Rheumatology Fellowship | | Loyola Medicine

Rheumatology Fellowship

The goal of the Rheumatology Fellowship is to develop well trained clinical experts in the field of rheumatology who also possess the scientific background to interpret new findings and to actively participate in research.


Clinical Training, Experience and Support:

The subspecialty fellowship program in Rheumatology will provide training and supervised experience at a sufficient level to acquire competency as a specialist in rheumatic diseases. The training program is two years in duration of which 18 months are devoted to clinical training. The clinical experience in rheumatology will include opportunities to observe and manage inpatients and outpatients with a wide variety of rheumatologic disorders. Fellows will have the opportunity to assess and provide ongoing care for acutely and chronically ill patients in order to learn the natural history of rheumatologic disease, as well as the effectiveness of therapeutic programs. The trainee will have opportunities to assume responsibility under appropriate supervision for the care of patients in continuity clinics and provide consultation for a wide range of diseases in a variety of clinical settings. Additionally, the fellow will acquire skills required to work effectively as a member of a multidisciplinary team. Rotations at the Children's Hospital, Orthopedics, and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation ensure that the fellow gains competency in pediatric rheumatology and selected orthopedic disorders. The fellowship program provides trainees with exposure to quality improvement processes and enables each fellow to become familiar with billing and coding issues.

Research Training, Experience and Support:

Six months of research during the 2 year fellowship will be completed in basic or clinical research allowing the fellow to develop an understanding of scientific principles and their application to research projects. Additionally, didactic lectures dedicated to the development of research skills will be provided to trainees throughout their fellowship training.

Educational Programs/Conference Seminars

  • Clinical Presentation Conference
    This one hour conference will be held on the 2nd, 4th and 5th Tuesday of each month. The first and secondyear fellows will alternate weeks presenting an interesting or challenging case seen in the outpatient clinics or inpatient consult service. They will then lead a focused discussion about the case based on a literature review covering, but not limited to clinical presentation, pathogenesis, histology and treatments.
  • Radiology Conference
    This one hour conference will be held on the 1st Tuesday of each month. Fellow and attending physicians will bring interesting cases which will be used for group discussion and radiographic findings covered with a Musculoskeletal Radiologist.
  • Journal Club
    This one hour conference will be held on the 3rd Tuesday of each month. Fellows and attendings will be assigned a month where they select and present peer-reviewed articles relating to rheumatological and immunological topics for group discussion.
  • Research Conference
    This conference consists of dedicated lectures by the attending physicians to the fellows regarding the principles of research. This will include topics such as biostatistics, ethics, clinical trials, methodology and manuscript writing. 
  • Grand Rounds
    This one hour conference is held weekly on Tuesdays by the Department of Medicine and fellows are encouraged to attend. A schedule of conferences are available from the Department of Medicine.
  • Clinical Pathological Conference (CPC)
    This one hour weekly conference, where in-depth presentations and discussions of interesting and challenging cases are hosted by the Department of Medicine, is attended by fellows, residents and attending physicians. A schedule of conferences are available from the Department of Medicine.
  • American College of Rheumatology (ACR)
    This conference occurs twice a year. The first is the ACR Symposium that occurs in the spring of each year. The second is the National ACR Convention that occurs in the fall each year. The fellows are expected to submit abstracts for acceptance and presentation at these meetings.

Organization of Rotations

First Year

  • Ambulatory Experience: 4 clinics/week at Loyola andEdward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital throughout the year
  • Consultation Service: Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital 2 months
  • Consultation Service: Loyola 8 months
  • Research: 2 months

Second Year

  • Ambulatory Experience: 3 clinics/week at Loyola and Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital throughout the year
  • Research: 4 months
  • Pediatric rotation at Children's Memorial Hospital: 2 months
  • Outpatient Orthopedic rotation: 2 months
  • Consultation Service Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital: 2 months
  • Consultation Service Loyola: 1 month
  • Outpatient Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: 1 month

Application Process

The Loyola fellowship program is an active participant in the NRMP and receives applications through the rules and regulations of ERAS. ERAS files are downloaded in July and interviews are conducted in September.

To apply for the Rheumatology Fellowship Program, you need to submit the following through ERAS:

  • Application
  • Official medical school transcripts. If originals are not in English, please provide a certified English translation.
  • A Dean's letter (medical school)
  • An official record of board scores (NBME, FLEX, USMLE, LMCC, VQE, or FMGEMS)
  • Three letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with your professional qualifications, including one from your internal medicine residency program director.
  • A curriculum vitae
  • A personal statement
  • A valid ECFMG certificate (if you graduated from a medical school outside of the U.S. or Canada)
  • Applicants must possess a valid permanent Visa or U.S. citizenship. No H1B Visas will be accepted.
  • All Fellowship candidates must possess a valid permanent Illinois medical license when they start the program.

Only completed files will be considered. Link to Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) 

Applicants must have three years of accredited postgraduate education in internal medicine and must be eligible for or have passed the ABIM examination. Applicants should have a minimum score of 200 on the USMLE.

Previous Fellows

  • Rochella Ostrowski, MD,2006-2008
  • Richard Hariman, MD, 2007-2009
  • Eugene Bacorro, MD, 2008-2010
  • Troy K. Takagishi, MD, 2009-2011
  • Fariha Kausar, MD, 2010-2012
  • Amita Thakkar, MD, 2011-2013
  • Melissa Bussey, MD, 2012-2014
  • Rupal Chavda, MD  2013-2015
  • Hina Chaudhry, MD 2014-2016
  • Brittany Panico, MD 2015-2017
  • Saba Ziaee, MD 2016-2018
  • Sheela Metgud, MD 2017-2019
  • Matthew Hermann, 2018-2020



Dr. Rochella Ostrowski, Fellowship Program Director

Rochella Ostrowski, MD
Fellowship Program Director

For additional information, please contact:

Julia Baker, M.Ed.
Fellowship Program Coordinator
Loyola University Medical Center
2160 South First Avenue
Building 102, Office 3610
Maywood, IL 60153
Phone: 708-216-6055