The UAMS Rheumatology Fellowship Program is designed as a two-year fellowship, and we intend to have 2 first year and 2 second year fellows.  To ensure that all fellows are optimally prepared for their future careers, we have an extensive program of conferences and continuity clinics.  All rheumatology faculty and fellows meet every Monday afternoon during which immunology, the pathophysiology of rheumatic diseases, clinical disease treatment and prognosis, laboratory testing, exam techniques and ACR current guidelines are discussed.  Our monthly journal club, musculoskeletal radiology conference and rheumatology grand rounds also occur at this time.

Fellows meet with Dr. Berney on Tuesdays (as needed) to discuss complicated and challenging cases.  Quarterly, the fellows present the medicine-pathology conference to the department of medicine and rotating medical students  (after significant preparation with one of the faculty and/or Dr Berney).  Fellows and faculty also participate in interdisciplinary conferences to discuss the diagnosis and management with the trainees and faculty in dermatology, nephrology, and musculoskeletal radiology.

As part of their career training, the UAMS Division of Rheumatology places significant importance on improving the trainees’ ability to teach.  As a result, fellows routinely receive feedback on the content and quality of their presentations and may attend conferences at the UAMS Educators Academy and faculty development programs to help them learn, develop and refine their teaching skills.

Fellows each have one day a week to work on their scholarly activities (quality improvement or research projects).

Patient Population: Our patient population encompasses all of rheumatology and includes systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, spondyloarthropathies, myositis, crystalline arthropathy, osteoarthropathy, vasculitis and regional pain syndromes.

Fellows train at two primary sites, each of which differs in its patient population and typical diseases:

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) in Little Rock is a statewide tertiary care center for Arkansas with 434 inpatient beds.  The patient population includes males and females of European, African, Asian and North and South American descent with diseases including systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, spondyloarthropathies, myositis, crystalline arthropathy, osteoarthropathy, vasculitis and regional pain syndromes.

The Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare Systems (CAVHS) John L. McClellan Memorial Veterans Hospital in Little Rock is the regional tertiary care referral center for the Veterans Administration with 195 inpatient beds. The patient population is predominantly male, of European and African descent.  Rheumatologic diseases strongly represented at this site include crystalline arthropathy, rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, reactive arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis and hepatitis B and C related.

Continuity Clinics: The rheumatology division maintains adult continuity clinics at UAMS and the CAVHS.  All fellows attend four weekly half-day continuity clinics during their fellowships (two at UAMS, and two at the VA hospital), plus a series of rotating subspecialty exposure clinics intended to optimize their clinical exposure and experience.

Although our fellows undergo rigorous clinical training, we strive to structure our program to optimize trainee learning in an atmosphere where the faculty and staff emphasize the importance of family, emotional well-being and developing a balance between their fulfilling personal and professional lives.