Department of Medicine

Rheumatology Fellowship Program

Our two-year program, with an option for extending to three, educates our fellows in providing comprehensive, multidisciplinary and state-of-the-art rheumatologic care, with an emphasis placed on being both culturally responsive and patient-centered. 

Irene Blanco, MD, MS, Director, Rheumatology Fellowship Program

Why our program could be right for you

The Montefiore-Einstein Rheumatology Fellowship Program combines a didactic curriculum and unparalleled clinical exposure to a diverse patient population with a spectrum of rheumatic diseases, allowing our trainees to sharpen their skills and become well-rounded rheumatologists. By participating in continuity clinics, our fellows come to understand the long-term manifestations and complications of the rheumatic diseases while developing lasting clinical partnerships with their patients.

A goal-oriented fellowship

Over the course of their training, fellows learn how to:

  • Demonstrate and apply advanced knowledge of clinical manifestations, presentations, pathophysiology and management of rheumatologic diseases, as well as of systemic diseases with rheumatologic manifestations
  • Develop and demonstrate the clinical skills of data collection, including history taking, physical examination (including the performance of an in-depth musculoskeletal exam) and demonstrating appropriate request for and interpretation of laboratory testing and analysis of imaging studies
  • Perform and/or interpret diagnostic tests and therapeutic procedures while ensuring patient safety and comfort, including arthrocentesis, common in the practice of rheumatology
  • Display excellent clinical assessment and judgment in determining the use, efficacy and side effects of immunosuppressive and immunomodulating therapies
  • Exemplify values consistent with culturally appropriate, patient-centered care while addressing the social determinants of health in order to provide optimal care for all patient populations
  • Advocate for the needs of patients affected by the rheumatic diseases on a local, regional and national level

Moses Campus

A 726-bed tertiary care hospital, our Moses Campus offers state-of-the-art care, ranging from comprehensive cancer care to advanced transplant services. Moses is also home to our lupus and general rheumatology clinics, where fellows provide ongoing patient care at their weekly continuity clinics. Through the breadth of specialties and services provided at Moses, our fellows gain incredible exposure to the most complicated rheumatology cases. All rheumatology admissions and consultations are seen and followed by two Rheumatology Fellows and one faculty member assigned to the Moses Campus for the month. 

If you train at Einstein, you can go anywhere from here. The diversity of patients and pathology is unparalleled. We take care of one another at Montefiore-Einstein Rheumatology, and we really like each other!

Dima Nimri, MD

First-year Rheumatology Fellow

Jacobi Medical Center

A Montefiore-Einstein teaching affiliate, Jacobi Medical Center (JMC) is home to a Level 4 trauma center, a burn center, an active emergency room and 457 acute care beds. Our Division of Rheumatology provides consultative services for patients hospitalized at Jacobi or referred by the emergency room. Given the incredibly diverse surrounding population, fellows will see a wide breadth of rheumatology at this site. While at JMC, fellows will also attend the lupus, general rheumatology and musculoskeletal (MSK) ultrasound clinics as part of their continuity experience in outpatient care. All rheumatology admissions and consultations are seen and followed by a Rheumatology Fellow and faculty member assigned to the JMC for the month. 

I chose this program for the strong clinical education and diverse urban environment. I stayed as faculty because of the brilliant and inspirational rheumatologists I met there, who genuinely care for your success as well as for the patients.

Shereen Mahmood, MD

Director, Montefiore-Einstein Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Clinic

North Central Bronx Hospital

Owned and operated by the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, North Central Bronx Hospital (NCBH) is located next to our Montefiore Moses Campus. This 232-bed facility features approximately 90 medicine beds, an ICU and stepdown unit, a surgical unit, pediatric service and a busy OB/GYN service. Rheumatology Fellows rotating on our Moses Campus are responsible for inpatient consultations at NCBH and for covering the NCBH emergency room. Inpatient consults are seen and followed by a Rheumatology Fellow and an attending from the Moses service or a Jacobi Medical Center faculty member rotating at NCBH. 

Jack D. Weiler Hospital, Einstein Campus

Located on the campus of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, the Jack D. Weiler Hospital is a 403-bed tertiary care facility that serves 75,000 patients per year. 

Program clinics

A number of specialized clinics offer our trainees the opportunity for hands-on, in-depth learning. 
 

