediatric rheumatology clinic. Under supervision, fellows manage general rheumatology “fellow” clinics each week, where they develop and follow a cohort of patients for up to 3 years. Additionally, fellows work with various faculty within the Children’s Hospital of Colorado Section of Rheumatology to experience their individual approaches to patient management. The major goals of the first year are to gain experience and competence in the diagnosis and management of common pediatric rheumatic diseases, which include but are not limited to: 
        • juvenile arthritis
        • systemic lupus erythematosus
        • dermatomyositis
        • morphea
        • systemic sclerosis
        • vasculitis
        • autoinflammatory conditions such as periodic fever syndromes.
        • They learn how to perform appropriate physical examination, order and interpret studies, and initiate and manage treatments.
      • Musculoskeletal ultrasound clinic. Fellows attend clinics with Dr. Clara Lin to develop skill in the performance and interpretation of diagnostic ultrasound in the pediatric patient and to perform ultrasound guided injection procedures with and without sedation. Trainees become competent in aspiration and intra-articular steroid injection of large and small joints.
      • Fellows also attend multidisciplinary clinics with other subspecialists.  Most specialty clinic experiences take place in the first year – see “multidisciplinary experiences” section


      Inpatient Rheumatology Consult Service and Outpatient Call

      First year fellows run the inpatient-based rheumatology consult service for most weeks of the academic year. Trainees learn how to manage acutely ill patients with rheumatic conditions, including those with life-threatening complications.   The fellow provides subspecialty consultation within a large, full-service academic children's hospital. Trainees learn how to evaluate and manage acutely ill patients with rheumatic conditions, including those with life-threatening complications.

      During rotations on the consult service, the fellow carries the consult pager and is responsible for answering calls from in-house and referring physicians within the region who seek advice on their patients with rheumatologic disorders. Fellows also manage issues regarding care for patients receiving infusion medications.  An attending supervises all consults and provides guidance with telephone calls

       

      Research/Other Scholarly Activity

      During four weeks of protected research time during the first year, fellows explore potential research projects and mentors and develop a research proposal for presentation to the Scholarship Oversight Committee in spring of their first year. During this block of time, the fellow can also perform other scholarly activities such as working on formal presentations, a quality improvement study or case report for publication.

       

      Second and Third Year​

      The second and third years are largely focused on research and other scholarly activities. Second and third year fellows continue to see patients in dedicated fellows’ clinics and other rheumatology clinics and attend multidisciplinary clinical experiences.

       

      Outpatient Clinics

      The primary clinical goal during the second and third years is for the fellow to develop more expertise and competence in the diagnosis and management of rheumatologic disorders in children and young adults. Trainees gain experience in continuity of care of a cohort of patients over several years and competence in the management of chronic conditions.

       

      Inpatient Experience

      Each second and third year fellow spends at least one month on the rheumatology consult service. During this rotation, fellows gain further experience in assessment and management of acutely ill patients and develop knowledge and skills by working with and instructing first year fellows. Trainees continue to develop expertise in interacting as a consultant with primary care providers, hospitalists and other specialty services, as well as teaching of residents, medical students and nurses. An attending rheumatologist is always available for guidance and supervision of all consults.

       

      Research

      The major goal of the second and third year of fellowship is development of a high-quality research experience that meets the requirements for scholarly activity of the American Board of Pediatrics. Fellows present research at laboratory or research group meetings, meet with their research mentors on regular basis, submit at least one abstract and present their research project at local and national meetings. Fellows interested in a continuing career in academic medicine begin preparation of grant and/or career development award applications with assistance from their research mentor(s). Second and third year fellows are expected to present their research at a regional or national meeting and have a manuscript ready for submission by the end of their third year.

       

      Other Scholarly Activities

      Second and third year fellows devote a greater percentage of time to other scholarly activities. They attend all regularly scheduled rheumatology program conferences and attend conferences/lectures that are relevant to their research interest. Fellows are expected to assist in the preparation of case reports, review articles and book chapters with the assistance of clinical and research faculty mentors. Fellows are actively involved in teaching first year fellows and pediatric residents who rotate through the rheumatology clinics. They also have time to prepare for the pediatric rheumatology subspecialty certification exam.

      Multidisciplinary Experiences

      Our program is proud to collaborate with the University of Colorado’s adult rheumatology fellowship program and research groups across the University of Colorado campus, providing our fellows a vast array of educational opportunities.

       In addition, fellows attend multidisciplinary experiences including conferences and/or clinics with other subspecialists including:

      • Adult rheumatology
      • Sports medicine
      • Immunology
      • Musculoskeletal radiology
      • Dermatology
      • Rehabilitation
         

        Additionally, fellows attend multi-specialty clinics for patients with rheumatic conditions such as chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis (with orthopedics), nephrology rheumatology clinic, and antiphospholipid syndrome (with hematology). Multi-specialty work with rheumatology nurses, advance practice providers, physical therapists and other hospital-based disciplines is also incorporated into the clinical curriculum.

