Fellowship Information

Program Description

The Rheumatology Fellowship program at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (formerly, UT Memphis) has been in existence since 1959 when it was established by Professor Glenn Clark, one of the first full-time rheumatologists in the United States and the first rheumatologist in the Memphis area. Since that time, the program has graduated 106 Fellows to be independently practicing rheumatologists. The career paths of graduates has spanned a broad range, from academic teachers and researchers, directors in the pharmaceutical industry, and clinical practitioners across the United States and the world.

More info: Program DescriptionPDF icon

Clinic and Hospital Schedules

The PGY4 does 9 months of hospital consult service/year and the PGY5 does 3 months of hospital consult service/year. Both PGY4 and PGY5 fellows have 4 clinics (1/2 day each) per week. These consist of two VA continuity clinics and one continuity clinic experience at Medplex. In addition, each fellow attends a ½ day/week clinic in a private office setting. The PGY4 fellow also has six months of a ½ day/week pediatric rheumatology clinic.

One ½ day per month is scheduled for a DXA clinic in which fellows learn to interpret DXAs and operate a DXA unit. An additional ½ day once per month is scheduled for a musculoskeletal ultrasound clinic.


Electives are available in muscle biopsy interpretation, physical medicine and rehabilitation, orthopedics and in patient pediatric rheumatology.


A major strength of this program is its structured, comprehensive didactic series in all aspects of rheumatology. This is made possible by core faculty members, volunteer faculty members and basic scientists. Below is an overview of these conferences; please see conference schedule for daily topics.

UTHSC Conference Summary for Rheumatology:

Tuesday 9AM: Core curriculum lectures including basic immunology, biostatistics and epidemiology, subspecialty topics in rheumatology and core clinical rheumatology topics.

Tuesday 10AM: Rheumatology Grand Rounds or Rheumatology Board Review

Tuesday 11 AM: Rheumatology Journal Club

Wednesdays 8AM: Medical Grand Rounds

Fridays: Alternate with DXA conference, ultrasound conference, metabolic bone conference, clinical case series (including radiology) and clinical journal watch.

Outside Conferences

Our fellows attend a number of outside conferences including the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), the International Society for Clinical Densitometry (ISCD) (Division also pays for examination), a and a Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Course. Depending on interest, fellows may also attend board review conferences and conferences in pain management.

Fellow Research

All fellows are expected to publish at least one article in the peer reviewed literature during their fellowship. They are also required to participate in a quality improvement project. Our fellows have a track history of publications (see Fellow Publications section)

Current Fellows

PGY 4:


  • Syed Islam, M.D.

PGY: 5


  • Melinda Garcia-Rosell, M.D.
  • Mubasher Malik, M.D.


Moonlighting opportunities are available and requires Program Director Pre-Approval.

Important Literature

The following documents are in PDF format and require Adobe Reader, which is a free download.

Ankylosing spondylitis


Large-Vessel Vasculitis

Polymyositis and dermatomyositis

Psoriatic Arthritis: Current Concepts on Pathogenesis-Oriented Therapeutic Options


Diagnostic Approach to Polyarticular Joint Pain

Fellowship Contacts

Debendra Pattanaik, MD
Program Director

Demaria Young
Program Coordinator
Phone: 901-448-6605

Contact Us

Division of Rheumatology and Connective Tissue Disorders
956 Court Ave., Suite G-326
Memphis, TN 38163-0001
Tel. 901-448-5774
Fax 901-448-7265

Site Contact
Catherine Plunkett
Administrative Coordinator