Specific Goals and Objectives

Mission Statement:

Our mission is to support the growth of our fellows so that they can be transformative agents of change who advance well-being and equity within their communities.

At all steps of their growth, we channel and reciprocate their motivation for clinical excellence, scholarly inquiry, and quality improvement.

We support this mission by establishing the following specific goals and objectives.

1. Clinical competence. We define clinical competence as:

  • Professionalism and humanistic characteristics that uphold integrity, compassion, and respect for patients and their families, caregivers, peers, and other health care team members.
  • Interpersonal communication skills with patients and other health care team members that is mindful of socioeconomic circumstances and levels of health literacy.
  • Performance as a consulting member of the health care team members who recognizes their role in managing rheumatologic diseases in the context of systemic disorders.
  • Basic core knowledge of the pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, and management of rheumatologic diseases or systemic diseases with rheumatic manifestations. This knowledge base includes anatomy, genetics, biochemistry, immunology, physiology, pharmacology, epidemiology, statistics, ethics, and human behavior.
  • Clinical skills relating to data collection, such as history-taking, physical examination and the appropriate ordering of laboratory and imaging studies.
  • Interpretation of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, including an understanding of the principles, indications, contraindications, risks, costs, and expected outcomes.
  • Logical diagnostic reasoning, based on the ability to apply medical knowledge to the clinical context and perform deductive reasoning from clinical data.
  • Formulation of treatment plans that are evidence-based and individually tailored to patient needs.

2. The ability to work in a variety of settings. Fellows are expected to attain clinical competence in the following settings:

  • As a consultant in the acute inpatient setting, ambulatory clinic, emergency department, and intensive care settings.
  • As an outpatient rheumatologist in the ambulatory clinic, following patients longitudinally for management of rheumatologic diseases.
  • As a leader of a healthcare team, which may include not only other physicians, but also nurses, medical assistants, pharmacists, social workers, and advanced practice providers.

3. Lifelong learning and growth. Fellows demonstrate lifelong learning skills by:

  • Deliberate practice in the clinical setting to steadily expand core knowledge and improve clinical skills.
  • Attendance, presentation, and participation in the organization of continuing medical education conferences.
  • Attendance and presentation at regional and national professional scientific conferences.

4. Scholarly activity and research. Fellows are encouraged to participate in research that appeals to their interests and career aspirations.

  • For the fellow planning a career as a physician-scientist, we offer opportunities for intensive, supervised laboratory research within the Division of Immunology as well as through other divisions at the University of Iowa.
  • For the fellow planning a career in private practice, we offer opportunities for developing expertise in quality improvement, implementation science, patient-centered research, and leadership development.
  • For the fellow planning a career as a clinician educator, we offer opportunities to perform research in assessment/evaluation, curriculum design, and effectiveness of clinical teaching in collaboration with the Office for Consultation and Research in Medical Education (OCRME).

5. Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging.  We recognize the pivotal role that rheumatologists play in addressing healthcare disparities and inequities.  Fellows learn how to:

  • Adhere to the core principles of professionalism and humanism, including respect for personhood
  • Acknowledge the importance of advancing equity as an objective of high-quality healthcare
  • Deliver culturally-sensitive care to diverse populations
  • Engage in a growth mindset to foster inclusion and inclusivity of vulnerable populations