Program Highlights

The BUMC Rheumatology Fellowship Training Program is part of the Section of Rheumatology at Boston University School of Medicine, whose members include numerous internationally recognized rheumatologists. The program offers rigorous clinical and research training, preparing our trainees for careers in academic medicine as well as community practice. The following provides a few key highlights of the program:

1)      Clinical Training

Clinical Instruction of Fellows in Diagnosis and TreatmentThe clinical training portion of the fellowship program provides broad general rheumatology clinical training, as well as focused experiences in the form of tertiary care referral specialty clinics including scleroderma, systemic lupus erythematosus and sarcoidosis, as well as a VA outpatient clinic experience. The inpatient consult service also provides broad exposure to rheumatic disease emergencies and care of complicated rheumatic disease patients, many of which come from an indigent social background. The diversity of the local patient population, as well as the tertiary care referral population for rare rheumatic diseases ensures that our trainees have a well-rounded experience that more than adequately prepares them for diagnosis and management of all rheumatic diseases. The clinical training is complemented by a highly rated formal didactic curriculum (see Principal Teaching/Learning Activities). Rheumatology Fellow Schedule and Weekly Clinic Grid.

2)      Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Training

UltrasoundOne of the unique aspects of the BUMC Rheumatology Fellowship Program is the well-established musculoskeletal ultrasound training program under the direction of Dr. Eugene Kissin, who is nationally recognized as an expert and pioneer in this area. Dr. Kissin has been instrumental in developing a standardized national training program for rheumatology fellows and served as the Ultrasound School of North American Rheumatologists (USSONAR) Program Director for 14 years. For further information of this training, see the USSONAR website. We currently have many ultrasound machines available for clinical care, research, and fellow training. 

3)      Research Training

Assessing knee strength and flexibilityA major strength of the BUMC Rheumatology Fellowship Program is the research training opportunities available for clinical, translational, and basic science research. This is largely due to the exceptionally strong faculty researchers at BUMC, all of whom are well funded (NIH, American College of Rheumatology, Arthritis Foundation, Scleroderma Foundation, etc.). BUMC rheumatology faculty peer-reviewed publications are ranked #4 in the country for impact, a remarkable feat given that the top 3 institutions have a much larger research faculty, illustrating the high quality of research performed at BUMC. Our trainees are also highly successful in obtaining career development awards to aid their research training endeavors.

Fellows interested in clinical research are encouraged and supported to participate in the Clinical Research Training Program (CREST) through which fellows can obtain a Master of Science in Epidemiology through the BU School of Public Health. Fellows also attend Research Accelerator meetings. Research opportunities in diverse disease areas are available (e.g., scleroderma, spondyloarthritis, gout, osteoarthritis, lupus, musculoskeletal ultrasound, MRI), that include cohort data, pharmacoepidemiology, “big data,” genetics, imaging, and clinical trials, among others. In addition, there are opportunities for basic and translational research: scleroderma basic and translational research program.

A research oversight committee helps fellows choose the best project for their interests that are high quality with high likelihood of achieving publication and presentation at national scientific meetings, and which are feasible for completion during the fellowship training period.

The Boston University/Boston Medical Center Difference…

  • Fellows participate in both faculty clinics with extra exposure to scleroderma, lupus, psoriatic arthritis and other skin issues as well as one fellow-based clinic each year. The first year is at Boston Medical Center and the second year is at the Boston VA
  • The Section of Rheumatology runs a cadaver-based injection training session for fellows each year
  • The Rheumatology Clinic has 4 ultrasound machines, with an additional one in the fellow’s room that is available for practice and to take on rounds
  • Four of our faculty have trained in MSK ultrasound
  • Our curriculum includes weekly x-ray teaching
  • Fellows have the opportunity to take sarcoid and pediatric rheumatology clinic electives.
  • Our program offers collaboration with the Section of Dermatology in our Combined Derm/Rheum clinic and didactics
  • Rheumatology has four or more faculty members involved at each clinic case rounds session.
  • Our program offers teaching of clinical research via a journal club based on research methodologies as well as participation in the weekly clinical research meetings.
  • Our fellows participate in inter-hospital rounds and present once a year
  • National leaders in rheumatologic epidemiology and clinical research
    • developed gout and RA national guidelines
  • National leaders in musculoskeletal ultrasound teaching and research
    • developed the Ultrasound School of North American Rheumatologists, as well as the national curriculum for musculoskeletal ultrasound training in fellowship programs
  • National leaders in scleroderma clinical care, clinical and basic science research
    • have the largest cohort of scleroderma patients in the northeast

Click here for a list of publications by past and present BU Rheumatology Fellows.


Fellows have free full-text access to the major rheumatology journals through the Boston University Alumni Medical Library and access to major rheumatic disease and radiology textbooks in the fellow’s office.

Major Journals: (All are available online via BU Alumni Medical Library)

Arthritis and Rheumatism
Journal of Rheumatology
Arthritis Care & Research
Journal of Clinical Investigation
Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery
New England Journal of Medicine
Annals of Internal Medicine

Available Free Resources:

Up-To-Date (
MicroMedex (
(access available through BMC home page)

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