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Fellowship Information


Rheumatology Fellowship Program Statement
The primary mission of the of the Rheumatology Fellowship Program at the Medical College of Wisconsin is to provide clinical and research training to fellows who wish to study in an interdisciplinary environment and desire to achieve intellectually stimulating careers as productive Rheumatologists.

The program, two to three years in length, provides an opportunity for in-depth study and research of Rheumatic diseases. The experience will result in trained physicians who ultimately can be an academic rheumatologist with knowledge to practice, teach, and perform research.

Patient Population
The patient population consists of 45% adults over 65 years of age, 55% 18-64 years of age at two venues: Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital, a large academic medical center, and Zablocki VA Medical Center, an affiliate of the Medical College of Wisconsin. The fellows are exposed to inpatients and outpatients of varying income levels, life styles, and disease processes. There are also rotations at the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin working with the three pediatric Rheumatologists in the state of Wisconsin (link to Children's Hospital).

The Rheumatology Fellowship Program teaches first year fellows clinical procedures associated with specific diseases. A major focus is the multitude of diagnostic laboratory testing procedures for evaluation of the rheumatic diseases. Diagnostic testing and procedures include but are not limited to: arthrocentesis and therapeutic injection, synovial fluid analysis, interpretation of results of specific rheumatologic laboratory tests, and assessment of radiographs of normal and diseases of joints. The fellows also learn the necessary research techniques involved in the successful completion of their basic research projects.

Faculty Involvement
Extensive one-on-one faculty/fellow interaction occurs daily through outpatient and inpatient experiences as well as being available for discussions to clarify issues. Fellows are assigned to specific faculty in the outpatient setting. Fellow involvement in a specific patient's care evolves as the fellow's knowledge and ability increases.

Weekly conferences promote discussion of difficult cases as well as discussion of journal articles and ongoing research. A slide collection/syllabus cover major areas and affords opportunity for independent learning. Fellows have the opportunity to participate in a formal eight-week course in research methods taught by faculty in Family Medicine, Pediatrics and General Internal Medicine. This course is focused around clinical research but many topics are broadly applicable such as data management and general statistics.

A faculty member mentors a research project. The fellows interview all faculty involved in basic research and select a mentor and project tailored to their interests.

Faculty members involved in the first year training include: Professor of Medicine - Dr. Lawrence Ryan. Dr. Ryan, a superb clinician and researcher who shares his extensive knowledge of various laboratory studies including crystal identification, and inorganic pyrophosphate metabolism in arthritis. Dr. Ryan also mentors the fellow in the rheumatology clinic on two days per week. Dr. Ryan is NIH funded for research in crystal disease. He is certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Dr. M.E. Csuka, Professor of Medicine, is involved clinically with fellows in various rheumatology clinics including but not limited to a scleroderma clinic and osteoporosis clinic. Dr. Csuka also is active on the consultative service in which the fellow is required to participate. Dr. Csuka has many ongoing clinical projects and trials. Dr. Csuka is certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Dr. Ann Rosenthal, Chief of Rheumatology, participates in clinical and research fellow training including but not limited to pyrophosphate crystal deposition disease, gout, pseudogout, and other rheumatologic diseases. The fellow is required to participate in one half-day clinic at the VA and on the consultative service. The NIH and VA fund Dr. Rosenthal for research in cartilage. Dr. Rosenthal is certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Dr. Mary Cronin, the Director of the Fellowship Program, meets with the fellow periodically to evaluate the performance. She meets weekly with the fellows to discuss core curriculum topics. She also shares clinical experiences with the fellow at the VA, one half-day per week, Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital clinic two to three days per week, and the consultative service at Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital. Dr. Cronin has many ongoing clinical trials. Dr. Cronin is certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Neal Nygard, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, spends the majority of his time at the Zablocki VA Medical Center. He interacts with fellows in the clinic and on the consultative service at the VA. Dr. Nygard is certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Contract & Benefits Information:  Please use the following link to access information about the terms, conditions and benefits of employment:   http://www.mcw.edu/GME/BenefitsMainPage.htm


Fellowship Coordinator Information: 
Brooke Lessmiller – Rheumatology Fellowship Program Coordinator
Department of Medicine – Educational Programs
Medical College of Wisconsin
9200 W. Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53226
(414) 805-0516


© 2014 Medical College of Wisconsin
Page Updated 08/04/2014