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Medical Student Electives: Rheumatology


Brief Description

The elective provides in the assessment and management of diverse musculoskeletal problems, including various systemic rheumatologic conditions.


The students will have exposure enabling them to identify, recognize, and effectively manage common rheumatologic disorders.

Learning Experience

The student will participate in rheumatology consultations involving patients seen in the Rheumatologic Clinic, the Emergency Room, and the Inpatient Services. The specifics of rheumatologic history taking and exam skills will be stressed. Techniques of joint aspiration and joint fluid analyses are taught and applied, as well as the radiographic interpretation of numerous rheumatologic abnormalities. The student will also be exposed to the performance and interpretation of lab tests in the rheumatic diseases.

Selected rheumatology topics will be formally discussed by the preceptors, as time allows (typically daily). The student will also participate in the Weekly Rheumatology Journal Club, demonstrating critical review of current literature.


The student will be appraised of his/her performance after two weeks and at the end of the rotation, with particular attention paid to ensure the acquisition of physical examination skills. The feedback will be provided by the Course Director.


The student will be evaluated by observed clinical activity consisting of rheumatologic history taking, exam skills, and formulation of a differential diagnosis and treatment plan. This will be judged at the end of the rotation either by the Course Director or the Rheumatology preceptor assigned for the month.


Given all year. Maximum number of fourth year students per month: One. Housing is provided when available, with the exception of the months of January, June and July. No night or weekend call is required. Conferences to be attended: Rheumatology Journal Club and Medicine Grand Rounds on Friday morning.


Members of the Attending Staff.