The Rheumatology Unit is actively engaged in teaching at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. A number of rheumatologists from other medical centers and the community are active in education.
Formal instruction in the form of courses, lectures, seminars and bedside teaching are given on a regular basis to medical students. The course in rheumatology, given to fourth-year students as part of an introduction to clinical medicine, is consistently ranked highest by the students.
The Unit also provides teaching to students in the sixth (final) year, as well as to the Nursing School, Pharmacy School, new immigrants and residents in training (internal medicine or family medicine). The Unit is committed to informing patients, their families, and the general community about the rheumatic diseases and their impact on individuals and society. Through Inbar (an Israeli self-help patients' group) lectures and informal sessions are held regularly.
In 1985 the Scientific Council of the Israel Medical Association officially recognized the Rheumatology Clinic for residents in Internal Medicine who wish to spend an elective period in rheumatology. This rotation has proved to be very popular and has attracted residents from Hadassah and other centers in Jerusalem. In some cases this exposure has made a major impact on career choice. Residents who have spent a number of months learning about rheumatic disease have chosen to specialize in Rheumatology.
In 1991, the Rheumatology Unit was recognized by the Scientific Council of the Israel Medical Association for fellowship training of physicians wishing to become Rheumatologists and the first fellow was accepted for training in May of that year. The presence of a fellow has greatly enhanced the spectrum of patients seen, and the exposure of many more physicians and students to arthritis. Furthermore, the number of patients seen in the clinic has grown accordingly. Regrettably, funds are not available for accepting more than a single trainee at a time, despite numerous applications from very bright young physicians. The continuation of a fellowship program is crucial if the services, teaching and research goals of the Rheumatology Unit are to be maintained or upgraded.