Cultivating a New Generation of Rheumatologists: Arthritis Foundation Awards Fellowships to Five Universities


ATLANTA, June 8, 2018 – One in four Americans have doctor-diagnosed arthritis, yet most of the country lives in a rheumatology desert. Many patients are faced with unsurmountable barriers to medical care relying on day-long travel to receive the specialized care they need to manage their arthritis. As part of a multi-year commitment to address the rheumatologist shortage, the Arthritis Foundation granted five fellowship awards to universities dedicated to expanding the number of rheumatologists.  

In fact, the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) cautions that this growing shortage is expected to increase and will lead to worsened disease outcomes, lower quality of life, decreased productivity and increased mortality rates. As an example, eight states don’t have a single board-certified and practicing pediatric rheumatologist and five states only have one. Unless more medical students specialize in rheumatology, the U.S. will have a 43 percent decrease in adult rheumatologists and 50 percent decrease in pediatric rheumatologists by 2040.   

The Foundation has always been dedicated to funding research for better treatments and ultimately a cure for arthritisIn addition to drug discovery, we’re now actively working to cultivate a new generation of rheumatologists so that the more than 54 million Americans with arthritis have access to proper medical care, said Guy Eakin, PhD, senior vice president of scientific strategy, Arthritis Foundation. “Our fellowship program focuses on communities with the greatest need and will help attract the best and brightest medical residents to the field by providing training opportunities at top-notch programs.”   

The Arthritis Foundation awarded the following institutions $150,000 to expand upon their established fellowship programs: University of Washington (Seattle), University of California (San Francisco), University of Alabama at Birmingham (Birmingham, Ala.), Grant Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health (Indianapolis) and the David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA (L.A.). 

Learn more about how the Arthritis Foundation is committed to science by visiting:  

About the Arthritis Foundation:

The Arthritis Foundation is the Champion of Yes. Leading the fight for the arthritis community, the Foundation helps conquer everyday battles through life-changing information and resources, access to optimal care, advancements in science and community connections. The Arthritis Foundation’s goal is to chart a winning course, guiding families in developing personalized plans for living a full life – and making each day another stride toward a cure. The Foundation also publishes Arthritis Today, the award-winning magazine that reaches 4 million readers. 

Press Contact:

Claire Cillines