Curriculum

With Geisinger, rheumatology fellows receive well-rounded rheumatology training with the opportunity to specialize their training in their second year of fellowship into one of three curriculum track options:

Musculoskeletal ultrasound

Geisinger’s Musculoskeletal Ultrasound (MSUS) track offers fellows the opportunity to work alongside MSUS champions throughout the two-year program and learn first-hand about the benefits of integrating MSUS into the care of their patients- including faster and more accurate diagnosis, optimized treatments and improved needle placement accuracy. At the end of the fellowship, fellows choosing this track will be prepared to sit for the American College of Rheumatology’s certification in MSUS.

Osteoporosis
Geisinger’s comprehensive osteoporosis program has received national recognition for pioneering advances in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of the bone thinning disease. As a result, our training program allows fellows to gain an in-depth knowledge of the disease for both men and women throughout its many stages. At the completion of the program, fellows will be eligible to sit for the International Society for Clinical Densitometry (ISCD) certification in Certified Clinical Densitometrist.

Research and quality improvement
Developing new, effective and efficient treatments for the care of rheumatic patients has been an important focus for the Department of Rheumatology. In recent years, collaboration with our dedicated research staff has led to groundbreaking initiatives for the care of our patients. Main areas of quality improvement and research include management of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), cardiometabolic comorbidities of RA, and osteoporosis. For fellows with a career interest in rheumatic disease research, Geisinger’s research track offers additional protected time to work with leading researchers on a variety of studies.

Innovative care delivery
Our fellows receive training in quality improvement; process and practice redesign methodology, and learn how to employ advanced electronic tools such as our PACER program. PACER (PAtient Centric Electronic Redesign) is innovative software that reliably captures and visually displays quality measures and other patient related information, allowing us to improve the quality and efficiency of care we deliver for our patients with rheumatic diseases. Additionally, PACER provides a robust health outcomes database that is used by our fellows for research. Finally, the redesign and quality improvement training our fellows receive provides invaluable skills for navigating and thriving in our rapidly changing, complex medical care delivery system.

Throughout the two-year training, every rheumatology fellow will participate in the following courses/rotations:

  • Musculoskeletal ultrasound
  • Inpatient/outpatient consults
  • Statistics (part of research curriculum)
  • Pediatric rheumatology
  • Orthopaedics
  • Research
  • Sports medicine
  • Physical medicine and rehabilitation
  • Ophthalmology
  • Neurology
  • Dermatology
  • Radiology

*Amount of time spent on each rotation depends on the chosen curriculum track.

Rotation block diagram

Conferences
Rheumatology fellows attend the following in-house conferences throughout the year:

  • Immunology
  • Journal club
  • Morbidity and mortality
  • Research
  • Best practice - quality
  • Program director’s conference

Interdepartmental

  • Dermatology
  • Thoracic medicine
  • Nephrology
  • Radiology

Continuity clinic
Rheumatology’s continuity clinic offers fellows a longitudinal weekly clinic where he/she follows patients with chronic disease over the two years of the fellowship. This experience gives fellows a clinical perspective on disease progression and the effects of chronic disease over time.

Teaching opportunities
Geisinger’s Rheumatology Department emphasizes the importance of teaching the next generation of medical professionals seriously. Fellows are encouraged to develop their teaching skills early on by teaching rheumatic principles to residents and rotating medical students.