Washington University Rheumatology Fellowship Program

Washington University Rheumatology Fellowship Program

The Division of Rheumatology has evolved over the decades. Traditionally, the Division of Rheumatology has focused on laboratory bench research and has become one of the nationally and internationally renowned for its accomplishments. We have made major contributions to understanding how your immune system works, and very few divisions left have the kind of power we have. We have nine or ten independently functioning labs all with, you know, funding requiring $500,000 to a million to run your lab every year. You’ve got to be at the top of your group. So we’ve had that going way back and so that’s allowed us to train the next generation physician scientists. We have over a hundred fellows we’ve trained now, and they’ve gone on to do all kinds of amazing things, and then they become successful. So that way you can say you take credit, “Oh yea, I taught that person everything know.” (laughs) We have in the neighborhood of 20 faculty. It depends on on how you count them, but it’s roughly equally divided between the people who spend most of their time doing scientific endeavor and the people like me to spend most of our time seeing patients. The department is well known for its research and for its clinical and educational programs. It’s internationally renowned for rheumatology, for immunology and infectious disease, cardiovascular care, and I think one of the distinguishing features of the department really is its focus on career development, mentoring and collaboration. It improves patient care. It improves the teaching, and our fellows get to hear from the skin house of dermatologist looks at the skin. I’m a rheumatologist. I look at the skin pretty well but not as good as a dermatologist. So you get that sort of additional teaching, and moreover it transmits into better patient care. I think every fellow feels comfortable reaching out and conversing with any of the faculty. I tell them they can call me by my first name but they’re not really comfortable doing that so they end up calling me Dr. B. One way I explain it to somebody is we sort of have northeastern academic rigor and Midwest hospitality and I make it very clear to the fellows that I care about them and I want them to succeed and I think they know that. We’re in the middle of everything and it’s, you know, it’s a very family-friendly location. I think St. Louis sometimes does get bad press but the reality is the cost of living is very low here. There’s not very many places you can come to live where you can go to the zoo for free or you can go to the art museum for free. It’s a wonderful, wonderful time. For translational research to succeed and for us to really make a difference – not in 20, or 30, or 50 years but in our lifetimes – we really need to bring diverse groups of scientists and clinicians together to work effectively to address these complex problems. We’re very strongly committed to the tripartite mission of clinical care, outstanding education and research, and we have faculty, fellows, house staff, postdoctoral fellows in every aspect of those three missions. We have had outstanding trainees go on to become division directors, department chairs, institute research leaders all around the world, and we want you to be a part of that.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

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