the ambulatory experience
First-year fellows care for outpatients during three half-days in the outpatient clinic. Fellows are in clinic two half-days in their second year and one half-day in their third (if a third year is undertaken). One half-day during each of the first two years may occur at the VA under the direct supervision of an attending rheumatologist. In each half-day, a fellow is generally responsible for 1 to 2 new consultations and 6 to 8 follow-up patients. All fellows have outpatient experience at Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation (NMFF). This is the outpatient facility of the academic faculty of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
The fellow is given progressive autonomy in outpatient care throughout the fellowship, and will be appropriately supervised by assigned attending faculty members. The goal of this experience is for the fellows to gain expertise in the outpatient evaluation and management of rheumatic problems. The experience provides an opportunity to develop an understanding for the natural history of these conditions over an extended period of time.
Fellows are also provided an experience with other disciplines whose expertise is required in the care of patients with rheumatic diseases. These disciplines include rehabilitative medicine and pediatric rheumatology. The goal of these experiences is for the fellow to appreciate the approach to the specific conditions that relate to rheumatic disorders within these subspecialties. This interdisciplinary interaction can occur in the form of a clinical rotation, multidisciplinary conference, etc. Clinical experiences are under the direction of attending physicians in the respective subspecialty who participate fully in the educational goals of the rotation. For first-year fellows, these rotations occur during months when the trainee is not on duty on the inpatient consult service.