Fellowship Program at McMaster

Welcome to the Scleroderma Fellowship Program at McMaster University.
Dr. Maggie Larché, Program Director
Dr. Maggie Larché, Program Director


Certification Outcome

The successful completion of the fellowship will grant a Fellowship McMaster Certification.

Entry Requirements

  • Applicants will have completed an MD (or equivalent), Internal Medicine training and should be nearing completion of postgraduate training in Rheumatology with the exception of full certification from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (or equivalent).
  • Interested applicants are required to submit an application form and comply with McMaster University Postgraduate Medical Education requirements for residents and fellows.

Application Deadline

Application deadline is November 30 for the upcoming academic year.
General start date is July 1, however, may be flexible based on availability of clinical supervisors.


Goals of Training

1. The Scleroderma Fellowship at St. Joseph's Healthcare/McMaster Hamilton is mentored training program of one year for physician-investigators who have a strong interest in scleroderma and wish to pursue a period of specialized training.

2. With an emphasis on clinical and/or translational patient-oriented clinical investigation, the fellow will have access to approximately 500 patients with scleroderma locally, the Canadian Scleroderma Research Group (CSRG) cohort of >2000 patients, and patient education events across Ontario/Canada.

3. During the fellowship the fellow will participate in all aspects of the scleroderma program including: running clinics alongside the supervising staff; interpreting autoantibody results, pulmonary function testing and ECHO reports; developing proficiency in modified Rodnan skin scoring; performing skin biopsies; develop a research question to investigate aspects of scleroderma either through local research or through the CSRG; develop educational materials and programs to assist with patient and physician awareness and education. The trainee will undertake the Fellowship between July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022 at St. Joseph's Healthcare/McMaster University, which has the availability of senior faculty mentors.

4. The goals and specific objectives of the Scleroderma Fellowship are to:

  1. Acquire expertise in the assessment and management of various forms of systemic sclerosis (SSc), associated connective tissue diseases, and mimickers of SSc
  2. Become more familiar in recognizing complications of SSc and collaborating with associated subspecialties to manage them (i.e. working with Respirologists to manage interstitial lung disease and pulmonary hypertension)
  3. Expand knowledge of the medications used to treat SSc
  4. Become more familiar with the major unmet research needs in SSc, and for the Fellow to understand how to conduct clinical research in SSc.

Length of Training

1 year


Applicants are encouraged to seek sponsorship.

Curriculum Highlights

The weekly schedule will be as follows:

  • 3 days scleroderma clinics of Dr. Maggie Larche, Dr. Nader Khalidi, Dr. Abu Hilal, and Dr. Janet Pope.
  • 1 day participation in the rheumatology-respirology clinics at St Joseph’s healthcare
  • 1 day clinical research – consenting patients, capturing clinical data, skin biopsies, blood and sputum sampling

Structured educational components (30%)

  • Participate in weekly rheumatology rounds (Wednesdays 4-5pm)
  • Review bloodwork autoantibody profile results, pulmonary function and ECHO results weekly
  • Conduct a research project based on local patients or through the CSRG database of >2000 patients across Canada
  • Submit a challenging case for the annual Canadian Rheumatology Association meeting (deadline for submissions October)
  • Participate in the Respirology ILD rounds (monthly, Friday afternoons)
  • Present scleroderma educational sessions for academic half days for rheumatology trainees and for internal medicine, and family practice trainees, and for McMaster family practice rounds.
  • Attend and present at the annual scleroderma patient education evening (September/October/November)
  • Develop educational materials to be distributed through Scleroderma Canada

Supervision & Feedback

Formal written evaluation will be completed every 3 months.

Margaret Larche

Medicine, Rheumatology
Larche, Margaret
Scleroderma Fellowship Program Director

Rennée Tremblay

Medicine, Rheumatology
Placeholder portrait image for Rennée Tremblay
Program Coordinator


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