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Pediatric Rheumatology Fellowship

Candid Young Girl Patient

The Pediatric Rheumatology Fellowship Program at Children’s National is an ACGME-accredited, three-year training program for physicians who have completed their general pediatric training at an ACGME-accredited institution. The program is affiliated with the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Fellows are selected on the basis of excellent credentials, motivation and a strong interest in academic rheumatology.

The goals of the program are to provide:

  • Comprehensive clinical training in all aspects of pediatric rheumatology in infants, children, adolescents and young adults.
  • An outstanding environment and support for clinical, translational and basic laboratory research training to prepare individuals for an academic career in rheumatology.
  • Opportunities to develop skills for educating patients, families and other trainees.

Up to two trainees per academic year will be accepted.

Unique Aspects of the Program

Fellows can take advantage of the breadth and depth of clinical training and research opportunities offered at Children’s National as well as the NIH. Fellows have an opportunity to do research at NIAMS through Children's National-NIAMS partnership. Research opportunities at other NIH institutes such as the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) may be considered on a case-by-case basis. 

Fellowship Training Program Director: Hemalatha Srinivasalu, M.D.

NIAMS Participating Site Director: Robert Colbert, M.D., Ph.D





The majority of the second and third years are dedicated to research/scholarly activity with clinical responsibilities limited to continuity clinics and some on-call responsibility. Each fellow has a Scholarship Oversight Committee responsible for providing direction and oversight of the fellow’s research experiences.

Research Project

  • First year fellows are given time to explore research opportunities, choose projects and establish mentoring relationships.
  • Trainees can select laboratory-based basic, translational or clinical research opportunities through the NIH, the Children’s National Research Institute at Children's National and with attending physicians in rheumatology.
  • Applicants interested in research training at the NIH are strongly encouraged to identify and meet with potential mentors during the interview process to ensure feasibility and facilitate planning.
  • Fellows have the opportunity to obtain a Masters in Public Health or a Masters in Clinical and Translational Sciences during their second and third years of training. Course work is offered through the George Washington University (GWU) School of Public Health.


Trainees receive both formal lecture-based teaching and informal education throughout the fellowship. They also play an active role in the education of pediatric residents, medical students and other trainees.  
  • Fellows Core Competency Curriculum: All fellows at Children's National are required to participate in the Fellows’ Core Competency curriculum in order to meet ACGME requirements. The Core Curriculum is protected time for fellows. This curriculum includes biweekly two hour seminars and workshops teaching a variety of common topics required by the ACGME and American Board of Pediatrics. The topics revolve around the six ACGME core competencies: research, quality improvement, administration, medical education, leadership and professionalism.
  • Radiology conference: Occurs twice a month where imaging studies are reviewed with a musculoskeletal radiologist.  
  • Rheumatology clinical case conference: Bi-weekly meeting where we present interesting/challenging cases, review the literature and discuss best practices.
  • Weekly educational meeting: A division wide meeting that comprises journal club, research meeting and educational meeting/fellow’s seminar series.
  • Rheumatology book review: Weekly fellow-driven meeting where American Board of Pediatrics content outline based curriculum review is conducted.
  • NIAMS Grand Rounds and Translational Journal Club: Occurs on Fridays at NIH. Fellows are encouraged to attend and participate in these sessions when they are at NIH.
  • Other Children’s National conferences: Fellows are encouraged to attend hospital-wide educational conferences including, but not limited to:


  • Year 1: First Tuesday, 12-2 p.m.
  • Year 2: Third Tuesday, 12-2 p.m.
  • Year 3: Fourth Tuesday, 12-1 p.m.


The first year of training is dedicated to an intensive clinical exposure in rheumatology, and is based at the main campus of Children's National, with one-half to one day per week at the NIH. Fellows have elective opportunities and are encouraged to rotate through Washington Hospital Center or NIAMS for experience in adult rheumatology and exposure to clinical protocols. 

Rheumatology Inpatient Service

Rheumatology is a consultation service at Children's National. First-year fellows spend six-eight months on consultation service.

