SIU School of Medicine

Jump directly to a section:

Division of Rheumatology

Student Information

Contact Information
General Objectives
Expectations of Students
Clinical Activity, Division Conferences and other Educational Activities
Assessment Methods
Assessment of the Rotation

Contact Information:

Rotation Supervisor: Dr. Sriya Ranatunga
Division Secretary: Lois Defend

Those starting on Monday should come to the Rheumatology clinic by 8:30.
Those starting on Tuesday should come to the Rheumatology clinic after grand rounds (9:00).



General Objectives:

Learning history and physical exam skills to evaluate patients with musculoskeletal problems.

Learn clinical presentations and management of the more common rheumatic disorders, such as:

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Systemic lupus erythematosis
  • Bursitis and tendonitis
  • Fibromylagia
  • Crystaline disorders
  • Seronegative spondyloarthropathies


Expectations of Students:

  • Students will perform history and physical exams on rheumatology patients, primarily in the outpatient setting.  They will enter their history and physical exams on the appropriate electronic forms.
  • Students may also perform history and physical exams on inpatients.  They may also follow inpatients and are responsible for collecting data, performing follow-up histories and physicals, presenting rounds, and writing notes.
  • Performing joint aspirations and injections is not a primary goal of this rotation;  understanding when and when not to perform these procedures is a primary goal.  We have knee and shoulder models students can use to practice these techniques.
  • Students may be asked to present an article for journal club.
  • Students are expected to read the sections of The Primer as outlined and to read about the patients they evaluate.


Clinical Activity, Division Conferences and other Educational Activities:


In this series we will cover the core material you need to know about rheumatology.  These sessions are meant to be interactive teaching forums, not lectures.  To get the maximum benefit from these sessions, you are expected to have read the assigned sections of the PRIMER before the teaching session.  We will then discuss the material.  We will ask you questions; you can ask us questions.  While we will certainly get an impression of your fund of knowledge and your preparation for the session, the primary goals of this format are to:

  1. Adjust the discussion according to your knowledge level.
  2. Keep everyone awake.
  3. Improve long term knowledge.  Studies indicate that you are more likely to remember material discussed in this manner rather than passively hearing the same information.
  4. Keep learning fun.
  5. Provide incentive to read the material.


Residents and students may be asked to present a journal article to their colleagues.  You should pick a research article with data (not a review) pertaining to rheumatology published in the last 2-3 months,  preferably based on a patient you evaluated.  The best sources are typical NEJM, Annals of Internal Medicine, Lancet and Arthritis and Rheumatism.  Check with Dr. Ranatunga to make sure the article is appropriate.               



8:30 AM – 12:30 PM                        Drs. Miller, Ranatunga, and Chauhan


9:00 AM – 12:30 PM                        Drs. Miller, Ranatunga, and Chauhan


8:30 AM – 12:30 PM                        Drs. Miller and Ranatunga

1:00 PM – 4:30 PM                          Dr. Ranatunga


8:30 AM – 12:30 PM                        Drs. Miller and Chauhan

1:00 PM – 4:30 PM                          Drs. Miller and Chauhan


8:30 AM – 12:30 PM                        Drs. Ranatunga and Chauhan


Assessment Methods:

  • Observation/verification of history and physical exams.
  • Assessment of students’ clinical impression and plans for the patients they evaluate.
  • Clarity of oral presentations and written notes.
  • During learning sessions, students will have the opportunity to demonstrate their
    knowledge of the topic assigned.
  • Students may be asked to present a critical analysis of one or more research papers to the faculty.


Assessment of the Rotation:

The rheumatology faculty will meet at the end of the rotation to discuss the progress of each student and to give a comprehensive evaluation that represents input of all the attending physicians.  We will also elicit the input of nurses, patients, and others involved with you during the service.  The critical issues are in what we tell you and in the comments that we write, not the summary score.  Within the last week of your rotation, be sure to set up a meeting with Dr. Ranatunga so that she can give you face-to-face feedback.