Virtual Rheumatology Teaching Lessons – Adult

The ACR Committee on Training and Workforce is pleased to present the Virtual Rheumatology Teaching Lessons – Adult (ViTLs). This interactive series takes a deep dive into specific topics targeted to fellows in adult rheumatology fellowship programs. Initially launched in 2021, this monthly lecture series is led by professionals across the U.S. who are known for their expertise and exceptional educational experiences. 

2023 ViTLs Preliminary Program 
Times and speakers are subject to change. Recordings will be available within 24 hours after the live session.

Watch ViTLs Adult Playlist  

Register for 2023 ViTLs

This program is designed for educational purposes only. The material presented is not intended to represent the only or the best methods appropriate for the medical situations discussed, but rather is intended to present the opinions of the authors or presenters, which may be helpful to other practitioners. Attendees participating in this education activity sponsored by the ACR do so with full knowledge that they waive any claim they may have against the ACR for reliance on any information presented during this educational activity.

2023 ViTLs - Adult Lecture Recordings

Lecture 1 Recording (January 17)  

Race, Ethnicity and Rheumatology
Becki Cleveland, MD
Virginia Steen, MD
Richard Lee, MD

In this session, topics on race, ethnicity, and rheumatology will be covered by three speakers:

  • Becki Cleveland, MD, presents Rheumatoid Arthritis in African-Americans: The CLEAR Registry. For a variety of reasons, African Americans have been under-represented in established rheumatoid arthritis (RA) cohorts. The cause of RA is unknown, but there is evidence to support both genetic and non-genetic influence in the susceptibility, disease severity and treatment outcomes. The CLEAR Registry was developed, in part, to investigate the effects of RA on quality of life, functional status and work status, in African Americans with RA, as well as assess whether socioeconomic status and health behaviors affect disease severity and outcomes.
  • The lecture by Virginia Steen, MD, will review the differences in presentation, risk factors and outcomes for scleroderma patients who are Black compared to those who are white, and discuss how important management is in their overall outcomes. Dr. Steen will focus on how you can optimize their care.
  • In the aftermath of the publication of “Hidden in Plain Sight” in the New England Journal of Medicine, the medical community has taken a closer look at algorithms that are commonly used in clinical practice, including FRAX. In this session, Richard Lee, MD, will discuss the development of FRAX and its clinical implementation. Dr. Lee will focus on implications of racial and ethnic disparities in osteoporosis care and potential mitigating approaches.

2022 ViTLs - Adult Lecture Recordings

Watch ViTLs Adult Playlist  

Lecture 5 Recording (May 4)  

Mimics: Scleroderma / Vasculitis / Spondyloarthropathy
Marcy Bolster, MD
Laura Hummers, MD, MS
Matthew Koster, MD
David Borenstein, MD, MACR, MACP

In this session, Laura Hummers, MD, MS, uses a case-based format to review the differential diagnosis of thickened skin, highlighting key clinical ways to differentiate scleroderma from scleroderma mimics. In their case-based presentations, Matthew J. Koster, MD, discusses three vasculitis mimics and provides guidance on how to effectively use details in the history, exam, imaging and ancillary studies to successfully differentiate between these mimics and true vasculitis. David Borenstein, MD, MACR, MACP, discusses the characteristic changes noted in the lumbar spine and sacroiliac joints that differentiate ankylosing spondylitis from other spinal disorders that cause abnormal calcification of these structures.

Learning Objectives

  • Compare and contrast the clinical features of scleroderma and its mimics
  • Overview salient points about the mimics of scleroderma
  • Briefly discuss treatment strategies for scleroderma mimics
  • Discuss three vasculitis mimics
  • Recognize features that differentiate vasculitis mimics from true disease
  • Review of the normal structures of the lumbar spine observed with plain radiographs, the modifications of the intervertebral disks in spinal disorders
  • Review observations needed to determine if multiple disorders are present in a single individual

Lecture 4 Recording (March 30)  

Macrophage Activation Syndrome / HLH
Tyler Reese, MD
McKenzie Rose Vater, MD
Alexei Grom, MD
Michelle Hermiston, MD, PhD

In the presentation, Macrophage Activation Syndrome – Early Recognition and Therapeutic Targets, Alexei Grom, MD, discusses initial diagnostic evaluation, pathophysiology and emerging therapeutic targets in macrophage activation syndrome. In the presentation, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Approach to HLH/MAS, Michelle Hermiston, MD, PhD, uses a case-based approach to discuss a systematic approach to the evaluation and management of a patient with suspected macrophage activation syndrome (MAS)/hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH).

