Rheumatology Fellows

Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases Fellowship Program

How to Apply

The Division of Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases seeks the most outstanding candidates regardless of race, gender, or country of origin. We accept fellowship applications through the Electronic Residency Application System (ERAS). Please go to the ERAS Fellowship Application Site for more information and to apply. If you have additional questions please contact Rheumatology Program Director Dr. Pascale Schwab or call 503 494-1793.

Highlights of the Fellowship Program at OHSU

  • Continuity clinics at OHSU and the Portland VA Medical Center with the entire spectrum of rheumatic diseases
  • Dedicated soft tissue and injection clinic
  • Musculoskeletal ultrasound expertise
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and Scleroderma Clinic
  • Pediatric Rheumatology clinic
  • Musculoskeletal radiology curriculum
  • Quarterly clinic at Indian Health Services rural clinic
  • Opportunities to lecture to health professional students, medical residents, primary care providers
  • An outstanding group of faculty dedicated to the education of fellows


The subspecialty of rheumatology includes the evaluation and treatment of a wide array of inflammatory, non-inflammatory, and degenerative diseases that affect the musculoskeletal and other organ systems. The purpose of our rheumatology fellowship program is to train fellows to be accomplished and compassionate practitioners and consultants in the rheumatic diseases; to encourage their professional and scholarly pursuits to remain up to date in the field of rheumatology and immunology; and to foster their interest to contribute to future advancement of the field.

During the course of their 2 years of training, fellows will participate in a series of activities during which they will acquire core competencies necessary to become accomplished rheumatologists. Fellows interested in pursuing an academic career may elect to extend their training to a third year with the mutual agreement of a faculty mentor, contingent upon available funding. Although acquired over a continuum, the expected goals and objectives per period of training are outlined in the Rheumatology Fellowship Curriculum.

Brief Overview of Clinical Activities

The division currently trains 4 fellows, 2 per year of training.

Both first and second year fellows participate in 3 weekly continuity clinics, 2 at OHSU and 1 at the Portland VA throughout the course of their two years of training. OHSU and the Portland VA are connected via a bridge, allowing for easy access to both hospitals without any commuting hassles. During those clinics, fellows have a chance to evaluate and treat a broad variety of patients with genuine rheumatologic conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, spondyloarthropathies, gout, vasculitis, lupus, inflammatory myositis, other connective tissue diseases, as well as osteoarthritis and regional soft tissue rheumatism.

In addition to the continuity clinics, specialty clinics include a six-month weekly regional rheumatology clinic with the goal of becoming proficient in soft tissue and joint injections; a three-month weekly pediatric rheumatology clinic to gain knowledge in the basic principles of the evaluation and management of rheumatologic conditions in pediatric patients; a six-month musculoskeletal ultrasound clinic held every other week to learn the basic use of ultrasound both for the diagnosis of musculoskeletal disorders and guidance of joint injection procedures; a six month weekly lupus/scleroderma clinic to allow a more in-depth understanding of these difficult diseases and their management, and a six month weekly vasculitis clinic.  Additional elective rotations in orthopedics, sports and rehabilitation medicine, podiatry, and neuromuscular diseases are encouraged and are set up on an individual basis.  Additionally, dermatology faculty interested in cutaneous manifestations of autoimmune diseases hold a weekly clinic in the rheumatology clinic space, allowing for valuable interchange between our two specialties.

Fellows additionally gain rheumatology consultative skills by rotating on the OHSU and VA inpatient rheumatology consult services. Patients with complicated and life-threatening rheumatologic conditions are routinely transferred to OHSU which allows fellows to gain competence in assessing and managing these patients.

Fellows are on average expected to be on week-end call once a month with the support and supervision of one of the faculty members. Call responsibilities start at 5pm Friday and end at 8am Monday and include covering the rheumatology consults both at the VA and at OHSU as well as fielding phone calls regarding rheumatology patients enrolled in the outpatient clinics. During the week, the OHSU consult fellow is expected to take first page for OHSU and VA after-hour rheumatology calls. These calls are typically sparse and are taken from home, although fellows are expected to come in to the hospital at times when necessary.

