pediatric rheumatology fellowship, pediatric rheumatology, fellowship, University of Colorado, fellowship program, rheumatology, pediatrics, Colorado, medical training, medical education, subspecialty, training, medical,

Pediatric Rheumatology Fellowship

CHCO Hospital photo

Program Mission

The University of Colorado Anschutz's pediatric rheumatology fellowship’s mission is to train outstanding pediatric rheumatologists in the clinical, educational and research realms with the goal of increasing the number of pediatric rheumatologists in the United States including the Mountain West community. This will ultimately improve the health of children through exceptional, coordinated programs of patient care, education, quality improvement research and advocacy. We aim to serve our local community as well as diverse and under-served populations.

Program Mission

As a pediatric rheumatology training program, we aspire to build and maintain an infrastructure to recruit diverse fellows and provide an inclusive learning environment that promotes and celebrates differences.

Program Aims

We aim to provide a comprehensive curriculum for our trainees with guidance from outstanding mentors so that our graduates will become:

    ● Providers of outstanding clinical care

    ● Competent educators with a broad knowledge base and effective teaching strategies
    ● Independent scholarship and collaborative investigators
    ● Clinicians who improve patient care through quality improvement methods  
    ● Local and national leaders in pediatric rheumatology.
    ● Skilled professionals serving patients of diverse backgrounds including underserved populations.
    ● Self-aware, mindful physicians with skills to seek support and promote wellness among self and colleagues.
    ● Clinicians equipped to provide comprehensive care for the unique needs of teens and young adults with pediatric rheumatic needs as they transition into adulthood and gain independence in their medical care.
    ● Clinicians equipped to provide services over telehealth platforms with a focus on improving services to underserved populations          ● To build and maintain an infrastructure to recruit diverse fellows and provide an inclusive learning environment that promotes and celebrates differences 

    Program Overview

    Fellows complete one year of clinical training and two years of scholarly training to prepare for a career that combines clinical pediatric rheumatology with clinical/translational investigation, basic laboratory investigation, health services research, educational scholarship, or other areas of academic focus. The fellowship is designed to meet the requirements of the ACGME, prepare fellows for the American Board of Pediatrics subspecialty certification examination, and allow fellows to follow their own passion in contributing to progress in the field of pediatric rheumatology.

    Our program is based primarily at Children’s Hospital Colorado (CHCO), with adult clinics and research programs at the University of Colorado Hospital (UCH) and University of Colorado School of Medicine, all based at the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colorado. Children's Hospital Colorado is consistently in the top ten best children’s hospitals in the nation and named one of the most innovative children's hospital in the nation in 2018 by Parents magazine. It has Magnet Status, as awarded by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, and was given the prestigious McKesson Quest for Quality Prize, which is awarded to just one hospital every year for demonstrated commitment to safe, reliable, and quality patient care.

    Our program is comprised of 11 pediatric rheumatology faculty and is closely aligned with the Adult Rheumatology program at UCH, offering a full spectrum of rheumatology clinical experiences and research opportunities.


    Program Leadership

    Megan CurranJennifer Soep
    Program Director
    Megan Curran, MD
    Associate Professor 
    Associate Program Director
    Jennifer Soep, MD
    Associate Professor


    The first year of fellowship is devoted primarily to direct clinical care. Trainees gain experience in the evaluation, differential diagnosis, and management of children and adolescents with the full spectrum of rheumatic conditions in both inpatient and outpatient venues.

    Each first year fellow has four weeks of protected time to explore areas of research interest, speak with potential mentors, and begin to develop projects to be conducted in years two and three.

    Outpatient Clinics

    • Pediatric rheumatology clinic: under supervision, fellows manage general rheumatology “fellow” clinics each week, where they develop and follow a cohort of patients for up to 3 years. Additionally, fellows work with various faculty within the Children’s Hospital of Colorado Section of Rheumatology to experience their individual approaches to patient management. The major goals of the first year are to gain experience and competence in the diagnosis and management of common pediatric rheumatic diseases, which include but are not limited to:
      • juvenile arthritis
      • systemic lupus erythematosus
      • dermatomyositis
      • morphea
      • systemic sclerosis
      • vasculitis
      • autoinflammatory conditions such as periodic fever syndromes.
      • They learn how to perform appropriate physical examination, order and interpret studies, and initiate and manage treatments.
    • Fellows also attend multidisciplinary clinics with other subspecialists. Most specialty clinic experiences take place throughout training – see “education” section.

