Fellowship Program Overview: Division of Rheumatology

Program Director: Virginia Steen, MD Assistant Program Director: Daniel Bunker, MD

The Rheumatology Fellowship Program is a two year combined program  between  MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and the Washington D.C. Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Either two or three fellowship positions are available on alternating years, for a total of five fellows.

The program has a strong history of training clinical rheumatologists,  clinical educators and independent investigators for successful careers in both academia and private practice. Over the last 20 years, all of our fellows have passed boards on the first try, and about 50% of our fellows have chosen careers as clinical educators in academic settings. Some of our graduates have become division chairs, program directors, and chairs of ACR national committees across the country.  We have received the American College of Rheumatology, Rheumatology Research Foundation’s Fellow Grant  all but one year since its initiation in 2001.

Fellows work in a variety of clinical settings, both inpatient and outpatient, with robust exposure to different patient populations in D.C. As the major referral hospital for the MedStar system, Georgetown University Hospital’s inpatient rheumatology consult service and outpatient specialty clinics expose trainees to a wide range of disorders, including rare and complex cases. At the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, fellows work closely with their own panel of continuity patients, and serve as the primary consult team for both inpatient and outpatient joint procedures. Fellows also have dedicated time for research, and spend time at the outpatient clinic at Howard University Hospital.

All members of the Division have active research or educational interests at the clinical and/or translational level; fellows have the opportunity to participate in these efforts, and it is expected that all fellows will participate in some scholarly activity. Primary research interests include database studies and clinical trials in rheumatoid arthritis, spondyloarthritis, systemic sclerosis, vasculitis, pregnancy in autoimmune disease, gout, and database studies  through the cooperative VA rheumatology database.

An increasingly important component of the fellowship curriculum is training in musculoskeletal ultrasound. Fellows receive weekly didactics and hands-on practice under the guidance of RhMSUS certified faculty.