Rheumatology Fellowship

The Rheumatology Training Program is ACGME accredited and structured to meet the standards established by the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American College of Rheumatology. Clinical training is focused around the rheumatology clinics and inpatient consultation services at the university teaching hospital and Overton Brooks VA Medical Center. After two years of training, fellows generally become eligible to take the American Board of Internal Medicine Rheumatology Subspecialty Board Exam.

Program Objectives

First Year

  • To obtain a comprehensive rheumatologic history from patients with musculoskeletal symptoms
  • To perform thorough and appropriate examination of joints, muscles, and periarticular structures such as tendons, bursae, and ligaments
  • To understand the principles and methodology for laboratory techniques used in Rheumatology.
  • To demonstrate competence in performing arthrocentesis in multiple sites. Be able to order correct tests of synovial fluid and analyze results.
  • Demonstrate competency in synovial fluid analyses by light and polarized microscopy.
  • To interpret and clinically utilize specific rheumatologic tests in a variety of clinical situations.
  • To interpret plain radiographs of joints, CT scans, bone scans, arteriograms and MRIs of joints in a variety of rheumatic diseases.
  • To understand when to order different radiographs and test to diagnose a variety of rheumatologic conditions.
  • To interpret and review medical literature in rheumatology and immunology.
  • To understand the principles of epidemiology and health services research.
  • To understand data analysis, biostatistics and meta-analysis for clinical research.
  • To utilize health status, disease activity, functional and quality of life measurements and assessment in research and in clinical practice.
  • To design a clinical trial and begin collecting data. Read text "Studying a Study and Testing a Test: How to Read the Medical Literature."
  • To participate in a mini course on writing case studies and preparing abstracts.
  • To identify and treat common skin rashes seen in patients with rheumatologic diseases, for example: vasculitis, discoid lupus and erythema muliforme.
  • To perform punch skin biopsies and send for diagnosis and interpretation
  • To interpret bone density scans, and treat and order further tests according to results.
  • To diagnose and treat a variety of rheumatologgic disorders in the hospital and clinic environment.
  • To present the differential diagnosis of a patient's problem after completing a hospital or outpatient consultation.
  • To know the pharmacology, mechanism of action, drug interactions, side effects and methods for use of a variety of pharmacologic drugs used in Rheumatology.
  • To learn appropriate prescribing and monitoring practices for antirheumatic medications (NSAIDs and DMARDs).
  • To perform therapeutic aspirations and injections.
  • To attend Rheumatology meetings when scheduling allows and participate in all training courses.
  • To demonstrate ability to work in private practice setting with a variety of patients.
  • Present lectures using PowerPoint and handouts on rheumatologic topics to faculty and house staff.
  • Attend lectures on OSHA regulations.
  • Attend orientation given by hospital on sexual harassment and professional attitude, and other required compliance lectures.

Second Year

  • To audit the Immunology Course (Micro #297)
  • To complete a rotation through rehabilitation services.
  • To complete a rotation through orthopedic and sports medicine clinic, and observe joint replacements.
  • To complete a rotation through Pain Management.
  • To observe EMG/Muscle biopsies.
  • To comprehend the anatomy and cellular elements of Immunology.
  • To comprehend immunoregulation, tolerance and autoimmunity.
  • To comprehend the biomechanics of bones, joints and muscles.
  • To interpret and review medical literature in Rheumatology and Immunology.
  • To refine and carry out clinical trial on a cohort of rheumatologic patients.
  • To prepare and submit an abstract on clinical trials.
  • To understand and utilize bioethics in basic research in clinical trials.
  • To complete consultations on inpatients or outpatients and present a differential diagnosis, a final assessment and therapeutic options to an attending or faculty member.
  • To comprehend rehabilitation in the multidisciplinary team concept.
  • To understand the issues of pain management and how to use a variety of pain medications in the treatment of rheumatic diseases.
  • To demonstrate the ability to identify physical impairment and relate the impairment to observed functional deficits.
  • To prescribe appropriate rehabilitation to achieve goals to improve a defined impairment.
  • To understand the principles and the diagnostic use of EMGs and muscle biopsies.
  • To interpret and understand the abnormalities in EMGs and muscle biopsies seen in patients with polymyositis.
  • To attend the yearly American College of Rheumatology meetings and participate in all training courses.
  • To demonstrate competency in the diagnosis and treatment of pediatric Rheumatologic diseases.
  • To demonstrate the ability to work in the private practice setting.
  • To understand/utilize the Medicare/Medicaid documentation guidelines.
  • To comprehend billing procedures and ICM-coding.


Internal Medicine, Division of Rheumatology
LSU Health Shreveport
1501 Kings Highway
Shreveport, LA 71103


Fellowship Coordinator
M'Liss Sella
Email: msella@lsuhsc.edu
Phone: (318) 675--5915


Apply for Rheumatology Fellowships through ERAS (Electronic Residency Applications Service).  

Training Sites

Rheumatology Fellowship