The training programme director Dr Ian Goff

Specialty Programme Co-ordinatorNicola Robinson

HR Officer, Lead Employer TrustJenny Lear


Why choose Rheumatology?

Rheumatology is an ever-changing dynamic speciality providing holistic care for patients with chronic disabling illness. The wide spectrum of rheumatic disease, combined with its complex myriad of multi-system manifestations, makes no two days or two patients the same. Recent revolutionary advances in the therapies available for treating rheumatic disease have brought life-changing reductions in morbidity, making this a truly exciting time to start a rheumatology career. Furthermore, the speciality remains firmly grounded in clinical history and examination skills, allowing for immensely rewarding partnerships with our patients to be formed over years of continuous review.


Rheumatology is a multidisciplinary speciality involving allied health professionals and specialist input from various medical and surgical specialities to provide high quality care for our patients. Our trainees are encouraged to undertake research, for which opportunities are plenty. Several rheumatologists in our region are world leaders in rheumatic disease research, and also drive delivery of research across the region. Our trainees have an excellent track-record in securing Fellowships from major national funding bodies including the Wellcome Trust, Medical Research Council, NIHR and Arthritis Research UK. Clinical research is highly valued by NHS Trusts across the region, and we are supportive of trainees opting to undertake a period out of training for research.


As a trainee what can I expect from my training programme?

The rheumatology trainees will work in 3-5 different centres from the region’s six training units; Newcastle, Northumbria, Gateshead, Sunderland, Durham, Middlesbrough. All trainees will gain experience of both District general hospitals as well as specialist centres.

As is the case nationally, all training incorporates rheumatology and General Internal Medicine (GIM) and trainees should expect to undertake 3-4 out of their 5 years in posts with a GIM component. As many Rheumatological conditions are multi system disorders good generalist skills are important in delivering holistic care for our patients.

The North Eastern region is a centre of excellence for connective tissue diseases, metabolic bone diseases, paediatric rheumatology, musculoskeletal ultrasound and MSK research.

Some of the top attractions to train in the North East region and develop expertise as a Rheumatologist includes:

Specialist Connective tissue training post and clinics

MSK Ultasound clinics and Regional Ultrasound group meetings

Specialist Spondyloarthritis service

Dedicated Transitional clinics/ young adult clinics

Early arthritis service in most hospitals

Opportunity for teaching, research and academic careers

State of the art, award winning Clinical Research Facility

Regional trainee representative in specialty training committee role 

British Society of Rheumatology (BSR) trainee representative to represent in various committees

Specialist Metabolic bone disease clinics

........and many more!


The Registrar regional Training days have recently been updated and map closely to the speciality curriculum to deliver top quality training to the budding Rheumatologist along with 6 interesting Regional Rheumatology meetings. There is regular 2 monthly GIM teaching in the region.


What our trainees say:


“Northern regional Rheumatology has been a very welcoming and friendly speciality. We have been an enthusiastic and proactive trainee bunch taking great pride in shaping our own training.

I really enjoy the clinical side of Rheumatology which involves building a good rapport and understanding of patients with chronic illness as out-patients and also exciting and challenging in patients who are very unwell with systemic vasculitis, septic arthritis etc.

I was fortunate to take up management roles early on in my career which was encouraged by the speciality training programme director, my educational supervisors and colleagues.

I am the British Society of Rheumatology (BSR) trainee representative for the Northern Deanery which gives me opportunity to attend the National BSR Educational training committee, External Strategy and Communication committee and the British Rheumatologist in Training ( BRiTs) committee. I am really proud to be the voice of our region at the National level.”



"The north east of England has so much to offer.  The training for Rheumatology is organised across 6 different trusts offering a good variety of experiences.   All trainees get to spend some time at the tertiary centre – where you can see the less common conditions.  There are good opportunities for ultrasound training (with regular regional meetings and enthusiastic trainers) or developing an interest in a sub-specialty are such as osteoporosis.  Trainees are encouraged to be active in research and teaching.  Rheumatology registrar teaching is led by consultants and held across the region.  There are good opportunities to deliver presentations and trainees are encouraged to submit abstracts to regional and national meetings.  The north east is a fantastic place to live – beautiful coastline, wild Northumberland hills, the city life of Newcastle, Durham and Sunderland, historical sites including Hadrian’s Wall and good sporting facilities."


“The North East offers fantastic opportunities for rheumatology trainees of all interests, including world-leading research, tertiary-level connective tissue disease care, paediatric and adolescent rheumatology, musculoskeletal ultrasound…all in the setting of beautiful natural landscapes and thriving vibrant cities. With so much to offer, rheumatology training in the North East will certainly not disappoint!”

Information for Current Trainees

Access essential information on regulations, study leave, certification, assessment and the curriculum.

Information for trainers and educators

Development and guidance on becoming a trainer, standards for trainers, essential documentation for clinical and educational supervision including guidance for GP trainers,  Trust and out-of-hours supervisors, plus news about the latest courses and conferences.


Potential Applicant

Visit our Recruitment website to find out what it's like to be a GP trainee in the north east and north Cumbria.