MED 7531



Kelly Grahek
Course Coordinator

Curriculum Focus
Clinical Level
MS Year
Terms Offered


Catalog Description: Musculoskeletal complaints are among the most common problems that present to primary care physicians and arthritis and related diseases are a major cause of disability and loss of work in our society. It is thus essential that physicians involved in primary care develop skill in recognition and treatment of common rheumatologic diseases and ability to recognize and refer rare or more complicated problems.

Clinical rheumatology rotations can be elected at either the University of Minnesota Medical Center/Clinics and Surgeries Center, or the VA Medical Center. Four week rotations are offered. The students will work closely with faculty, G-1, G-2 or G-3 medical residents, and fellows. The students' responsibilities may vary at these hospitals, but will include seeing a wide variety of patients in clinic and a small number of inpatient rheumatologic consultations. Students will participate with the resident and fellow on the service in a series of discussions and case-based problem solving sessions with faculty members that will cover the diagnosis, pathogenesis, and treatment of the most common rheumatic diseases. At UMMC/CSC Rheumatology specialty clinics include Lupus, Vasculitis, Scleroderma, Early Arthritis, and Rheumatology-Dermatology.


View site addresses by clicking on the site name below or visiting the site codes table.

Site Code

Site Name



Clinics and Surgery Center - Rheumatology Clinic, Floor 3

Students go to both sites

UMMC - East Bank


VA Medical Center


Required session attendance:

Typical weekly schedule/Delivery Mode: M-F 8 hours per day.  Hours vary from 7:00am-7:00pm.

Direct patient care: Yes

Consent Requirement: Open to student scheduling

Course Objectives: Emphasis will be on the clinical aspects of arthritis and autoimmune rheumatic diseases including the broad areas of collagen disease, autoimmune disease, and all types of arthritic and musculoskeletal disease.  The student will be able to:

  • perform a thorough examination of the joints;
  • perform a thorough rheumatologic history;
  • recognize significant abnormalities when they are found and use them to develop a differential diagnosis of rheumatologic disorders;
  • describe in detail certain rheumatologic conditions;
  • identify treatment programs and drugs for the rheumatologic diseases;
  • describe rheumatologic procedures (e.g., joint taps, synovial biopsies, polarizing microscopic tissue, etc.); and
  • explain indications and methods used for special laboratory tests used in diagnosis of rheumatologic disease (FANAs, rheumatoid factor, etc.).

Graded Components: 

  • Pre-test
  • Post-test
  • Jeopardy questions
  • 3 learning reflections
  • Clinical assessment by faculty

Grading Scale: H/E/S/N


Allow repetition of course: Repetition not allowed

Limited to Student Type: No

Course equivalency: N/A

Related curricular experience:

Secure Exam:

Course evaluation: MedHub