Joint Pain Clinic

At our Joint Pain Clinic at Jacobi Medical Center (JMC), patients are seen by a rheumatology attending and first-year fellows rotating through Jack D. Weiler Hospital and JMC. A triage clinic offers care to patients who have sub-acute issues like mono-arthritis, tendonitis and gout, and who are evaluated for possible injection. Typically patients are seen for one to two visits, and may be discharged from the clinic or referred to one of Montefiore-Einstein’s more specialized clinics.

Ultrasound Clinics

Our Ultrasound Clinics, which take place at our Hutchinson Campus and Jacobi Medical Center, are dedicated to assessing and treating arthritic conditions via ultrasound. These teaching clinics are attended by one rheumatologist and one to two second-year fellows, who treat patients referred for injections and evaluations.

Lupus Clinics

Located at Moses Campus and Jacobi Medical Center, our Lupus Clinics see a range of patients, including those with new diagnoses, suspected diagnoses, prior diagnoses and/or recent hospitalizations for flares of systemic lupus erythematosus, discoid lupus, mixed connective tissue disease and antiphospholipid syndrome. Several attendings, fellows and rotating residents and medical students attend these clinics. Our Lupus Clinics are teaching practices, with fellows serving as primary caregivers, and count as continuity clinics.

General Rheumatology (Arthritis) Clinics

General Rheumatology (Arthritis) Clinics take place at Moses Campus, Jacobi Medical Center and North Central Bronx Hospital. The majority of our patients are seen at these clinics, and are suspected or known to have rheumatic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, vasculitis, systemic sclerosis, inflammatory myositis, spondyloarthropathies, gout and osteoarthritis. All new non-lupus patients who are seen in the hospital by the teaching service and who have the need for outpatient follow-up are also seen in these clinics. Patients are referred to these clinics by both internal and community primary care practices, subspecialists and the emergency room. Clinics are attended by several attendings and first- and second-year fellows, as well as by rotating residents and medical students. Fellows serve as the primary caregivers in these teaching clinics, which are part of a fellow’s continuity clinic structure.

A world-renowned faculty

Irene Blanco, MD, MS

Director, Rheumatology Fellowship Program
Director, Montefiore-Einstein Lupus Teaching Clinic
Associate Dean, Office of Diversity Enhancement
Professor, Rheumatology

Bibi Ayesha, MBBS

Associate Director, Rheumatology Fellowship Program
Program Director, Montefiore-Einstein Vasculitis Clinic
Assistant Professor, Rheumatology

Beverly Johnson, MD

Division Chief, Rheumatology, Jacobi and North Central Bronx Medical Centers
Site Director, Rheumatology Fellowship Program, Jacobi and North Central Bronx Medical Centers
Associate Professor, Rheumatology

Ruchi Jain, MD

Director, Rheumatology Faculty and Fellows Wellness Programming
Assistant Professor, Rheumatology

Shereen Mahmood, MD

Co-Director, MSK Ultrasound Education
Director, Montefiore-Einstein Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Clinic
Director, Musculoskeletal Diseases Course for MS2 Einstein Students
Assistant Professor, Rheumatology

Mildred Rodriguez

Coordinator, Rheumatology Fellowship Program

Current first- and second-year fellows

Bhavna Abbi, MD

First-year fellow

Sai Koyoda, MBBS

First-year fellow

Dima Nimri, MD

First-year fellow

Patrick Webster, MD

First-year fellow

Lilian Bizzocchi, MD

Second-year fellow

Don-Andre Jackson, MD

Second-year fellow

Navneet Kaur, MBBS

Second-year fellow

Jeanie Lee, MD

Second-year fellow

Inpatient and outpatient rotations

Fellows assigned to inpatient rotations are responsible for the evaluation of inpatient and emergency room consultations, and the continued follow-up of these patients during their hospitalization. During rotations, fellows develop and refine clinical evaluation skills, as well as skills in providing consultation services. Inpatient rotations also allow fellows to develop a comprehensive understanding of the indications, contraindications, techniques and complications of arthrocentesis, as well as of the interpretation of results from this procedure.

All fellows, regardless of year, maintain three half-days of outpatient rotations at ambulatory continuity clinics. Under the supervision of dedicated attending faculty members assigned to each individual clinic, this experience continues with progressive responsibility through the fellowship. Each fellow has one Lupus Clinic and two General Rheumatology “Arthritis” Clinics each week, where they are exposed to the full breadth and scope of the practice of rheumatology.

