Contact Us

For more information, please call (727) 588-5704 or email our Program Coordinator, Jessica Biarnes.

Email Jessica Biarnes

How to Apply

  • ACGME: 1501114169
  • NRMP: 1981150F0

Find out when to apply

Welcome from our Program Director

The Largo Medical Center Rheumatology program’s mission is to develop the next generation of physicians and physician leaders. As a part of HCA Healthcare, we are driven by a single mission: Above all else, we are committed to the care and improvement of human life.

This program is designed to offer residents a rewarding, educational environment where residents are provided individualized learning opportunities by faculty and staff who support and sustain one another throughout quality care delivery. Our faculty are committed to ensuring the residents' clinical experience and educational needs are fulfilled while expanding residents’ perspectives to be inclusive of cultures, values, and ideals.

The fellowship in Rheumatology is a dynamic two-year, postdoctoral, clinical-based training program approved for four positions.

The program is designed to develop qualified physicians who are clinically competent in the field of rheumatology, are capable of working in a variety of settings and possess habits of life-long learning to build upon their knowledge, skills and professionalism.

Diversity in training is obtained from exposure to varied patient populations, clinical and basic science seminars, x-ray conferences, pathology sessions, journal clubs and emphasis on one-on-one bedside teaching. Training encompasses the full spectrum of connective tissue diseases from patients with infectious arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, seronegative spondyloarthritis, systemic lupus erythematous, systemic vasculitis to patients with osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia syndrome, gout, crystal induced arthritis and localized musculoskeletal pain conditions.

Diversity of the clinical populations encountered at the clinics of Suncoast Internal Medicine Consultants and in the hospitals of Largo Medical Center and Bay Pines VAMC covers the full spectrum of rheumatologic and related diseases. Inpatient and outpatient settings are utilized to train fellows in rheumatology and provide additional exposure in the areas of musculoskeletal radiology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, medical orthopedics, pain management, related pathology and clinical research.

Mission Statement

The Largo Medical Center Rheumatology Residency program’s mission is to develop the next generation of physicians and physician leaders. As a part of HCA Healthcare, we are driven by a single mission: Above all else, we are committed to the care and improvement of human life.

This program is designed to offer residents a rewarding, educational environment where residents are provided individualized learning opportunities by faculty and staff who support and sustain one another throughout quality care delivery. Our faculty are committed to ensuring the residents' clinical experience and educational needs are fulfilled while expanding residents’ perspectives to be inclusive of cultures, values, and ideals.

Program Overview

The fellowship in Rheumatology is a dynamic two-year, postdoctoral, clinical-based training program approved for four positions.

The program is designed to develop qualified physicians who are clinically competent in the field of rheumatology, are capable of working in a variety of settings and possess habits of life-long learning to build upon their knowledge, skills and professionalism.

Diversity in training is obtained from exposure to varied patient populations, clinical and basic science seminars, x-ray conferences, pathology sessions, journal clubs and emphasis on one-on-one bedside teaching. Training encompasses the full spectrum of connective tissue diseases from patients with infectious arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, seronegative spondyloarthritis, systemic lupus erythematous, systemic vasculitis to patients with osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia syndrome, gout, crystal induced arthritis and localized musculoskeletal pain conditions.

Diversity of the clinical populations encountered at the clinics of Suncoast Internal Medicine Consultants and in the hospitals of Largo Medical Center and Bay Pines VAMC covers the full spectrum of rheumatologic and related diseases. Inpatient and outpatient settings are utilized to train fellows in rheumatology and provide additional exposure in the areas of musculoskeletal radiology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, medical orthopedics, pain management, related pathology and clinical research.

Over the course of the program, trainees will develop clinical expertise in performing rheumatologic procedures, including joint aspiration as well as joint and soft tissue injection techniques. All training is closely supervised by dedicated attending physicians in a congenial environment.

Fellows are directly responsible for the care of patients in outpatient settings working under the direction of a rheumatology attending physician and follow their patients throughout their training, to maximize continuity of care. Fellows are additionally responsible for the rheumatology consult service at both Largo Medical Center and Bay Pines VAMC.

After an initial evaluation of the incoming patient, the fellow discusses diagnosis, management and treatment with the consulting physician. Consult fellows then follow the patient closely throughout the hospitalization writing daily progress notes and recommendations for management. Fellows also participate extensively in the education of residents, interns and medical students on the rheumatology service.

Many clinical research opportunities are available within the program involving clinical trials, health services and outcomes studies.

Additionally, fellows spend two years in an independent research project to be carried out under the supervision of a chosen faculty mentor. Clinics run five days a week at both Suncoast Internal Medicine Consultants and Bay Pines VA Medical Center.

