The pediatric rheumatology fellowship at UCSF is committed to training future academic pediatric rheumatologists. Our goal is to provide trainees with the necessary knowledge and skills to provide excellent care to patients and advance the field of pediatric rheumatology. Fellows are expected to 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 Board Exam in Pediatric Rheumatology, and allow fellows to follow their own passion.

Clinical Experience

Clinical training for the fellows occurs in the following venues:

Out-patient clinic

Trainees will gain experience in the evaluation, differential diagnosis, and management of children and adolescents with the full spectrum of rheumatic conditions. During the first year, fellows will develop their own patient panel while caring for patients in Fellows’ Clinic, general rheumatology clinic, and Lupus clinic (3 half-days per week). They will learn how to field phone calls regarding these patients, determine urgency by phone, perform appropriate physical examination, order and interpret studies, and initiate and manage treatments. In the second and third years of fellowship, fellows continue to care for their own patients during weekly Fellows’ Clinic.

In-patient service 

Trainees will learn how to manage acutely ill patients with rheumatic conditions, including those with life-threatening complications.


Trainees will become competent in aspiration and intra-articular steroid injection of the elbow, wrist, finger, knee and ankle.


Trainees will gain an understanding of the principles and techniques of rehabilitation.


During their research years, fellows will continue to follow their cohort of patients in Fellows’ Clinic, developing competency in the management of chronic conditions.

The following are required rotations during the clinical year:


Learning Objectives


Stanford Pediatric Rheumatology

Outpatient and inpatient management of pediatric rheumatology patients

2 full days

BCH Oakland Pediatric Rheumatology

Outpatient and inpatient management of pediatric rheumatology patients

4 weeks

Pediatric Immunology Clinic

Outpatient evaluation & management of primary immunodeficiency

4 half days

Uveitis Clinic

Observe slit lamp exams, cataracts, uveitis, retinitis

2 half days


Diagnosis and management of cutaneous manifestations of rheumatologic disorders

4 half days

Immunology Lab

Observe common clinical lab immunology assays such as IFA, ELISA, ANA

2 hours

Research Training

Various research tracks are available to pediatric rheumatology fellows, including basic science, clinical science and health services research. The fellow is expected to participate in a scholarly project during the last two years of the fellowship program, which may consist of a research project or medical education project. The program ensures a meaningful, supervised research experience based on early establishment of a mentor appropriate to the fellow's interests. Fellows are encouraged to write a grant, in order to provide meaningful experience in grant-writing. Trainees are encouraged to receive advanced training, either through formal curriculum or mentoring as appropriate. They are expected to prepare and submit a work product, usually a manuscript for publication, as per the requirements of the ABP.

UCSF boasts numerous institutes and academic programs which enrich training and provide extra resources to pediatric rheumatology fellows.


The pediatric rheumatology fellowship program and the faculty are committed to the career development and mentoring of fellows. In addition to providing support as needed, the program director meets formally with all fellows twice annually throughout training to review performance and set educational, research and individual professional goals.

All fellows will establish a Scholarship Oversight Committee (SOC) through the Department of Pediatrics. This committee is comprised of individuals both within and outside of pediatric rheumatology, who will oversee the fellow’s scholarly activity and provide final sign-off for the American Board of Pediatrics. In addition, UCSF provides a uniquely rich mentorship environment, with many opportunities for clinical, academic, research and career mentoring beyond our division.

The UCSF Pediatric Fellows’ College provides a unique three year program tailored specifically to the professional development needs of fellows in the Department of Pediatrics. This program offers career development seminars and mentoring programs for all fellows.

Outpatient Clinic and Rotation Schedule






General Rheumatology Clinic

General Rheumatology Clinic

Fellows’ clinic / General Rheumatology Clinic

General Rheumatology Clinic

Lupus Clinic (combined with Nephrology and Adolescent Medicine)


General Rheumatology Clinic


General Rheumatology Clinic



Fellow Schedules



Outpatient clinics/week


Multidisciplinary rotation



9 months


1 month

1 month

1 month


1-2 months


9-10 Months


1 month


1-2 months


9-10 months


1 month

Conference Schedule

The following teaching conferences provide didactic instruction during the clinical year. The core curriculum is provided through a weekly shared seminar series with the Adult Rheumatology Fellows and a weekly dedicated Pediatric Rheumatology conference series.



Chart Rounds - comprehensive multidisciplinary review of all inpatients and any challenging outpatients seen in the past week


Pediatric Rheumatology Educational Conference


Pediatric Rheumatology Journal Club


Pediatric Rheumatology Radiology Conference


Psychosocial Aspects of Rheumatic Disease

Twice yearly

Adult Rheumatology Educational Conference


Adult Rheumatology Journal Club


Adult Clinical Case Conference


Pediatric Rheumatology/Renal Conference

Twice yearly

Renal pathology biopsy review

Ad hoc

Goals and Objectives

The goals of the UCSF Pediatric Rheumatology Fellowship Program are 1) to train top notch, competent, compassionate clinicians prepared to succeed in an academic environment, and 2) to prepare trainees to engage in meaningful research and advance the field of pediatric rheumatology.


