Arthritis & Rheumatism, Volume 62,
November 2010 Abstract Supplement

Abstracts of the American College of
Rheumatology/Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals
Annual Scientific Meeting
Atlanta, Georgia November 6-11, 2010.

Rheumapalooza: An Intensive Rheumatology Curriculum for Second Year Medical Students.

Emery1,  Helen, Gardner2,  Gregory

Seattle Children's Hospital
University of Washington


Medical students at our institution have little exposure to rheumatology in their preclinical years. The musculoskeletal curriculum included only two hours on arthritis, taught by an orthopedic surgeon. When students scored poorly on rheumatic disease topics in standardized tests, we introduced a course at the beginning of the second year to increase their knowledge and stimulate interest in rheumatic diseases. The course was given in 2008 and 2009 with some adjustments in response to faculty and student input.


Develop a curriculum to provide exposure to rheumatology

Evaluate students' rheumatology knowledge before and after this curriculum

Review students' assessment of the course

Prepare a manual as a guide for future courses here and at other medical schools.


The program is divided into two half days.

The first half day is didactic (concepts of inflammation, introduction to adult rheumatology; introduction to pediatric rheumatology; imaging techniques, and laboratory studies in the rheumatic diseases).

The second half day, the students are divided into groups of 14 groups and rotate through fifteen minute stations. Two demonstrate normal knee and shoulder exam; eight have a preceptor and a patient to elicit history and physical findings (adult rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, lupus, scleroderma, gout, ankylosing spondylitis, juvenile dermatomyositis, and osteoarthritis,) and four stations discuss osteoporosis, bone density interpretation, crystals, and characteristic x-ray, CT and MR images.

A twenty question pretest and post test was administered to evaluate increase in student knowledge from the course, and a student evaluation was completed at the end of the course.


students showed a marked increase in knowledge as assessed by the pre and post tests. Paired t-test is highly statistically significant, with very large effect size (2.7 of the pooled SD). Student evaluations were 4.0/5, (179 respondents/216 participants) and offered useful suggestions for future programs A manual has been prepared to guide others in adapting this curriculum to their own setting.


The one day "Rheumapalooza" program has been effective in providing an intensive exposure to rheumatology, increasing rheumatology knowledge in second year medical students, and establishing a curriculum reproducible to other settings.

This work was supported by an ACR/REF Clinician Scholar Educator Award

To cite this abstract, please use the following information:
Emery, Helen, Gardner, Gregory; Rheumapalooza: An Intensive Rheumatology Curriculum for Second Year Medical Students. [abstract]. Arthritis Rheum 2010;62 Suppl 10 :1433
DOI: 10.1002/art.29199

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