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Specific Goals and Objectives

Our mission is to train clinically competent rheumatologists with: capacity to work in a variety of settings; skills to enable lifelong learning; and competence in performing scholarly activity/research.

The specific goals of our training program to support our mission are as follows:

1. Clinical competence is essential for all rheumatologists. We define clinical competence as:

  • 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.
  • Performance as a consulting member of the healthcare team who recognizes her or his role in managing rheumatologic diseases in the context of systemic disorders.
  • Interpersonal communication skills with patients and other healthcare professionals that is mindful of socioeconomic circumstances and levels of health literacy.
  • Professionalism and humanistic characteristics that uphold integrity, compassion, and respect for patients, patient family members, peers, and other healthcare professionals.

2. The ability to work in a variety of settings is essential for a clinically complete rheumatologist. 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 physician-extenders.

3. Lifelong learning is required for the acquisition, critical analysis, synthesis, and reassessment of knowledge, skills, and professionalism. All fellows will 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. Fellows are expected to contribute to the body of knowledge through 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).