John Varga, MD
John Varga, MD
Chief, Division of Rheumatology

The Division of Rheumatology is internationally recognized for excellence in the diagnosis and management of rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases, basic and clinical research, and training of rheumatology clinicians and students. It is also home to the Rackham Arthritis Research Unit, one of the oldest and best known Rheumatology units in the United States.

Patient Care

Clinicians in the Division of Rheumatology treat a vast array of conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, antiphospholipid syndrome, scleroderma, vasculitis, Sjogren's syndrome, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, myositis, and gout. With over 40 faculty members and clinical practitioners providing inpatient and outpatient care, our Division is one of the largest in the country.  In addition to the University of Michigan Hospital and the Ann Arbor VA Hospital, Rheumatology patients are seen in four clinics located in Ann Arbor, Brighton, and Northville.


Our faculty are recognized leaders in research, with over $9 million in annual funding from federal, foundation, and industry grants. Our faculty perform cutting-edge clinical, translational, and basic research with the shared goals of understanding the causes of rheumatic disease, discovering new treatments, and improving outcomes. Our nationally ranked research programs include the Lupus ProgramAntiphospholipid Syndrome ProgramScleroderma Program, and Vasculitis Program. We additionally have significant rheumatic disease research efforts focused on health policy, drug safety, chronic pain, gerorheumatology, genetics and other areas. We are dedicated to nurturing the next generation of rheumatic disease researchers through fellowship and NIH T32-supported training programs. Beyond the Division of Rheumatology, our faculty conduct research through the internationally recognized Chronic Pain & Fatigue Research Center and the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, as well as numerous Centers and Institutes throughout the University of Michigan

Education and Training

The Division of Rheumatology offers the following fellowship and training programs:

  • Rheumatology Fellowship Training Program - Aims 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.
  • Scientist Training in Rheumatology Research Program - Designed to provide trainees with the tools needed to become successful independent investigators focused on improving the understanding of, and care for, people living with rheumatic diseases. 

Our division places a high importance on educating faculty, fellows, house officers, and medical students with regularly scheduled conferences including weekly grand rounds, weekly core curriculum conference, and monthly journal club, clinical case conference, and research seminars.

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.