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Dr. George Lawry and Dr. Shaista Malik confer with members of UC Irvine's rheumatology fellowship program.

The Division of Rheumatology at UC Irvine's School of Medicine offers a highly competitive, two-year fellowship program that provides extensive clinical training in rheumatic and musculoskeletal disorders.

We are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). We also encourage fellows seeking a career in academic medicine to pursue a third year of sponsored research.

The program is based at UC Irvine Medical Center, Orange County's only university medical center.

Educational Activities »

Division fellows receive in-depth clinical rheumatology experience in consultative hospital and outpatient care at the UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange and its state-of-the-art UC Irvine Douglas Hospital as well as at the VA Long Beach Health System. Fellows also train in pediatric rheumatology at CHOC Children's Hospital of Orange County.

Rheumatology fellows spend two-thirds of their time in clinical training and the remainder in research. Mentored research opportunities include basic science or clinical research as well as collaborative clinical trials. Fellows are expected to present their work at the American College of Rheumatology's annual meeting. 

We also encourage fellows seeking a career in academic medicine to pursue a third year of sponsored rheumatology or immunology research.

Didactic training includes:
  • Weekly rheumatology grand rounds
  • Monthly journal club
  • Monthly case presentations
  • Musculoskeletal rheumatology-radiology conferences every two months
  • Ultrasound training
Salary and Benefits »

The annual salary scale is:

  • First year — $63,879
  • Second year — $66,493

    The university provides medical, dental and vision plans designed to meet the needs of the fellows and their families.

    Fellows also receive professional liability coverage for all activities that are part of rheumatology fellowship training program.

    Fellows receive two weeks of vacation plus two weeks of educational leave per year.

    Moonlighting as a rheumatologist is not permitted.

Eligibility and Application Process »

UC Irvine's Division of Rheumatology accepts three incoming fellows each year. We accept applications through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS), which is sponsored by the Association of American Medical Colleges.  You can search for the University of California Irvine Rheumatology Fellowship Program by Accreditation ID: 1500521108.  We also participate in the National Residents Matching Program (NRMP).

For questions about the application process, go to ERAS online or call 215-966-3940.


Fellowship candidates must have completed an ACGME-accredited Internal Medicine residency program.  Applicants also must have:

  • Board Certification or Board Eligibility by ABIM
  • Proof of medical school graduation (original diploma)
  • Proof of passing all three steps of the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE) or
  • Proof of passing all three levels of the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination of the United States (COMLEX-USA)
  • 3 Current Letters of Recommendation, one from a current or past program director
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship, permanent residency or a valid J-1 visa with ECFMG sponsorship
  • Proof of Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) Certificate:
    • International Medical Graduates must have current ECFMG certificate AND ECFMG-issued J-1 Visa or provide proof of permanent residence status
    • International Medical Graduates must have current Medical Board of California “Postgraduate Training Authorization Letter (PTAL) issued within the past 12 months
  • A valid California medical license
    • Candidates must have a valid California medical license before beginning the fellowship program as required by state law. For graduates of medical schools outside the United States, please note that the licensure process can take 6 to 12 months or longer. If you are not already licensed in the state of CA, contact the Medical Board of California online or at 1426 Howe Ave., Suite 54, Sacramento, CA 95825-3236.
  • Male trainees must have registered with the Selective Service between the ages of 18-26 or meet criteria for an exemption and have a “Status Information” letter issued by the Veterans Affairs' Office of Academic Affiliations (OAA).
    • Our training program includes the Tibor Rubin Veterans Affairs Medical Center as a participating site.  In order to train or work at a Veterans Health Administration facility, you must provide evidence of registration in the Selective Service program, or evidence of exempt status issued through a Status Information letter.  Contact the Selective Service website to obtain proof of registration or request for the Status Information Letter.
  • Submit all documents required by ERAS

Thank you for your interest in our program.

Sheetal Desai, M.D.
Fellowship Program Director

For more information about the Division of Rheumatology's fellowship program, please contact:

Alix Huynh
Fellowship Program Coordinator