Rheumatology Clinic

Fellows will attend the outpatient rheumatology clinic with attending physicians. Fellows have their own continuity clinic for one-half day a week. Fellows are expected to identify new rheumatology patients from their consultations and referrals and follow them longitudinally for three years in their continuity clinic. Fellows are expected to attend outreach clinics with attendings when time permits.  Fellows are also encouraged to attend subspecialty clinics such as the combined Rheumatology-Nephrology lupus clinic and the Rheumatology-Dermatology clinic. 

Opportunities for Trainees

  • Academic Services Assistance Program, provided by the institution, includes training in biostatistics, informatics, software, finance and budget, IRB, leadership training, and medical education.
  • Trainees have the opportunity to present topics for the residents and medical students during attending rounds, the resident core lecture series, professorial rounds, and medical student education conferences.
  • Fellows provide informal teaching through the five-minute preceptor technique as part of their supervisory role in both the clinic and consultation service.
  • Fellows will have opportunity to acquire skills in musculoskeletal ultrasonography.
Faculty and Staff

Faculty and Staff

Physicians (Children's National Health System)

Dr. Tova Ronis

Dr. Hemalatha Srinivasalu

Physicians (NIH)

Dr. Robert Colbert

Dr. Raphaela Goldbach-Mansky

Dr. Michael Ombrello

Dr. Keith Sikora

Dr. Lisa Rider

Dr. Hanna Kim

Nurse Practitioner

Rachael Connor, PNP


Amelia Roberts

Amy Harris

Mari Arnette

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the call responsibilities for rheumatology fellows?

A: Trainees are required to take call from home during the week and will round on the weekends. This schedule is developed by the trainees and is flexible.

Q: What are the elective opportunities for rheumatology fellows?

A: First-year fellows have the opportunity for electives in Adult Rheumatology, Immunology, Lab Medicine, Ophthalmology, Orthopedics, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and Pain clinic among others. Fellows are encouraged to choose electives focused on their interest.

Q: Is there an opportunity for fellows to learn musculoskeletal ultrasound technique?

A: The division has 2 point of care ultrasound machines. Fellows are exposed to basics of musculoskeletal ultrasound and are encouraged to enroll in an online ultrasound course.

Q: What are the clinical responsibilities in continuity clinic?

A: Fellows have one-half day per week dedicated to outpatient clinic and continuity of care throughout the three years of fellowship. This time is spent increasing the trainees’ knowledge in a selected sub-specialty area of interest and in developing an appreciation for and an understanding of the longitudinal nature of rheumatology care. The fellows will have the responsibility of managing all aspects of their patients’ care from diagnosis to long term management of disease and medications. 

Q: Does the program consider Med/Peds candidates?

A: The program has a Med/Peds fellow for the 2017 academic year. We will consider Med/Peds candidates on a case-by-case basis. Applicants must apply separately to the NIH adult rheumatology fellowship program.

Q: What are the benefits?

A: Benefits available to fellows include:

  • Health, Dental, Vision
  • Flexible Spending Accounts
  • Life Insurance
  • Annual and Sick Leave
  • Disability Insurance
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Backup Child and Elder Care 

A detailed summary of all benefits can be found in our Benefits Guide.

How to Apply

How to Apply

We accept applications through ERAS and participate in the NRMP match for selection. Applicants are required to have completed an ACGME pediatric residency. We will consider applications for a combined Med-Peds Rheumatology fellowship on a case-by-case basis. Applicants should also apply separately to the NIH adult rheumatology fellowship program.

  • Accept US citizen, Green card, J1 visa and H1B visa
  • Need to be eligible for  DC medical license
  • 3 letters of recommendations

If you have any questions about the application process, please call Program Coordinator Myisha Braddock at 202-476-7168 or Program Director Hemalatha Srinivasalu, M.D., at 202-476-4674.

We interview one day a week from August to October. Multiple candidates may be  interviewed on the same day.