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A welcome message from the Chief

Dr. Sheetal Desai, interim chief of the Division of Rheumatology at UC Irvine's School of Medicine
Dr. Sheetal Desai, interim chief of the Division of Rheumatology at UC Irvine's School of Medicine

The Division of Rheumatology at UC Irvine's School of Medicine is committed to providing exemplary care for patients with a broad range of musculoskeletal conditions and rheumatic diseases.

Our faculty members have special expertise in the diagnosis and management of arthritis — such as rheumatoid arthritis, spondyloarthritis and crystalline arthritis — and complex connective tissue diseases, including systemic lupus, scleroderma, myositis and systemic vasculitis.

The Division of Rheumatology has a competitive ACGME-accredited program that includes clinical training in rheumatic and musculoskeletal disorders at UC Irvine Medical Center, Orange County's only university hospital; the VA Long Beach Healthcare System and CHOC Children's Hospital in Orange. These settings offer our medical students and residents valuable exposure to a wide variety of patients and conditions.

Our rheumatology fellows are exposed to the latest basic science research and clinical trials in the rheumatic diseases and have the opportunity to personally participate in a variety of research activities. Our fellows are encouraged to submit their work for presentation at one of the American College of Rheumatology's annual meetings.

Our training program provides an extensive didactic program of core lectures, seminars and journal clubs in basic biomedical sciences, clinical immunology, musculoskeletal imaging and patient-centered rheumatology grand rounds. 

Furthermore, one of our faculty members has developed an instructional program in diagnostic musculoskeletal ultrasound; one has obtained a master's degree in medical education and another has developed a three-part curriculum to teach trainees and practicing physicians the essential skills of musculoskeletal examination. 

Most importantly, our faculty is especially committed to investing our time in one-on-one mentoring of our fellows in clinical skills development on inpatient consultations services and in weekly continuity clinics.

In addition to providing our patients with the highest quality care, we strive to inspire students and residents to discover the challenge and excitement of caring for patients with rheumatic diseases. From this, we hope that we might galvanize in them both a passion and commitment for careers in rheumatology, which will result in the future advancement of research and clinical care for the benefit of all the patients we serve.