Learning Objectives

  • Recognize clinical patterns that should trigger full evaluation for MAS
  • Discuss the current MAS diagnostic criteria  
  • Discuss current treatment approaches and emerging new therapeutic targets
  • Identify HLH as a clinical syndrome that can be caused by multiple etiologies
  • Explain the pathophysiology of HLH and its common manifestations
  • Describe treatment modalities for newly diagnosed and refractory patients

Lecture 3 Recording (March 10)  

Anish Dua, MD, MPH
Philip Seo, MD, MHS
Mike Wechsler, MD, MMSc
Fei Li Kuang, MD, MPH

Mike Wechsler, MD, MMSc, focuses on the functions and roles of eosinophils and the treatment strategies for hypereosinophilic conditions.Fei Li Kuang, MD, PhD, highlights and discusses the similarities and differences in the diagnoses of EGPA and HES, and why that matters, especially in an era where targeted anti-eosinophil therapies are available.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe differing definitions of hypereosinophilic syndromes (HES) and how that could overlap with EGPA
  • Explain how differences in diagnosis impacts treatment and outcomes
  • Discuss role of directed anti-eosinophil therapy in EGPA
  • Describe multiple functions of eosinophils
  • Review differential diagnosis of eosinophilic lung diseases
  • Discuss novel treatment strategies for hypereosinophilic conditions

Lecture 2 Recording (February 2)  

Psoriatic Arthritis
Lianne Gensler, MD
Elaine Husni, MD, MPH
Gurjit Kaely, MBBS, MRCP

In this session, Elaine Husni, MD, MPH, reviews the clinical presentation, management strategies, and treatment options for psoriatic arthritis, as well as an emphasis on how the disease affects the patient. In addition, Gurjit Kaeley, MRCP, RhMSUS, reviews the clinical utility and sonographic features of psoriatic arthritis, including the domains of enthesitis, dactylitis, and psoriatic joint disease.

Learning Objectives

  • Recognize the various clinical presentation and the delay in diagnosis that can occur in patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA)
  • Describe the best practices around management strategies for PsA and identify approved and emerging therapeutic options
  • Describe the utility of sonography in the evaluation of PsA
  • Recall the sonographic features of enthesitis, psoriatic joint disease, and dactylitis

Lecture 1 Recording (January 5)  

Nadera Sweiss, MD
Prashant Parmar, MD
Omar F. Abou-Ezzeddine, MD, CM, MS
Pooja Bhat, MD

Nadera Sweiss, MD, and Prashant Parmar, MD, provide an overview of the management and treatment of sarcoidosis. The session also includes presentations on both sarcoid heart disease and ocular sarcoidosis by Omar F. Abou-Ezzeddine, MD, CM, MS, and Pooja Bhat, MD, respectively.

Learning Objectives

  • Recognize the challenges of the management of sarcoidosis
  • Recognize the recent updates regarding sarcoidosis treatment
  • Identify potential vision threatening complications of ocular sarcoidosis
  • Understand aims of systemic immunosuppression in patients with non-infectious ocular inflammation
  • Provide an overview of the pathophysiology and clinical presentation of sarcoid myocarditis
  • Review diagnostic algorithms and the role of advanced imaging in the current era
  • Offer a therapeutic approach for the management of sarcoid myocarditis


2021 ViTLs - Adult Lecture Recordings

Watch ViTLs Adult Playlist

Lecture 6 Recording (May 26)  

COVID-19 and Rheumatology
Jean Liew, MD
Erin Wilfong, MD, PhD
Mehrdad Matloubian, MD, PhD

This session discusses the management of the rheumatology patient diagnosed with COVID-19 and will cover COVID-19 complications, medication effects on vaccine response, and the relationship between vaccine response and underlying rheumatologic disease.

Lecture 5 Recording (April 26)  

Lupus Disparities and Reproductive Justice in Lupus
Susan Manzi, MD, MPH
Megan E. B. Clowse, MD, MPH

This session covers the role of health disparities as it relates to the diagnosis and management of patients with lupus and describes the clinical features as well as social features that impact pregnancy in lupus.

Lecture 4 Recording (April 9)  

Dermatomyositis: Bridging Dermatology and Rheumatology
Lisa Christopher-Stine, MD, MPH
Victoria P. Werth, MD, MS

In this case-based presentation, Dr. Lisa Christopher-Stine and Dr. Victoria Werth discuss the collaborative dermatologic/rheumatologic approach to the diagnosis and treatment of dermatomyositis. They examine organ system involvement – involving skin, muscle, joint, etc., from 2 clinician specialty viewpoints. They review unique clinical findings as well as their histopathological and immunopathological correlates and apply this collaborative approach to the management of dermatologic and rheumatologic features in patients with dermatomyositis.

Lecture 3 Recording (March 29)  

ANCA Vasculitis
Geetha Duvuru, MD
Alexandra Villa Forte, MD, MPH

In this session, Drs. Villa Forte and Duvuru debate the role of PLEX in remission induction and choosing between rituximab and cyclophosphamide for remission induction. They also review therapy choices for remission maintenance and role of ANCA and CD 19 monitoring for guiding remission maintenance therapy.

Lecture 2 Recording (March 9)  

Inflammatory Eye Disease for the Rheumatologist
Laura Kopplin, MD, PhD
Bryn Burkholder, MD
Jim Rosenbaum, MD

This session reviews three common forms of inflammatory eye disease seen in patients with rheumatic conditions (scleritis, uveitis, and orbital inflammatory disease), and provides an overview of common clinical findings, mimickers, and suggestions for evaluation and treatment.

Lecture 1 Recording (February 18)  

Interstitial Lung Disease Associated with Systemic Rheumatic Diseases
Kristin B. Highland, MD, MSCR

In this case-based presentation, Kristin B. Highland, MD, MSCR, discusses initial evaluations, approaches to treatment, and monitoring of patients with interstitial lung disease (ILD) associated with systemic rheumatic diseases.


If you have questions about ViTLs, contact Janet Mitchell at

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