    Inpatient Rheumatology Consult Service and Outpatient Call

    First year fellows run the inpatient-based rheumatology consult service for most weeks of the academic year. Trainees learn how to evaluate and manage acutely ill patients with rheumatic conditions, including those with life-threatening complications. The fellow provides subspecialty consultation within a large, full-service academic children's hospital.

    During rotations on the consult service, the fellows are responsible for answering calls from in-house and referring physicians within the region who seek advice on their patients with rheumatologic disorders. Fellows also manage issues regarding care for patients receiving infusion medications. An attending supervises all consults and provides guidance with telephone calls

    Research/Other Scholarly Activity

    During four weeks of protected research time during the first year, fellows explore potential research projects and mentors and develop a research proposal for presentation to the Scholarship Oversight Committee in spring of their first year. During this block of time, the fellow can also perform other scholarly activities such as working on formal presentations, a quality improvement study or case report for publication.

    The second-and-third years are largely focused on research and other scholarly activities. Second-and-third year fellows continue to see patients in dedicated fellows’ clinics and other rheumatology clinics and attend multidisciplinary clinical experiences.


    Outpatient Clinics

    The primary clinical goal during the second and third years is for the fellow to develop more expertise and competence in the diagnosis and management of rheumatologic disorders in children and young adults. Trainees gain experience in continuity of care of a cohort of patients over several years and competence in the management of chronic conditions.


    Inpatient Experience

    Each second and third year fellow spends at least one month on the rheumatology consult service. During this rotation, fellows gain further experience in assessment and management of acutely ill patients and develop knowledge and skills by working with and instructing first year fellows. Trainees continue to develop expertise in interacting as a consultant with primary care providers, hospitalists and other specialty services, as well as teaching of residents, medical students and nurses. An attending rheumatologist is always available for guidance and supervision of all consults.



    The major goal of the second-and-third year of fellowship is development of a high-quality research experience that meets the requirements for scholarly activity of the American Board of Pediatrics. Fellows present research at laboratory or research group meetings, meet with their research mentors on regular basis, submit at least one abstract and present their research project at local and national meetings. Fellows interested in a continuing career in academic medicine begin preparation of grant and/or career development award applications with assistance from their research mentor(s). Second and third year fellows are expected to present their research at a regional or national meeting and have a manuscript ready for submission by the end of their third year.


    Other Scholarly Activities

    Second and third year fellows devote a greater percentage of time to other scholarly activities. They attend all regularly scheduled rheumatology program conferences and attend conferences/lectures that are relevant to their research interest. Fellows are expected to assist in the preparation of case reports, review articles and book chapters with the assistance of clinical and research faculty mentors. Fellows are actively involved in teaching first year fellows and pediatric residents who rotate through the rheumatology clinics. They also have time to prepare for the pediatric rheumatology subspecialty certification exam.

    Multidisciplinary Experiences

    Our program is proud to collaborate with the University of Colorado’s adult rheumatology fellowship program and research groups across the University of Colorado campus, providing our fellows a vast array of educational opportunities.

    In addition, fellows attend multidisciplinary experiences including conferences and/or clinics with other subspecialists including:

    • Adult Rheumatology
    • Anti-phospholipid Antibody Clinic
    • Chronic Recurrent Multifocal Osteomyelitis Clinic
    • Immunology
    • Musculoskeletal Radiology
    • Nephrology-Rheumatology Clinic
    • Ultrasound/Procedure Center
    • Uveitis

    Additionally, fellows attend multi-specialty clinics for patients with rheumatic conditions such as CRMO, with orthopedics, nephrology rheumatology clinic, and antiphospholipid syndrome, with hematology. Multi-specialty work with rheumatology nurses, advance practice providers, physical therapists and other hospital-based disciplines is also incorporated into the clinical curriculum.


