Houston rheumatology

inpatient/outpatient externship in rheumatology

Specialty: Rheumatology

MD2B Connect Physician ID # 60


Where will the rotation take place: This  hands-on inpatient and outpatient experience will take place at two offices: one is 30 minutes north of downtown Houston and the other is 30 minutes northwest of downtown Houston. The inpatient component will take place at several hospitals in north Houston; please note this will typically be once per week as rheumatology consults are infrequently ordered in the inpatient setting. The total amount of time per week in the hospital will be 1-3 hours. 

Hours: Monday - Thursday 8:30 AM to 5 PM; Friday 8:30 AM to Noon

Hours have been provided by the preceptor. Hours are subject to change at the preceptor’s discretion, but the minimum total hours will remain approximately the same.

What you will do: This is an inpatient and outpatient experience during which you will be under the supervision of a  board certified rheumatologist. He is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB). He has been recognized for his teaching and service by UTMB. He holds hospital appointments at Houston Northwest Medical Center, Tomball Regional Hospital, and Houston Methodist Willowbrook. 

Those rotating through this practice will see a wide spectrum of rheumatologic disease, and learn about the latest treatments in the specialty including DMARDs, biologics, and IV infusion. 

After a few days of observation, you will take on an increasing role in patient care (please note that this is not a shadowing observership; you will be actively involved in patient care). This includes the following:


  • You will take patient histories.

  • You will perform physical exams under the physician's supervision.

  • You will present patients.

  • You will write progress notes. 

  • You will have opportunities to research the literature to answer clinical questions at the point of care.

  • You will be involved in patient education.

  • You will spend time with other healthcare professionals to understand their roles and responsibilities.

As a result of hospital policies, inpatient activities will be more observational. The hands-on component of this rotation will mostly take place in the outpatient setting.

You will receive regular feedback on your performance. 

You will be able to attend a weekly CME lecture at Houston Northwest Medical Center on Tuesdays from 12:30 to 1:30 PM. 

There may be opportunities to participate in projects to improve the practice. Examples include creation of patient education materials and assisting the practice with securing online testimonials. Please note that the availability of the project is at the discretion of the preceptor. 

​Who should consider this rotation: International medical graduates (IMGs) and students seeking hands-on patient care experience in Rheumatology.   


Will a letter of recommendation be offered: Yes, assuming that the IMG meets the expectations of the rotation. Dr. Desai will provide the physician with guidelines which will improve the quality of the letter. In some cases, the preceptor may ask the rotator to write a letter of recommendation draft. 


​During the rotation: Our team will be checking in periodically with you to ensure that you are having an optimal experience. We encourage you to contact us if you have any questions during the rotation.

See Where Our Students Applying to Internal Medicine Have Received Interviews or Matched

Read Dr. Desai's Interview with Dr. Roy Ziegelstein (Vice Dean for Education at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Former Program Director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center) about How to Match Successfully in Internal Medicine



"An excellent teacher and role model and I appreciated time he spent trying to teach me...He made me feel like I was part of team and allowed me to make whatever small contributions I was able..." - Hai "He is treating people with respect and kind. He is easy to work with and he provided me multiple opportunities to deal with patients." - Can

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To start, schedule a free introductory meeting with Dr. Desai and his team