First Year - Immersion into Clinical Rheumatology

Trainees interact with all clincial faculty in a variety of outpatient and inpatient (consult) settings at UAB, the Birmingham VA Medical Center, and Cooper Green Mercy Health Services. Trainees attend General Rheumatology Clinics and Specialized Clinics - Lupus Clinic, Rheumatoid Arthritis Clinic, Gout Clinic, Osteoporosis Clinic, Hospital Follow-up Clinic, as well as a VA based Continuity Clinic.

The rheumatology schedule is set up in roughly three week blocks and includes consult blocks at

Sample VA Consult Block/Elective Schedule

VA consult block elective schedule 

Second and Third Years

Designed according to trainees' clinical and research interests, their chosen mentor(s), and guidance are from the Training Program Director and Division Director. All fellows are expected to participate in research activities and to present the results of their research at regional and national meetings

Electives include:

  • Orthopedics/Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Medicine/Pain Clinic rotation
  • Pediatric Rheumatology rotation 

Our program is approved by the ACGME and accepts 2-3 new Fellows each year. Our match rate has been 100% over the past 5 years. We work closely with the Pediatric Rheumatology Training Program at the Children's Hospital of Alabama/Birmingham and can provide a combined Adult/Pediatric Rheumatology Training Program curriculum for those eligible candidates.

Clinical Education 

The training program combines a broad-based and in-depth clinical and research experience supporting our division's mission of delivering the highest quality academic training for rheumatology trainees. Diversity in clinical settings for training opportunities giving our trainees exposure to a wide variety of rheumatic diseases, enabling them to experience an enriched and broad patient population.

The breadth of knowledge and large number of clinical faculty allows us to provide state-of-the-art care for patients and state-of-the-art educational experiences for our trainees. Faculty in the Division are engaged in clinical, laboratory, and health services research allowing for excellent mentorship of our trainees. The research program in our Division is strongly supported by over $20M in multiple federal and non-federal grants.There are several federally funded T32 training grants led by division faculty. These grants provide eligible trainees (US citizens or permanent residents) with protected time, training, and additional advanced degrees to help interested trainees develop careers in biomedical research. Some of the exceptional division faculty include:

  • Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Diseases Research (S. Louis Bridges, Jr., MD, PhD, Principal Investigator)
  • Health Services, Outcomes and Effectiveness Research (Kenneth Saag, MD, Principal Investigator)
  • Immunologic Disease and Basic Immunology Research (Harry W. Schroeder, Jr., MD, PhD, Principal Investigator)

High quality and well attended Divisional Conferences which are held on a regular basis and include:

  • Weekly Journal Clubs
  • Clinical Conferences and Rheumatology Grand Rounds
  • Musculoskeletal Radiology Conferences
  • Board Review Conferences

Our graduating fellows' chosen career paths demonstrate the diversity of training within our program and include

  • Academic Researchers
  • Academic Clinician Educator
  • Private Practitioners