Education

Applications for positions in the training program will need to be submitted through ERAS.

 

 

Director: Laura B. Hughes, MD, MSPH
1825 University Blvd
Shelby Bldg, room 178G
Birmingham, AL 35294-2182


Telephone: (205) 934-7000
E-mail: lhughes@uab.edu

laura_hughes

The Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology at UAB maintains an accredited rheumatology fellowship program which, upon successful completion, will allow the individual to be eligible for the certification examination in rheumatology provided by the American Board of Internal Medicine. The curriculum for the rheumatology fellowship training program incorporates the general competencies advocated by the ACGME and the core curriculum promoted by the American College of Rheumatology.

The fellowship program emphasizes the development of academic rheumatologists and is tailored to ensure the success of fellows with this interest. While priority for training positions is afforded to applicants with an expressed interest in research training and preparation for an academic career, there is also the option for a two-year fellowship with emphasis on a scholarly, clinical experience. The fellow, Training Director, and Division Director will mutually agree upon the duration of training and the specific area of academic development.

 

Current First Year Fellows







Matthew Mullen, MD
Beyl
Randall Beyl, MD


Current Second Year Fellows

2013---Jenny-Lin
Jenny Lin, MD
XENA-Whittier
Xena Whittier, MD



Clinical training is done throughout The University of Alabama at Birmingham medical complex that includes:

  • The UAB University Hospital
  • The Department of Veteran's Affairs Medical Center in Birmingham
  • UAB Highlands Hospital 
  • The UAB Kirklin Clinic
  • The Children's Hospital of Alabama
  • The Mercy Cooper Green Hospital and Clinic


All of these patient care facilities are within walking distance of the School of Medicine and provide exposure to a wide variety of rheumatic diseases enabling the fellows to experience an enriched and broad patient population. All clinics are supervised on site by UAB Rheumatology faculty. Outpatient clinic experiences include 1-2 half/days per week in a fellows' continuity clinic, and/or 1-3 half-days/week 1:1 with a faculty member in their Kirklin Rheumatology continuity clinic. All fellows attend a monthly pediatric rheumatology clinic convened by the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services at the Children's Hospital of Alabama. First year fellows rotate on the rheumatology consultation service an average of one month out of three, seeing inpatient consults at UAB Hospital, the VA Hospital, and the Cooper Green Hospital. Weekend and evening call rotates and averages one out of four to five evenings/weekends.


Division Conferences are held on a regular basis and include:

Teaching conferences targeted specifically to the fellows' curriculum include:

  • Fellows' Faculty Tutorial/Journal Review [Thursday weekly]
  • Musculoskeletal Radiology [monthly]

In addition, interdisciplinary conference venues include a Renal Biopsy Conference convened weekly and an Interstitial Lung Disease Conference convened weekly


Traditionally, the focus of the first year is clinical experience with the second and third years structured to the specific needs of the fellow, affording significant protected time for research experience and course work if needed. However, trainees committed to the academic track who have identified an area of intended research training prior to matriculating into the program are afforded the opportunity to begin their research program within the first six months of the fellowship, with clinical training apportioned over the duration of the three-year fellowship. After three years of training, our fellows should be competitive candidates for faculty positions and funding for clinical or basic biomedical research.


Faculty in the Division are engaged in a broad array of clinical and fundamental laboratory investigations. Ample support is available for committed fellows to complete their research training and establish an independent focus.

Well-funded opportunities for training in health services research are available, including advanced degree programs. Doctoral and postdoctoral training is available to qualified candidates within the Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, under the auspices of the College of Graduate Studies. Through the Clinical Research Training Program and the Masters Program in Clinical Investigation, there are ample training opportunities for fellows in outcomes research as well as the design and implementation of clinical trials.


A wide variety of opportunities are available for fellows interested in fundamental laboratory and translational research. Laboratories in the Division include more than 10,000 square feet of space and are fully equipped for experimental work in a variety of investigative fields including:

  • The genetics of autoimmune disease including systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, and systemic vasculitis
  • Transgenic and knock-out models of autoimmunity
  • T-cell tolerance and survival 
  • B-cell signaling and survival
  • Cell adhesion/matrix biology
  • The molecular biology of complement and acute phase reactants 
  • Cytokine regulation

These laboratories provide a fruitful environment for interested fellows to launch a career in basic research or to engage in collaborations bridging relevant basic science to clinical trials and outcomes.


In addition to our research strength, the UAB Rheumatology Fellowship Training Program boasts superior teaching and clinical mentorship. The Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology has had two faculty recipients of the ACR Clinician Scholar Educator Award--Dr. Louis W. Heck, Jr. (2000-2003) and Dr. W. Winn Chatham (2006-2009).


It is recommended that application to the fellowship program be made at least 18 months in advance of the anticipated fellowship position as positions are limited and appointments often are made 12 months prior to the start of training.


Please note that all applications will be processed through ERAS and that we participate in the rheumatology match. Applicants with J-1 or H1-B visa status will be considered; however, priority is given to applicants eligible for NIH training grant funding [U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status required]. Starting in January of each year, we will begin reviewing applications submitted to ERAS for positions offered in July of the subsequent calendar year. Selected candidates will then be invited to interview in Birmingham between January and May. To be considered for a position with us through the rheumatology match, all application materials must be submitted to ERAS no later than April 15 [of the year prior to planned matriculation]. Following completion of all interviews, faculty meet and rank interviewed candidates for the match based upon their review of the respective candidates' CV, letters of recommendation, USMLE scores, interviews, career goals,  and demonstration of academic scholarship.


Candidates seeking more information regarding the Rheumatology Fellowship Training Program should contact Dr. Hughes at the address above.

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