    Didactics & Conferences Overview

    Fellows are expected to attend conferences and engage in additional local and regional educational opportunities to meet their academic needs. These include, but are not limited to, pediatric rheumatology conferences, adult rheumatology conferences and Grand Rounds.


    Pediatric Rheumatology Academic Conferences

    The section of pediatric rheumatology’s academic conference meets weekly. Topics range from journal clubs, chief complaint lectures, faculty development, wellness and morbidity and mortality conferences. Topics are designed to complement and supplement clinical experiences. Attendees develop skills within the competencies of patient care, knowledge, and practices-based learning.


    Weekly Pediatric Rheumatology Case Conference

    Fellows lead a 15 minute “rheumination” – a short review of a clinical concept and then review inpatient cases and issues in outpatient care with pediatric rheumatology faculty and staff.


    Weekly Chapter Reviews

    Fellows participate in weekly chapter reviews. During these sessions, fellows review chapters in the Textbook of Pediatric Rheumatology along with review questions. By the end of training, fellows will have completed an entire review of the textbook.


    Adult Rheumatology Academic Conferences

    Pediatric rheumatology fellows join the adult rheumatology weekly fellowship conference, where faculty and fellows lead lectures within the following categories: scientific basis of rheumatic disease, chapter reviews from Kelley’s Textbook of Rheumatology, musculoskeletal ultrasound, statistics and epidemiology, and orthopedics. Pediatric rheumatology faculty and fellows join the adult rheumatology division’s Tuesday morning academic conference for Grand Rounds, problem case conferences, radiology and other multidisciplinary lectures, journal club and research conferences.


    Ultrasound Training

    Upon completion of fellowship, trainees will be competent in the diagnosis of inflammatory arthritis in common joints utilizing ultrasound and gain experience with ultrasound guided injections. Fellows are instructed in the fundamentals of bedside musculoskeletal ultrasound, including operation of the equipment, and identification of normal and abnormal anatomy using standard viewing techniques. Fellows learn to perform ultrasound guided injections of joints and tendons, and learn how to input procedures in the medical record.

    Interested second and third year fellows are eligible to participate USSONAR (Ultrasound School of North American Rheumatologists) musculoskeletal ultrasound training and achieve certification in the Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Certification in Rheumatology RhMSUS (license for rheumatology ultrasound).

    Interprofessional Collaboration

    The Section of Rheumatology has a dedicated rheumatology clinical pharmacist who is immediately available for questions related to medications and patient assistance. We have seven registered nurses and two medical assistants who work solely in our rheumatology clinics.

    Fun Stuff

    The Section of Rheumatology is known throughout Children’s Hospital of Colorado for their humor and camaraderie. We participate in the hospital’s annual Halloween celebration, complete with a group costume and impressive dance routine.  

    Additional Learning Opportunities:

    Subspecialty Excellence in Educational Leadership & Scholarship (SEELS) Program :

    • The University of Colorado Department of Pediatrics is proud of offer the Subspecialty Excellence in Educational Leadership & Scholarship (SEELS) Program  for subspecialty pediatric fellows committed to an academic career in medical education.
    • The SEELS program guides fellows through an 18-month program that   provides research mentorship, coaching, and instruction.
    • The overall  goal of SEELS is to equip these fellows with the necessary knowledge/skills/attitudes for success as future medical educators through educational scholarship and professional identity development, faculty and peer mentorship, and engaging in an educational community of practice.

    Pediatric Fellowship Educational Series

    This educational series has been developed by the Committee on Fellowship Education to address areas  of scholarly interest common to all pediatric fellows. Nearly 100 sub-specialized physicians in training will attend 5-6 half-day seminars spread across their 3 years of fellowship.

    • Attendance is mandatory and the trainee is excused from clinical responsibilities.
    • In addition to providing core educational material, these sessions allow trainees in different disciplines and throughout the department to meet and interact with one another in an informal and collegial environment.
    • Occurs several times per year throughout fellowship with fellows of different subspecialties

    Pediatric Biostatistics for Clinicians Course:

    This course is primarily intended for 2nd and 3rd year Department of Pediatrics fellows as part of the comprehensive fellowship educational program. Designed to help fellows to develop an ability to be a critical consumer of the literature and develop familiarity with many commonly used statistical methods.

