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​NHG Rheumatology Residency Programme

Resident's Talk

“I chose Rheumatology because it is a very fascinating subject. It is like a jigsaw puzzle where we are trying to put the pieces together to form a bigger picture. It is satisfying to treat them and see them get better.”

Dr Paula Permatasari Tjokrosaputro
Senior Resident


The National Core Rheumatology Series (NCRS) lectures cover the core curriculum in Rheumatology. These sessions are held twice a month and are facilitated by faculty and invited speakers from different specialties. It aims to cover not just clinical aspects but also basic science, immunology, ethics, and evidence-based medicine.

Over the three years, senior residents will see a comprehensive range of patients with various rheumatic conditions across a wide spectrum of ages. All faculty and senior residents will be involved in weekly grand rounds, journal club, radiology rounds, histopathology conference, morbidity and mortality round, allergy updates as well as topic updates in rheumatology and immunology

The senior resident will be exposed to clinical practice under various settings. He/She will manage acutely ill patients who are admitted to the wards, run supervised new cases and disease-based clinics such as the lupus, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or gout clinic, and have personal clinics that offer continuity of care to patients he/she has diagnosed. He/she will also see patients who come for procedures or infusions in our day treatment centre, and review patients referred from other departments for consults with the faculty.

In addition to these core rotations, the senior resident may also be rotated to:

Year 1 and 2

    • Rehabilitation Medicine
    •  Sports Medicine
    •  Paediatrics & Adolescent Rheumatology (NUH)

Year 3

  • Clinical immunology Laboratory
  • Musculoskeletal Ultrasound
  • Immunodermatology (NSC)


Research Activities

The department is actively involved in research with interests in SLE, RA, spondyloarthritis, systemic sclerosis, and allergy. We are supported by grant-funded research staff, some of whom work in the Immunology Research Laboratory (IRL).

The senior resident will gain exposure in research methodology, ethics, and biostatistics using the SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) or STATA software packages. He/she will also need to complete the CITI (Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative) Research Ethics Course. In the second year of training, he/she will embark on a research project supervised by a faculty member.

The resident will work towards presenting this project as a poster at an overseas rheumatology conference and complete a manuscript to be submitted for publication before the completion of senior residency.

Teaching Opportunities

As a senior resident, he/she will have opportunities to be involved in the education of medical students, junior residents, other subspecialties, allied health groups, and patient support groups. Our patient support groups include the Lupus Association (Singapore) and National Arthritis Foundation and its support groups, namely the Ankylosing Spondylitis Club, Juvenile Lupus Club, and the Juvenile Arthritis Club.

Professional Development

The department supports all senior residents who attend local, regional, and international rheumatology meetings as participants or presenters. The resident is also encouraged to attend external medical education activities, be involved in quality improvement or clinical governance projects, and go for courses in communications and professionalism. Additionally, he/she will have the chance to contribute to the department and hospital by way of workgroups and committees, and learn management and leadership skills.

The senior resident will be invited to become a member of the Singapore Society of Rheumatology and stand a chance to be voted into its executive committee. He/she is also welcome to attend the educational activities of the Chapter of Rheumatologists. Our faculty members are heavily involved in patient support groups and professional societies, and will be happy to see the senior resident do the same.