Rheumatology Fellowship Training Program

Rory M. Marks, MB BS
Rory M. Marks, MB BS
Fellowship Program Director

Rheumatology currently faces enormously exciting challenges: to elucidate the causes of rheumatic diseases, to definitively characterize the pathogenesis of these diseases, to develop fully effective treatments and even cures, and to translate basic scientific advances into clinical practice that includes not only treatment, but ultimately prevention. The opportunities to achieve these goals are greater than at any time in the past. In order to meet these challenges it is critical we continue training outstanding future rheumatologists, who will make their own contributions to our field.

We see our primary goal is to equip every Fellow with the skills needed to provide the highest possible quality of clinical care, as well as to achieve their own individual career goals. We ensure they understand this requires commitment to life-long learning and quality improvement, and that future improvements in rheumatologic care depend on their engagement in and support for research and education.

We continue to seek out applicants to train as physician-scientists, but have also greatly broadened the scope of our program to promote the career development of physicians who aspire to excellence as practicing clinicians, as educators, and in other academic pursuits.

We are a relatively large group with 52 faculty, 32 who see patients in our rheumatology clinics, and five advanced practice providers. This provides us with the critical mass to support a very wide range of patient care and academic activities, including specialized clinical/research programs, with excellent training opportunities for our Fellows whatever their career focus.

I welcome your interest in our Rheumatology Fellowship Training Program and invite you to learn more about us on our website.

Rory M. Marks, MB BS
Fellowship Program Director


Rheumatology Division Chief

John Varga, MD
John Varga, MD

Our new Division Chief, John Varga, MD, began his appointment on September 1, 2020. Dr. Varga is the sixth Division Chief, following in the esteemed footsteps of Drs. Ivan Duff, Giles Boles, Irving Fox, Thomas Palella, and David Fox.

Dr. Varga earned his BA at Columbia University and his MD from New York University. He completed his Internal Medicine Residency at Rhode Island Hospital and Fellowship in Rheumatology at Boston University. Following his Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Varga held junior faculty positions at the University of Pennsylvania and Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. He was later appointed Chief of the Division of Rheumatology at the University of Illinois Chicago, and in 2004 joined the faculty at Northwestern University as the John and Nancy Hughes Distinguished Professor of Medicine, where he established and directed the multidisciplinary Scleroderma Program.

Dr. Varga’s translational research has focused on scleroderma and fibrosis, and he is known for his work on defining TGF-beta-mediated fibrosis. In addition to his research, Dr. Varga's passion is education. He has mentored trainees at all levels, several of whom have gone on to develop successful academic careers.

Fellowship Program Directors

Dr. Marks and Ms. Welch with their 2019 graduating class.
Dr. Rory Marks, Dr. David Roofeh (2nd from right), and Ms. Julie C. Welch with their 2019 graduating class.

Rory M. Marks, MB BS was appointed Director of the Rheumatology Training Program in August 2004. Dr. Marks is an Associate Professor of Internal Medicine. He received his undergraduate and graduate medical education at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia (1970-1976), trained in Internal Medicine, Clinical Immunology, and Pathology, and was a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Pathology at the University of Michigan from 1987-1990 before his appointment in the Division of Rheumatology. Dr. Marks is Board certified in Rheumatology, and maintains his original certification in Clinical Immunology and in Pathology. Dr. Marks has a strong interest in clinical care and physical examination skills.

David Roofeh, MD graduated from our own Rheumatology Fellowship Program in 2019 and was appointed Associate Program Director in July 2021. Dr. Roofeh is an Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine and also a newly appointed member of the Scleroderma Program. He received his BA in Philosophy and Psychology (Hons) from New York University and MD from the State University of New York Upstate Medical University. Dr. Roofeh completed residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College-Thomas Jefferson University/Christiana Care Health System before joining our adult Rheumatology Program. His research interests center on systemic sclerosis-interstitial lung disease and his educational focus is on designing a comprehensive curriculum, directing our conferences, and fostering a broad range of academic and clinical interests in our Fellows.

Fellowship & Education Program Administrator

Julie C. Welch MAOM MAEL, a native of Ann Arbor, joined the Division of Rheumatology in 2015. Before coming to Michigan Medicine in 2013, Julie was a principal of a prominent local property management company. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Indiana University, a Master of Arts in Organizational Management, and a Master’s Degree of Educational Leadership. Julie works closely with Dr. Marks and also with Dr. Seetha Monrad, Associate Dean for Medical Student Education.

Fellowship Committees

Division Faculty

More than half of our faculty members have prominent roles in training our Fellows, including didactic teaching, ambulatory clinic and inpatient mentoring/supervision, and research mentoring.

How to Apply

We participate in the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) to fill all our available positions and use the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) to transmit Fellowship applications.

All applications must be submitted through ERAS. Please do not send us applications or supporting information directly. We fully adhere to ERAS cycle deadlines.

We regret we cannot offer interviews to all the candidates that submit applications. A Fellowship committee independently evaluates each application. Based on this initial evaluation, applicants are chosen to be offered interviews. We usually interview 15-20 candidates.

Why Train at Michigan Medicine?

Contact Us

For more information about our Rheumatology Fellowship Training Program, please contact:

Julie C. Welch
Fellowship & Education Program Administrator
Department of Internal Medicine
Division of Rheumatology
300 North Ingalls Building, Room 7C27
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5422
Phone: 734-232-1697
Fax: 734-763-1253
[email protected]

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Well-Being

The Department of Internal Medicine (DOIM) Division of Rheumatology is committed to creating and cultivating a diverse and inclusive community that provides our faculty, learners, and staff with the opportunities and support they need to thrive. Visit the DOIM Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Well-Being to learn more.

Salary and Benefits

Learn about salary, benefits, and employment eligibility.

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