Facilities are available for fellows to have direct experience with MRI, DEXA, IVA, CT and a complete battery of immunologic tests for the diagnosis and treatment of arthritis and collagen vascular diseases.

Get to Know the Team


Core Faculty

Robert L. DiGiovanni, DO, FACOI, FACR
Program Director

Undergraduate: John Hopkins University
Medical School: Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine
Residency: Transitional Year at SunCoast Hospital, Internal Medicine at SunCoast Hospital
Fellowship: Rheumatology at the University of Arizona Health Science Center

Priyanka Murali, DO, Core Faculty Member

Rubaiya Mallay, DO, Faculty Member

Curriculum and Rotation Schedule

Over the course of the program, trainees will develop clinical expertise in performing rheumatologic procedures, including joint aspiration as well as joint and soft tissue injection techniques. All training is closely supervised by dedicated attending physicians in a congenial environment.

Fellows are directly responsible for the care of patients in outpatient settings working under the direction of a rheumatology attending physician and follow their patients throughout their training, to maximize continuity of care. Fellows are additionally responsible for the rheumatology consult service at both Largo Medical Center and Bay Pines VAMC.

After an initial evaluation of the incoming patient, the fellow discusses diagnosis, management and treatment with the consulting physician. Consult fellows then follow the patient closely throughout the hospitalization writing daily progress notes and recommendations for management. Fellows also participate extensively in the education of residents, interns and medical students on the rheumatology service.

Many clinical research opportunities are available within the program involving clinical trials, health services and outcomes studies.

Additionally, fellows spend two years in an independent research project to be carried out under the supervision of a chosen faculty mentor. Clinics run five days a week at both Suncoast Internal Medicine Consultants and Bay Pines VA Medical Center.

Facilities are available for fellows to have direct experience with MRI, DEXA, IVA, CT and a complete battery of immunologic tests for the diagnosis and treatment of arthritis and collagen vascular diseases.

Conference Schedule

Lecture series, conferences, journal clubs, and daily academic rounds round out the fellows’ clinical learning.

Fellows receive a comprehensive structured cognitive and procedural clinical education in both inpatient and outpatient settings that will enable them to become competent, proficient and professional osteopathic rheumatologists.

Salary & Benefits Information

Salary

PGY4: 59,738

On-Call: 950

Total: 60,688

PGY5: 62,254

On-Call: 950

Total: 63,204

Benefits

Health Insurance

Available with a cost share; optional family plan can be purchased.

Dental Coverage

Provided with minimal charge.

Basic Life Insurance

Provided at no cost; additional amounts may be purchased for resident or family.

Professional Liability Insurance

Provided at no cost.

Disability Insurance

Special portable anticipated income disability insurance available at nominal cost.

Vacation/Educational Leave

15 days paid vacation. PTO is utilized for vacation and sick days. Additional educational days are available and must be preapproved by the Program Director and be in accordance with GME policies and procedures.

FAQs

We prefer M.D/D.O/M.B.B.S from an approved school of medicine within two years of applying to the program. In addition, we prefer you to have passed USMLE Step I, Step II Clinical Knowledge, please reach out to the coordinator about score minimums. As well as to have passed Step II Clinical Skills Exam in first attempt by the time the rank order list is submitted at the end of interview season. We prefer COMLEX levels 1, 2 CE & PE scores of 500 or better. USMLE helpful but not required for osteopathic candidates. We accept all candidates through the NRMP match from accredited US Allopathic and Osteopathic Medical Schools, and LCME accredited International Medical Schools. Candidates should be within 2 years of graduation from an LCME approved medical school or osteopathic school. Up to 5 years with advanced clinical experience, such as a prior internship or residency.
We will request a dean’s letter, your medical school transcript, a personal statement, USMLE or COMLEX scores, a headshot photograph, two letters of recommendation and your curriculum vitae.
We utilize the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) for our Matching process. All first-year positions are accepted through the ERAS and there are no pre-match positions. ERAS applications are accepted September 16th through December 15th each year.

For information on ERAS, you may access their website at AAMC

Research is an important part of our mission at the HCA/USF Morsani College of Medicine Largo Medical Center. There are numerous opportunities for residents to participate in ongoing projects through Largo Medical Center or a project of their own. Residents are strongly encouraged to participate in research. Opportunities include the ability to present at Grand Rounds, publish manuscripts and present posters at local, regional or national conferences. For residents with a specific research interest, faculty mentorship is required to assist residents in completing the research process.

Information about other HCA GME programs can be found at HCA Healthcare .