A challenging and innovative curriculum

The Montefiore-Einstein Rheumatology Fellowship offers comprehensive training to thoroughly prepare our fellows for careers in clinical practice and/or investigative rheumatology. The first year of the program lays the groundwork for a firm understanding of clinical rheumatology through didactic sessions and inpatient and outpatient rotations. In the second year, our fellows devote most of their time to a mentored research project in a preferred area of interest. With department approval, an optional third year is available for fellows interested in pursuing intensive research training.

First-year curriculum

During their first year, fellows attend three to four outpatients continuity clinics per week: one session in a Lupus Clinic, and two to three in General Rheumatology Clinics at Moses Campus or Jacobi Medical Center. Fellows do monthly rotations on the inpatient consult service, with four months distributed over the Jacobi Medical Center and Weiler Hospital and six months distributed over the Moses Campus and North Central Bronx Hospital. First-year fellows attend first-year didactic sessions dedicated to fundamental knowledge of disease pathophysiology and management, including small group case-based sessions and periodic interval assessments; musculoskeletal radiology, including introduction to MSK ultrasound; fundamentals of immunology; culturally responsive and patient-centered care, including introductions to health disparities, bias and care for marginalized groups; and participation in division- and department-wide journal clubs and grand rounds. 

Second-year curriculum

As part of their second-year curriculum, fellows attend three continuity clinics per week: one session in a Lupus Clinic, and two in General Rheumatology Clinics. Fellows are also given protected time for research and, if the fellow is interested and approved by the division, may begin the first year of the Clinical Research Training Program. During their second-year training, fellows also participate in a dedicated monthly Musculoskeletal Ultrasound (MSKUS) Procedure Clinic and the development of a Quality Improvement project. 

Musculoskeletal ultrasound curriculum

Our two-year Musculoskeletal Ultrasound (MSKUS) Program is led by members of our USSONAR-trained faculty, Beverly Johnson, MD, and Shereen Mahmood, MD. Ultrasound (US) training in the first year is designed to supplement clinical training as fellows learn to correlate physical exam findings with US imaging, and provides fellows with basic board review of common pathology encountered in US practice. The curriculum is intended to provide fellows with hands-on procedural experience and help them gauge their interest in developing their US skills for USSONAR certification and further practice. 

Musculoskeletal ultrasound curriculum

Divided into quarterly goals as defined by USSONAR requirements, training in the second year is designed for fellows to advance and refine their US skillset. The curriculum allows fellows to participate in USSONAR certification, prepare for future RhMSUS board certification and develop clinical research projects. Each MSKUS clinic session is divided into journal review and patient procedures. 

First-year selective

During our one-month selective program, fellows continue to participate in their continuity clinics but are provided time off from the in-patient service to explore other fields pertinent to Radiology Fellows, including orthopedics, pediatric rheumatology, physical therapy, dermatology, ophthalmology and musculoskeletal (MSK) radiology.

Clinical Research Training Program

Our Clinical Research Training Program (CRTP) allows fellows to earn a Master of Science in Clinical Research Methods. Combining didactic learning and coursework with a mentored research experience, this intensive two-year program is designed for those pursuing a career in investigator-initiated, hypothesis-driven clinical research. CRTP scholars are drawn from all Montefiore-Einstein medical specialities and subspecialties, including those interested in clinical investigation across the entire translational research spectrum.

When I was searching for a rheumatology program, working with the underserved was my top priority. Montefiore-Einstein has given me the ability not only to heal members of the community but to learn from them as well.

Don-Andre Jackson, MD

Second-year Rheumatology Fellow

Hear from our fellows

As one of the top 10 largest medical and surgical training programs in the country, Montefiore-Einstein provides postgraduate clinical training to more than 1,400 residents across 106 accredited residency and fellowship programs. Here, our postgraduate trainees share their own first-hand experiences.

Faculty and scientists at the forefront of research

Fellowship Application Information

We’re seeking fellows who will shape the future of healthcare.

If you would like to apply to become a Rheumatology Fellow at Montefiore-Einstein, here is some information to keep in mind.

  • Applications will be accepted through ERAS on a rolling basis until September 30, 2020. 
  • We recommend that your application and letters of recommendation be available for download by the program as close to August 12, 2020, as possible.

Montefiore-Einstein recognizes that having a diverse and inclusive institution is critical to success, and we reaffirm our fervent commitment to fostering a culture in which diversity is a central tenet.

Have questions? Get in touch.

Mildred Rodriguez
Coordinator, Rheumatology Fellowship Program
mirodrig@montefiore.org

Learn more about the Montefiore-Einstein Department of Medicine