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A lupus awareness and educational program from the American College of Rheumatology

Opportunity to participate in the Teaching Fellows in Lupus Project

ACR’s Collaborative Initiatives department is currently looking for rheumatology fellowship training programs and FITs to participate in the 2022-2023 Teaching Fellows in Lupus Project (TFLP). Through this project, rheumatology FITs hold lupus education seminars for PCPs to help improve the recognition of the signs and symptoms of lupus and rheumatology referral for diagnosis and treatment. We will select 9 Fellowship Programs to participate in this year’s project, which runs from January 2023 to August 2023.

Project Details:

Rheumatology fellows, under the direction of a Program Director, schedule sessions within their community to educate MDs, DOs, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants on lupus awareness and diagnostics. Each one-hour session includes a presentation on lupus provided by the ACR and delivered by a rheumatology fellow-in-training, along with a pre- and post-test assessment to measure change in clinicians level of knowledge and confidence. The assessment includes 10 pre- and post-test questions to assess change in knowledge and 4 questions to assess self-reported change in confidence. This project will further assess the impact of providing peer education on the fellows’ interest in lupus and leadership skills.

TFLP aims to address the following issues:

  • PCPs may only receive 90 minutes of training on lupus in medical school
  • The signs and symptoms of lupus may go unrecognized when patients go to primary care settings at the onset of illness, thereby delaying diagnosis and treatment
  • There is a shortage of rheumatologists available to offer ongoing education to PCPs

Benefits of participating:

  • Fellows will be able to achieve multiple rheumatology-specific milestones under at least two competencies required by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, including interpersonal and communication skills and systems-based practice
  • Fellows are given the opportunity to get involved with the American College of Rheumatology and gain skills in delivering education to PCPs
  • Participating training programs receive a stipend of $4,000 to support the fellows in coordinating and hosting education sessions to reach at least 50 non-rheumatology providers at community health
  • organizations and/or local chapters of medical associations. Program director and fellows should discuss internal use of funds
  • Select FITs may have the opportunity to present at either the FIT Educational Session at the Annual Meeting, or the Program or Division Director Forum or Conference

Important considerations:

  • We have IRB approval for this project, but you may need to contact your local Institutional Review Board to review the project early in the process
    • Before applying, consider whether you have the staff support and time to apply for local IRB approval
  • The project will require participants to sign a consent form. Full participation includes completing a pre-test, sitting for 1-hour education session, and completing a post-test
  • The ACR does not offer CME credits for this project. If your organization is a Continuing Medical Education provider, contact them early to get CME accreditation to boost participation
  • Payment for participation in the project will be released to the institution or rheumatology program. It is under the discretion of the PD to determine FITs stipends. FITs will not be paid directly by the ACR

To Apply:

If your training program and FITs would like to participate in the Teaching Fellows in Lupus Project, please email a letter of interest that includes the following information to Markay Russell at by November 30th, 2022.

  1. Statement of your interest in participating
  2. The names of the 2+ fellows from your program who are interested in participating
  3. Contact information of Program Director and personnel who is authorized to execute contracts
  4. The degree to which your program can assist in identifying potential groups to which your fellows can present and provide logistical support in successfully coordinating and holding presentations in your locale

Please email Markay Russell at if you have any questions as you consider this opportunity.

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