Welcome! We are pleased you are considering the rheumatology fellowship at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The mission of our program is to develop outstanding rheumatologists qualified to independently practice rheumatology at the highest level of competence and to be leaders in their arena. The University of Illinois Rheumatology fellowship is a 2 year ACGME-accredited program that follows benchmarks promulgated by the American College of Rheumatology.

Training sites are the University of Illinois Hospital and Clinics (UI Health) and the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center, which is only one block from UIC. We are located on the near west side of Chicago operating in one of the largest medical schools and post graduate programs in the nation.


Our program offers comprehensive rheumatology training with a combination of didactic teaching and individual mentoring, seminars, conferences, and extensive “hands on” experience in both ambulatory and inpatient settings. The program is led by a distinguished faculty with expertise in general rheumatology and specific rheumatologic diseases. Dr. Nadera Sweiss is director of the Sarcoidosis Translational Advanced Research (STAR) Center where highly specialized and personalized medical care is provided for this unique patient population. Our strong record in Scleroderma research is supported by Dr. Shiva Arami.

Our research team is also interested in pursuing translational research in Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). Dr. Shiva Shahrara’s lab focuses on identifying the mechanisms by which effector macrophages and T cells contribute to RA joint inflammation and bone erosion. They also utilize human samples and preclinical models to find novel targets for RA treatment and to predict RA patient response to biological therapies.

Another project, Fit and Strong, is underway, with Dr Tina Chang as the lead rheumatologist, which is focused on improving mental and physical functioning in the elderly population. These areas of research interest provide plenty of opportunity for research, both in clinical and in basic science.

Additionally, we provide musculoskeletal ultrasound education at both training sites. This is led by Dr Al-Awqati and follows ACR/USSONAR course guidelines.

Lastly, dealing with a diverse patient population with the good balance of common and very rare rheumatologic conditions helps our fellows mature into clinically well-rounded rheumatologists. This is an exciting time in rheumatology, where fast-paced “bench to bedside” research offers new diagnostic tests, procedures and biologic therapies that are quickly adopted by the UIC Rheumatology team. We are glad you are considering joining our program.

Shiva Arami, MD
Interim Program Director
Professor of Clinical Medicine
Fellowship Program Director
Division of Rheumatology

Contact Information

Shiva Arami, MD
Fellowship Program Director



To provide a progressive and structured learning experience in the evaluation, assessment, and management of patients with the broad spectrum of rheumatic diseases and the appropriate use of ancillary services. To enable the Subspecialty Resident to display clinical competence in a variety of settings, the procedures peculiar to rheumatology will also be taught. To produce physicians who understand the role of research in advancing the practice of medicine, and possess habits of life-long learning. This mission will be accomplished through a combination of didactic teaching and individual mentoring, seminars, conferences, and extensive “hands on” experience in both ambulatory and inpatient settings. The trainee is expected to be a highly active participant in the process.


  • Diverse patient population
  • 100% Rheumatology Board passing rate
  • Diverse Rheumatologic Disease Experience and Exposure

INSTRUCTIONS: In order to add a sidebar anchor:

  1. Duplicate the existing item, listed as a 1/6 text field. (Or create a 1/6 column and add a text field, modify the class so it’s exactly “additionalAnchor”).
  2. Modify the text field inside the 1/6 column. Inside there, modify the HYPERLINK so that it would go to a corresponding section with a “#” in front of it. (Example, we have a “chief” section on the page, then it would make sense to have the hyperlink go to “#chief”)
  3. Then change the hyperlink TEXT to a appropriate label.
  4. IMPORTANT: If not done already, go into that CONTAINER that corresponds to your anchor (i.e. Meet The Chiefs), and add an ID matching the anchor’s HYPERLINK WITHOUT the “#”, i.e. “chief”.
  5. (If using side bar widget box, then there’s a saved copy of a widget box COLUMN, grab it in the column library, it should 1/6 of a length of a column.)

NOTE: Order added to the sidebar is from last to first.