  • Provide patient care that is compassionate, appropriate and effective for the promotion of health, prevention of illness, and treatment of rheumatic diseases.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of established and evolving biomedical, clinical, and social sciences as they apply to the rheumatic diseases, and to apply their knowledge to patient care and the education of others.
  • Demonstrate interpersonal and communications skills that enable them to establish and maintain professional relationships with patients, families and other members of health care teams.
  • Demonstrate behaviors that reflect a commitment to continuous professional development, ethical practice, and understanding and sensitivity to diversity, and a responsible attitude toward their patients, their profession and society.
  • Use scientific evidence and methods to investigate, evaluate, and improve patient care practices. It is anticipated that fellows already have an understanding of these practices through their completion of a pediatric residency.
  • Demonstrate both an understanding of the contexts and systems in which health care is provided and the ability to apply this knowledge to improve and optimize health care.

Policies, Procedures and Benefits

The UCSF Pediatric Rheumatology Fellowship adheres to all the policies and procedures mandated by the University of California, the Graduate Medical Education Committee and the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Policies can be obtained at the GME web-site at http://medschool.ucsf.edu/gme/

Please note that UCSF fellows receive free health insurance and a housing stipend, as well as a meal allowance for all 3 years of fellowship, to help offset Bay Area housing costs.

Past Trainees



Current Position

Jennifer Soep, MD


Associate Professor, U of Colorado

Theresa Lu, MD, PhD


Associate Professor, Cornell Univ.

Leonard Dragone, MD, PhD


Vice President, Head of Early Development, Infectious Disease, Janssen

Volunteer Clinical Faculty, Pediatric Rheumatology UCSF

Renee Modica, MD


Assistant Professor, U of Florida, Gainesville

Aimee Hersh, MD, MA


Associate Professor and Division Chief, Pediatric Rheumatology, University of Utah

Megan Curran, MD


Associate Professor and Fellowship Program Director, Pediatric Rheumatology, University of Colorado

Michael Waterfield, MD, PhD


Associate Professor, Pediatric Rheumatology, UCSF

Erica Lawson, MD


Associate Professor and Fellowship Program Director, Pediatric Rheumatology, UCSF

Clara Lin, MD


Assistant Professor, University of Colorado, Denver

Nicole Ling, MD


Assistant Professor, UCSF

Alice Chan, MD, PhD


Assistant Professor, UCSF

Kathleeen Corbin, MD


Assistant Professor, Yale University

Jennifer Cooper, MD 2014-2017 Assistant Professor, Pediatric Rheumatology, University of Colorado
Merav Heshin-Bekenstein, MD 2015-2018

Head of Pediatric Rheumatology Clinic, Dana-Dwek Children’s Hospital, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Israel

Jessica Neely, MD 2016-2019 Clinical Instructor, Pediatric Rheumatology, UCSF
Sara Haro, MD 2017-2020 CHLA

Current Fellows

Julia Shalen, MD [email protected]
Julia Shalen, MD studied Psychology and History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She earned her medical degree at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine where she subsequently completed her residency in Pediatrics. Dr. Shalen is currently in her 2nd year of fellowship training in Pediatric Rheumatology at UCSF and is completing course work through the Advance Health Professions Education Pathway in the School of Medicine at UCSF. Her primary research interests are in medical education and improving access and quality of care for pediatric patients with rheumatologic disease.

William (Danny) Soulsby, MD [email protected]
Danny Soulsby, MD received a BSHS in Physiology from the University of Arizona in 2012 followed by his medical degree (MD) from Saint Louis University in 2016. He then went on to complete his residency in pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco in 2019. He is currently a first year fellow in pediatric rheumatology at UCSF. His research interests are focused on the relationship between socioeconomic status and disease outcomes in rheumatic diseases in children.

Rebecca Olveda, MD [email protected] Rebecca Olveda, MD received her BA in Human Biology from Stanford University in 2011. She then earned her medical degree (MD) at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine in 2017 and subsequently completed her Pediatrics residency at UCSF in 2020. She is currently a first year fellow in Pediatric Rheumatology at UCSF. Her research interests include investigating and eliminating racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in health outcomes and access to care in children with rheumatic diseases.

How to Apply

The Rheumatology Fellowship Training Program accepts one new trainee each year. Applicants must have an MD 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 August. Selected applicants are invited to interview, when they will meet with our faculty and fellows and tour the facilities. Interviews are offered in September and October.

To apply, submit the following through ERAS:

  • MyERAS application
  • CV
  • Three letters of recommendation (including one from residency program director)
  • Personal statement
  • Medical school performance evaluation (MSPE)
  • Photograph
  • USMLE transcript (transmitted by the NBME)
  • ECFMG status report (for international medical graduates only)

We participate in the National Resident Matching Program's (NRMP) Fall Pediatric Subspecialties match http://www.nrmp.org/. We regret that we are not able to consider H1B and J1 visa applicants.

Contact Information

Erica Lawson, MD
Director, Pediatric Rheumatology Fellowship
Phone: 415-502-4940
Email: [email protected]

Catherine Le
Fellowship Coordinator
Phone: 415-502-3243
Email: [email protected]