CRA Summer Studentship Programs

Summer Studentship competition is closed. 

There is high demand for new Rheumatologists in Canada. The Summer Studentship Program is an excellent way for medical students to gain experience and interest in this important sub-specialty. Each student can apply for both the clinical and research studentships but can only accept one studentship if both applications are successful. Each student can only submit a maximum of one application per studentship program (i.e. 1 for research, 1 for clinical). Each mentor can only submit a maximum of one application (or equivalency) per clinical studentship program and a maximum of one application per research studentship program. This is a joint application between the student applicant and a member of the CRA (the mentor).

CRA-Pfizer Clinical Studentship: The CRA offers a clinical-based Summer Studentship (sponsored by Pfizer Canada) designed for Canadian students (citizens or permanent residents) registered in a medical school.  This experiential program selects students to shadow a Rheumatologist (CRA member) in a clinical setting.

  • A maximum of 1 full-time clinical studentship of up to 12 weeks or equivalency (i.e. 3 students x 4 weeks = 12 weeks total) per mentor will be awarded (minimum 4 weeks full-time at 35 hours per week).

Research Studentship: The CRA offers a research-based Summer Studentship (supported  by CRA,  pending  external fundingto be confirmed by May 6th, 2022) designed to introduce Canadian students (citizens or permanent residents) registered in a medical school, to the sub-specialty of rheumatology.  The program entails connecting a student with a CRA member for a rheumatology-based research project. These research projects must enable participating students to make a significant contribution over the course of the summer.

  • Only 1 full-time research studentship of up to 12 weeks per mentor will be awarded (minimum 6 weeks full-time at 30 to 35 hours per week).   
  • Research studentships are full-time exclusively, no part-time option available.  
  • The CRA will NOT consider 2 students sharing a research position. 

Studentship Timeframe:  May-September

Studentship Duration:  Clinical Studentship 4-12 weeks, Research Studentship 6-12 weeks

Guidelines

Note

Insurance Requirement:  Medical malpractice insurance is strictly required for ALL summer students.  The CRA is not responsible for the cost of obtaining such coverage.  Most educational institutions provide this insurance, however if this is not available (i.e. if applicant attends a foreign medical school), it is the responsibility of the summer student to obtain. 

Equal & Inclusive Employment:  The CRA is committed to the fundamental principles of equal and inclusive opportunities in employment. The CRA is committed to ensuring that the recruitment and selection of all employees is fair, open and transparent; will comply with all relevant legislative requirements and will be free from any bias and/or discrimination. This policy applies to all aspects of employment, including recruitment, hiring, placement, promotion, transfer, compensation, training, education and summer studentship programs.

The CRA reserves the right to cancel this or any program without prior notice.

Summer Student Reflections

Summer Studentship Testimonials

Catherine Faucher

Research studentship is a great opportunity to initiate me to rheumatology.

Research studentship is a great opportunity to initiate me to rheumatology. Reviewing patients’ electronic records allowed me to see many cases and learn the classic presentations of some rheumatologic conditions. My task was to determine the prognostic role of different investigations to assess comorbidities in a rheumatologic disease, scleroderma.

Iain Sander

CRA summer studentship has been one of the most exciting parts of my medical education to date.

CRA summer studentship has been one of the most exciting parts of my medical education to date. Through the studentship, I became comfortable with taking a detailed history and physical examination for MSK and autoimmune conditions. I was able to gain clinical exposure to a wide range of Pediatric Rheumatology conditions, including JIA (Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis), CRMO (Chronic Recurrent Multifocal Osteomyelitis), and MIS-C (Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children) associated with COVID-19. I was also able to see how Pediatric Rheumatology is practiced in a variety of clinical settings, by doing hospital consults, attending clinics at the rehabilitation hospital, and participating in the interdisciplinary pediatric Lupus clinic. Outside of clinical duties, I was able to help develop a teaching resource for autoinflammatory pediatric conditions. Perhaps the most valuable part of the CRA studentship has been the connections I developed. I regularly keep in touch with my mentor and plan to collaborate with them on academic projects and use them as a guide as I continue exploring a career in Rheumatology. I am deeply grateful to the CRA for this enriching experience!

Joselyne Beelen

The CRA Summer Studentship Program helped provide me with the means to pursue rheumatology research, especially given that it’s a field we don’t get too much exposure to in medical school.

The CRA Summer Studentship Program helped provide me with the means to pursue rheumatology research, especially given that it’s a field we don’t get too much exposure to in medical school. I was able to work with such a welcoming and knowledgeable mentor who is passionate about the work they do – something that draws me to the field! There’s so much to be excited about in both the pediatric and adult rheumatology worlds, so I’m excited to be involved in them going forward and thank the CRA for helping me develop my clinical research skills.

Michael Zeeman

The CRA research program provided an amazing opportunity for me to explore clinical research, engage in teaching opportunities, and connect with rheumatology faculty.

The CRA research program provided an amazing opportunity for me to explore clinical research, engage in teaching opportunities, and connect with rheumatology faculty. It showcases the unique diagnostic and management challenges of rheumatic diseases, and highlights the need for academic curiosity and research in the field.

Ruth Legese

Prior to the CRA studentship, I thought rheumatology was about managing arthritis in elderly folk and given I am interested in working in pediatrics, I really had no interest in exploring this field.

Prior to the CRA studentship, I thought rheumatology was about managing arthritis in elderly folk and given I am interested in working in pediatrics, I really had no interest in exploring this field. I did not know what a rheumatologist would even do within the pediatric population as I assumed the incidence of arthritis in young people was extremely low. Through the clinical studentship, I was able to experience the vast array of autoimmune and systemic conditions among children that would need the support of a rheumatologist. I learned that rheumatological conditions were much more common than I had thought them to be, and that rheumatology is an exciting and growing field that has implications on many disease processes. After this studentship, I have set my sights on potentially pursuing a career in pediatric rheumatology given the diversity of conditions, the relationships you build with families, the research opportunities, and the amazing work-life balance.

JoAnn Thai 

I absolutely loved my experience in the CRA Summer Studentship program!

I absolutely loved my experience in the CRA Summer Studentship program! I had the pleasure of exploring the field of Rheumatology with a fantastic preceptor, and got invaluable hands-on experience with patients in both outpatient and inpatient settings. This was an opportunity to really get to know this gem of a specialty, and I enjoyed learning about the variety of rheumatological conditions as well as the patient story with each condition. I can honestly say that this experience has further inspired me to pursue Rheumatology as a profession!