Didactic Activities

Every Wednesday morning, all rheumatology faculty and fellows meet for rheumatology grand rounds.Invited external or OHSU speakers discuss their research or share their expertise on a topic related to rheumatology. Faculty and fellows present in-depth clinicopathologic conferences during which other specialty experts are invited to contribute to the discussion. Following grand rounds, a clinical and basic immunology paper are presented and discussed as a group. 

Radiology conference follows and allows review of musculoskeletal images together with the musculoskeletal radiologists.Radiographs relevant to ongoing patient care activities as well as classic teaching cases are discussed. 

Every Friday afternoon, rheumatology fellows meet with the program director and selected faculty members for a didactic session covering various core rheumatology topics and other specialty topics relevant to the practice of rheumatology and the rheumatology board preparation. 

During the summer months, a condensed immunology course is held covering chapters in Janeway's Immunobiology.  

Throughout the year, fellows are expected to read a major rheumatology textbook as well as seminal papers and reviews relevant to cases encountered in clinic or on the consult service.


OHSU offers many opportunities for immunology, translational, and clinical research.

Early in fellowship,  fellows are mentored by Dr. Cailin Sibley and other faculty to identify and develop a research project (laboratory based, clinical, or translational) that can be completed during the course of their training.  The first year fellow is encouraged to meet with the various faculty members early on to identify a research project that could be completed during the second year of training.

If interested in an academic career in clinical research, fellows are encouraged to consider applying to the Human Investigator Program available at OHSU. The program is a one to two-year certificate program providing training in all phases of clinical research including epidemiologic research methods, biostatistics, evidence-based medicine, outcomes research methods, and medical informatics methods.Fellows can choose to complete the program or audit specific classes. A third year of fellowship can be arranged for fellows who wish to pursue an academic career. Such an arrangement is contingent upon available funding.

Fellows are encouraged to work towards submitting an abstract to the ACR annual meeting and to team up with a faculty member to complete a peer reviewed publication (review, case report, or original research) during their training.

See examples of articles written by graduating or current fellows


Our faculty team consists of 14 Rheumatologists and a nurse practitioner.

Evaluation Forms and Feedback

We encourage a supportive and helping culture. We encourage faculty to provide feedback to trainees in real time. Focused observations are integrated in the daily work flow for immediate feedback during clinical activities.Fellows also receive formal evaluations every 6 months and/or at the end of a specific activity. Patients and clinic support staff also provide feedback to the fellows relating to professionalism and communication skills. Fellows take the annual rheumatology in-training exam administered through the ACR which provides them with an objective measure of their medical knowledge and which helps point to areas needing further learning. The program director meets with each fellow on a quarterly basis to review progress and make sure objectives and educational needs are being met.


Fellows have the opportunity to attend the annual national meeting of the American College of Rheumatology. Fellows are also sponsored to attend the yearly Rheumatology and Orthopedics CME course organized by our Division in Sunriver, OR as well as the Northwest Rheumatism Society's annual meeting. If engaged in spondyloarthritis research, the second year fellows are invited to attend the Spondyloarthritis Research and Treatment Network (SPARTAN)'s yearly meeting. 

Opportunities to Speak

In addition to Wednesday morning conference, fellows have ample opportunities to speak publically either to physicians in the community (Rheumatology and Orthopedics CME course organized by our Division in Sunriver, OR), to peers (internal medicine residents during the rheumatology core curriculum series), to other learners (physician assistant students), and to lay people (medical coders or others). We feel that the ability to present to the medical community or to the public is an important skill needed to become a proficient consultant.

General Policies

Please view the Rheumatology General Policy Statement.


Diversity and inclusion are central to OHSU and our division's core values.

Learn more about diversity at OHSU

View the OHSU Diversity Resource Guide

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