Rheumatology Clinical Fellowship Program

Our Mission

The University of Florida Rheumatology Fellowship Program strives to improve rheumatologic care of patients in Florida, our nation and the world through excellence in medical care, education and research. We aim to recruit and cultivate humanistic doctors who listen thoughtfully, examine carefully, analyze complex data with expertise, appraise the literature with understanding, communicate with respect, and help their patients make informed decisions. We aim to give our trainees the tools to learn independently after graduation. — Eric S. Sobel, MD, PhD, Program Director

Five-Year Vision Statement

In the next five years, we aim to train our fellows to be well-rounded rheumatologists. We aim to do this by education in a variety of settings, including general and disease-focused clinics, inpatient consultation, rheumatology and immunology didactics, multidisciplinary conferences, using a joint injection simulator, and journal club. We aim to have each fellow participate in a quality improvement project and publish at least one scholarly project or case report during fellowship. We aim to implement a system to make consistent delivery and documentation of bi-directional feedback easier.

Program Aims

  • Provide comprehensive, advanced training in the care of rheumatologic patients that will lead to American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) certification in rheumatology.
  • Cultivate the professional values, clinical skills and ability to apply the literature to clinical situations necessary for our graduates to provide excellent, up-to-date rheumatologic care for the duration of their careers.
  • Engage fellows in quality improvement/patient safety initiatives and scholarly research activity.

Program Goals and Objectives

Upon completion of the training program, fellows will be proficient and independent in performing the following specific program goals for each of the six ACGME competencies: patient care, medical knowledge, interpersonal skill and communication, professionalism, practice-based learning and improving, and systems-based practice.

About the Program

The University of Florida Health Rheumatology Fellowship Training Program in Gainesville is a two-year program offering two positions each year for qualified physicians dedicated to encompassing both clinical and research experience and instruction. Our major teaching facilities include UF Health Shands Hospital (939 beds) and the Malcom Randall Veterans Administration Medical Center (350 beds). Both facilities serve as major referral centers for much of North and Central Florida as well as South Georgia. Fellows have ambulatory care experience rotating in seven faculty clinics, including one half-day per week continuity clinic during both the first and second year. Elective rotations in UF Department of Pediatrics and Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation are also available during both the first and second year of fellowship. In addition, fellows rotate on an inpatient consult service and perform musculoskeletal ultrasound and joint injections. The division hosts weekly conferences led by a faculty member to include: Introduction to Rheumatology, Rheumatology Grand Rounds, Journal Club, Research in Progress and a Pathology Conference.

Rheumatology Fellowship Application Information and Requirements

For clinical fellowship applications, please submit the following via ERAS:

  • CV
  • Personal statement
  • 3 letters of recommendation (one from the program director)
  • USMLE scores (must pass step III prior to starting fellowship) or equivalent scores
  • Medical school transcript
  • Medical school diploma
  • ECFMG status report (foreign medical graduates only)
  • The division supports J1 visas only
  • Wallet-sized color photo
  • Applicants must be board-certified or board-eligible in Internal Medicine
  • Applicants must either be, or be eligible to be, licensed as physicians by the State of Florida
  • Interviews are held between August – November of the year prior to starting training

The University of Florida does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, sex, national or ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, programs or activities, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, athletics and any university-administered programs or employment.

Current Trainees

  • Dina Hammad, MD
    Second-Year Fellow
    Medical School: University of Damascus Faculty of Medicine, Syria
    Residency: University of Texas Rio Grande Valley-Doctors Hospital at Renaissance-Internal Medicine
  • Omer Idrees, MD
    Second-Year Fellow
    Medical School: Windsor University School of Medicine, Saint Kitts and Nevis
    Residency: UF Health-Ascension Sacred Heart Pensacola Hospital-Internal Medicine
  • Sewar Abuarqob, MBBS
    First-Year Fellow
    Medical School: Jordan University of Science and Technology Faculty of Medicine, Jordan
    Residency: St. Joseph’s University Medical Center – Internal Medicine
  • Gizem Gokalp, MD
    First-Year Fellow
    Medical School: Marmara Universitesi Tip Fakultesi, Turkiye
    Residency: University of Central Florida, HCA GME Consortium – Internal Medicine