         

        Didactics & Conferences Overview

        Fellows are expected to attend conferences and engage in additional local and regional educational opportunities to meet their academic needs. These include, but are not limited to, pediatric rheumatology conferences, adult rheumatology conferences and Grand Rounds.

         

        Pediatric Rheumatology Academic Conferences

        The section of pediatric rheumatology’s academic conference meets weekly. Topics range from journal clubs, chief complaint lectures, faculty development, wellness and morbidity and mortality conferences.  Topics are designed to complement and supplement clinical experiences. Attendees develop skills within the competencies of patient care, knowledge, and practices-based learning.

         

        Weekly Pediatric Rheumatology Case Conference

        Fellows lead a 15 minute “rheumination” – a short review of a clinical concept and then review inpatient cases and issues in outpatient care with pediatric rheumatology faculty and staff. 

         

        Academic Half Days

        Fellows participate in six academic half days each year. During these sessions, fellows review chapters in the Texbook of Pediatric Rheumatology along with review questions. By the end of training, fellows will have completed an entire review of the textbook.

         

        Adult Rheumatology Academic Conferences

        Pediatric rheumatology fellows join the adult rheumatology weekly fellowship conference, where faculty and fellows lead lectures within the following categories: scientific basis of rheumatic disease, chapter reviews from Kelley’s Textbook of Rheumatology, musculoskeletal ultrasound, statistics and epidemiology, and orthopedics. Pediatric rheumatology faculty and fellows join the adult rheumatology division’s Tuesday morning academic conference for Grand Rounds, problem case conferences, radiology and other multidisciplinary lectures, journal club and research conferences. 

         

        Ultrasound Training

        Upon completion of fellowship, trainees will be competent in the diagnosis of inflammatory arthritis in common joints utilizing ultrasound and gain experience with ultrasound guided injections. Fellows are instructed in the fundamentals of bedside musculoskeletal ultrasound, including operation of the equipment, and identification of normal and abnormal anatomy using standard viewing techniques. Fellows learn to perform ultrasound guided injections of joints and tendons, and learn how to input procedures in the medical record.

        Interested second and third year fellows are eligible to participate USSONAR (Ultrasound School of North American Rheumatologists) musculoskeletal ultrasound training and achieve certification in the Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Certification in Rheumatology RhMSUS (license for rheumatology ultrasound).

         

         2nd Year Fellow

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        Jessica Bloom, MD

        Residency: University of Colorado

        Medical School: University of Michigan

        Research Interest: TBD

        Email: Jessica.Bloom

         
         
         

         1st Year Fellows

         

        Cordell.jpg 

        Jareau Cordell, MD

        Residency: University of New Mexico

        Medical School: Indiana University School of Medicine

        Research Interest: TBD

        Email: Jareau.Cordell

         
         

        wang.jpg 

        Christina Wang, MD

        Residency: University of Michigan

        Medical School: University of Illinois College of Medicine

        Research Interest: TBD

        Email: Christine.Wang

        Dear Applicant

        The ACGME accredited University of Colorado fellowship program in pediatric rheumatology is based at Children's Hospital Colorado. We generally accept two new fellows per academic year. Applicants must have an MD or DO degree from an accredited institution and must be board eligible or board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics. The rheumatology fellowship training program accepts applications from U.S. citizens or permanent residents through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). We begin reviewing completed applications in July. Selected applicants are invited to interview, during which they meet with our faculty and fellows and tour the facilities. Interviews are generally offered in September and October.

        The University of Colorado pediatric rheumatology fellowship program adheres to all policies and procedures mandated by the University of Colorado, the Graduate Medical Education Committee and the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Policies and additional information can be obtained at the UC Denver GME website.

         

        Benefits

        The University of Colorado offers salary and benefits packages that are competitive with other fellowship programs across the country. Current salary levels can be found at the School of Medicine - Graduate Medical Education Stipends.

         

        Application Checklist 

        1. ERAS application
        2. Personal Statement
        3. Curriculum Vitae
        4. USMLE Part 1, 2, and 3 scores and/or COMLEX scores
        5. Medical school transcript
        6. Medical school dean’s letter
        7. Three letters of recommendation (including one from the applicant’s residency program director) 

         

        Important Dates

        For additional questions please contact: 

        Program Director
        Megan Curran, MD
        Email: Megan.Curran

        &

        Program Coordinator
        Katie Rowan, MA
        Email:  Katie.Rowan
        Phone: (720) 777-1048