Friends and Future Colleagues,

As director of the UNC Rheumatology Fellowship Program, I think I have the best job in the world. I get to help develop and manage a dynamic training environment that fosters outstanding medical care and professionalism. In addition, I have a front row seat to witness – on a daily basis – the continued growth of the very talented individuals who enter our program. It’s a true privilege to work with the brightest physicians as they fine tune their skills to become the leading rheumatologists of tomorrow.

Over the past few decades we have been part of a revolution in the care of patients with rheumatic diseases. Our understanding of the etiology and pathogenesis of these diseases is constantly growing, and with that our ability to harness this knowledge to advance therapeutics. We have so many new tools in rheumatology – biologic therapies, imaging modalities, and diagnostic testing – that have made a world of difference for our patients. But we have so much more work to do. I think this is a very exciting time to become a rheumatologist.

I believe that the most robust learning starts with a clinical problem, and rheumatology is no stranger to diagnostic dilemmas and clinical challenges. Problem-based and experiential learning allows our fellows to actively draw upon past experiences and knowledge they’ve obtained in order to solve new problems. Our program is flexible by design, to allow each individual trainee to meet his/her professional goals — whether that is clinical rheumatology, research, clinical education, or some combination. I encourage you to explore the breadth and depth of the training environment at UNC as you continue your educational journey.


Beth L. Jonas, MD
Reeves Foundation Distinguished Professor of Medicine
Chief, Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology
Director, UNC Rheumatology Fellowship Training Program
Recipient of 2015 ACR “Distinguished Fellowship Program Director” Award