    • This course comprises for six  2-hour sessions
    • Designed for second year fellows, but any fellow or resident an register for the course.

    Advanced Degrees Available at CU:

    Masters of Public Health

    Masters of Science in Clinical Science

    1st Year Fellows


    Adam Mayo Bartholomeo, MD

    • Residency: Medical University of South Carolina
    • Medical School: University of Connecticut School of Medicine 



    Samuel M Lazaroff, MD

    • Residency: Vanderbilt University Medical Center
    • Medical School: Ohio State University College of Medicine

    2nd Year Fellows


    Cristina M Saez, MD

    • Residency: UT Southwestern Pediatric Residency
    • Medical School: Baylor College of Medicine


    Indira Sriram, MD, PhD

    • Residency: University of Colorado Pediatric Residency
    • Medical School: University of Colorado School of Medicine

    3rd Year Fellows


    Lyndsey Cole, MD

    • Residency: University of Colorado
    • Medical School: Washington University School of Medicine



    Inna Polyakova, MD

    • Residency: Emory University School of Medicine-Pediatrics
    • Medical School: Mercer University School of Medicine

    Dear Applicant

    The ACGME accredited University of Colorado fellowship program in pediatric rheumatology is based at Children's Hospital Colorado. We generally accept two new fellows per academic year. Applicants must have an MD or DO degree from an accredited institution and must be board eligible or board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics. The rheumatology fellowship training program accepts applications from U.S. citizens or permanent residents through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). We begin reviewing completed applications in July. Selected applicants are invited to interview, during which they meet with our faculty and fellows and tour the facilities. Interviews are generally offered in September and October.

    Our pediatric fellowship will be conducting virtual interviews for this upcoming interview season.  We look forward to sharing our programs with you and getting to know more about you.  Our planned virtual interview dates are provided below.


    If you have questions about the online application and interview process feel free to reach out to our program coordinator.

    The University of Colorado pediatric rheumatology fellowship program adheres to all policies and procedures mandated by the University of Colorado, the Graduate Medical Education Committee and the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Policies and additional information can be obtained at the University of Colorado GME website.


    The University of Colorado offers salary and benefits packages that are competitive with other fellowship programs across the country. Current salary levels can be found at the School of Medicine - Graduate Medical Education Stipends.

    Application Checklist

    1. ERAS application
    2. Personal Statement
    3. Curriculum Vitae
    4. USMLE Part 1, 2, and 3 scores and/or COMLEX scores
    5. Medical school transcript
    6. Medical school dean’s letter
    7. Three letters of recommendation (including one from the applicant’s residency program director)


    ERAS Application Timeline

    Monday, May 31, 2024ERAS 2024 season ends at 5 p.m. ET.
    Wednesday, June 5, 2024ERAS 205 season begins at 9 a.m. ET.
    Thursday, June 5, 2024EFDO will release tokens to fellowship applicants.
    Wednesday, July 3, 2024July cycle fellowship applicants may begin submitting applications to programs at 9 a.m. ET.
    Wednesday, July 17, 2024July cycle fellowship programs may begin reviewing applications at 9 a.m. ET.
    May 31, 2025    ERAS 2025 season ends at 5 p.m. ET.

    NRMP Fall Match Timeline

    Dates Activity
    Wednesday, August 21, 2024Match Opens 
    Wednesday, September 25, 2024Ranking Opens
    Wednesday, November 6, 2024Quota Change Deadline
    Wednesday, November 20, 2024Rank Order List Certification Deadline
    Wednesday, December 4, 2024MATCH DAY


    Contact Us

    For additional questions please contact:

    Program Director
    Megan Curran, MD


    Diversity / Equity / Inclusion


    We are committed to creating a diverse environment for students, residents, fellows, and faculty. We believe that an environment of inclusiveness and respect promotes excellence and that a setting where diversity is valued leads to the training of physicians who are prepared to practice culturally effective medicine and meet the needs of the various populations we serve. Visit our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion webpage for more....

    CMS Login