Rheumatology and Immunology Fellowship Training Program

The goal of the Rheumatology Fellowship Program for individuals with an MD or MD/PhD degree is to develop academic rheumatologists and basic scientists who are clinically competent in the treatment of rheumatic diseases. To meet this goal, a program of at least three years is needed to combine an intense experience in biomedical research and a longitudinal program in clinical rheumatology.

Our Fellowship Training Program has four main components:

  • Inpatient Consult Service. All inpatient consults occur on the main campus of Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Our clinicians do not have a dedicated Rheumatology inpatient service, but rather care for patients with known or suspected Rheumatologic diseases on the Medical, Surgical, and Obstetric Services. The schedule for bedside rounds is arranged by the Rheumatology attending and consult fellow. First-year fellows typically rotate on the inpatient consult service for approximately 12-21 weeks per year, depending on the total number of fellows. Second- and third-year fellows typically rotate on the consult service 3-5 weeks per year, again depending on the total number of fellows. Brigham and Women’s Internal Medicine residents, Harvard Medical School students, and visiting residents and medical school students are often part of the consult team as well, depending on the month.
  • Ambulatory Clinics. Our model for outpatient clinical care positions the fellow (rather than the attending) as the primary clinician. Patients view the fellow as their primary rheumatologist. Each fellow has a weekly clinic session at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Arthritis Center on the main hospital campus, throughout all three years of the fellowship. This clinic has over 25,000 patient visits per year in the area of rheumatology and related problems in arthritis and/or clinical immunology. Fellows see patients independently, and precept with an attending physician (who also interviews and examines the patient) at the conclusion of each visit. Each fellow also has a clinic at one of the following BWH-affiliated sites: Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital, 850 Boylston Street, Braintree Rehabilitation Center, or the Jamaica Plain Veterans’ Administration (VA) Hospital clinic. During the first year of fellowship, this off-site clinic occurs once per week. During the second and third years of fellowship, the off-site clinic occurs once every other week. As at the main hospital clinic, fellows precept their patients with an attending rheumatologist before the patient leaves the clinic.
    • Additional opportunities:
      • First-year fellows participate in interdisciplinary clinics on an intermittent basis throughout the year. These include Dermatology-Rheumatology clinic, Interstitial Lung Disease-Rheumatology clinic, Spine clinic and Cardiovascular Disease-Rheumatology clinic, as well as a clinic focused on adult patients with childhood-onset rheumatic diseases. First-year fellows are also exposed to musculoskeletal ultrasound during a specialized bimonthly clinic.
      • Second-year fellows who are interested in learning to perform musculoskeletal ultrasound are encouraged to apply to the year-long USSonar training course.
  • Research (Basic Science or Clinical). The second and third years of the fellowship are primarily devoted to pursuing independent research projects, in conjunction with basic or clinical research mentors. During the first year of the fellowship, the Program Director works with fellows to identify a research mentor for the following two years. Fellows with an interest in basic science may join a research lab as early as in the first year of fellowship, with the understanding that clinical responsibilities are to be the main focus of the first year. The research training component of the Rheumatology program encompasses a broad spectrum of basic and translational science techniques and concepts, including molecular and cellular immunology, genomics and other “big data,” cellular metabolism, and bone/joint biology, utilizing both animal models and human samples. Fellows may identify faculty research sponsors either before, or at any time during, the first year of fellowship training. The senior faculty includes both preclinical faculty and faculty with subspecialties other than rheumatology. Research profiles can be found here.

    Fellows pursuing clinical research are strongly encouraged to participate in the highly rated Program in Clinical Effectiveness at the Harvard School of Public Health (directly adjacent to Brigham and Women’s Hospital) during the summer after the first year of fellowship. Many of our fellows also pursue higher education through the Masters of Public Health or Masters in Clinical and Translational Investigationprogram, and complete their coursework as part-time students during the second and third years of the fellowship. The Division of Rheumatology is known for its strong Section of Clinical Sciences, which includes clinical epidemiologists, pharmacoepidemiologists, and biostatisticians. Many fellows have participated in clinical research training with a focus on musculoskeletal disorders and outcomes through OrACORe.

  • Conferences. Regular conferences are an important component of the training program. Seminars specific to the Rheumatology Division include Rheumatology Grand Rounds, Consult Rounds, Basic Science Seminar, Clinical Research Seminar, Radiology Rounds, and Ambulatory Center Rounds. Fellows also participate in Intracity Rounds, a monthly conference where rheumatology fellows and attendings from seven rheumatology training programs in the Boston area gather to present and discuss their best cases.

Current Rheumatology Fellows

First Year

Cianna Leatherwood, MD
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Medical School: Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 
Residency: University of Southern California Testing

Second Year

Paul Hoover, MD, PhD 
Hometown: Tucson, AZ 
Medical School: Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto & San Francisco, CA
Residency: Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Anna (Helena) Jonsson, MD, PhD
Hometown: Sweden 
Medical School: Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
Residency: Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Lindsey MacFarlane, MD
Hometown: Acton, MA 
Medical School: Albany Medical College, Albany, NY
Residency: Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Third Year

Amish Dave, MD
Hometown: Bloomingdale, IL
Medical School: University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, Chicago, IL
Residency: Stanford

Sara Tedeschi, MD
Hometown: Livingston, NJ
Medical School: Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN
Residency: Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Kevin Wei, MD, PhD
Hometown: Houston, TX
Medical School: Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto & San Francisco, CA
Residency: Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Fourth Year

Deepak Rao, MD, PhD
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
Medical School: Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
Residency: Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Recent Fellowship Program Graduates

2015

Medha Barbhaiya, MD, MPH
William R. O'Brien, MD

2013

Medha Barbhaiya, MD, MPH
William R. O'Brien, MD

LEARN MORE ABOUT BRIGHAM AND WOMEN’S HOSPITAL


For over a century, a leader in patient care, medical education and research, with expertise in virtually every specialty of medicine and surgery.

About BWH