The Second-level short specialisation degree in Modern Management of Connective Tissue and Diseases and Vasculitis prepares doctors – preferably rheumatology specialists – on the advanced clinical management of systemic rheumatology diseases, based on the latest scientific findings.

The purpose of the course is training professionals in the diagnosis and treatment of the main clinical manifestations, i.e. connective tissue disease and vasculitis, so as to help them manage this kind of patients independently, both in hospital and clinical settings.

The Second-level short specialisation degree in Modern Management of Connective Tissue and Diseases and Vasculitis provides, for each disease covered, the discussion of the etiopathogenetic, clinical (including lab testing, imaging and autoantibodies), diagnostic, diagnostic-differential, and treatment aspects, also with reference to consolidated and emerging indications on treatment with biotechnological and small-molecule drugs. 

The Short specialisation degree is divided in theoretical lessons and clinical activity. The diseases covered by the Short specialisation degree and by the clinical activity include: systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic sclerosis, idiopathic inflammatory myopathies, Sjögren syndrome, undifferentiated connective tissue diseases, antiphospholipid antibodies syndrome, vasculitis of small, medium and large vessels.

The Second-level short specialisation degree in Modern Management of Connective Tissue and Diseases and Vasculitis is addressed to graduates in Medicine and Surgery, preferably with a specialization in Rheumatology, who wish to acquire specific competence in how to manage patients suffering from systemic rheumatology diseases. At the end of the Short specialisation degree, students may fully and professionally find work in third-party facilities as medical executives, or as expert interlocutors in spoke centres, in connection with hub centres.  Short specialisation degree students can also work in clinical contexts, both inside and outside hospitals, and may also be part of care networks, in partnership with third-level centres. The Short specialisation degree also helps to improve the capacity of critically assessing existing national/international guidelines or good practices, and literature updates on connective tissue diseases and vasculitis.

The Second-level short specialisation degree in Modern Management of Connective Tissue and Diseases and Vasculitis provides in-depth training on the following diseases:


  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Idiopathic inflammatory myopathies
  • Sjögren syndrome
  • Systemic sclerosis
  • Undifferentiated connective tissue disease
  • Overlap connective tissue disease


  • Takayasu disease
  • Giant cell arteritis 
  • Polyarteritis nodosa
  • Granulomatosis with polyangiitis
  • Eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis
  • Microscopic polyangiitis
  • ANCA-negative small vessel vasculitis
  • Behçet disease
  • Cogan syndrome
  • New clinical entities (VEXAS)

The Short specialisation degree course includes in-classroom lessons and clinical activity with attendance of dedicated clinics.

In-classroom lessons will be concentrated in 3 weeks (possibly from Thursday to Saturday), indicatively in the months of December 2023, February 2024 and May 2024. They will be held by university professors, mostly belonging to the Rheumatology Unit of the Padua University/Hospital. 

Clinical practice will be distributed between December 2023-September 2024. Short specialisation degree students will actively take part in the clinical practice in dedicated clinics. Moreover, students will have the option of attending meetings where the situation of the in-patients of the AOPD Rheumatology Unit will be discussed. Lastly, there will be meetings where students will present one or more medical cases covered during the clinical activity, with scientific evidence on the topic. The medical cases will then be discussed jointly.

Students will also take part in the consolidated Rheumatology Unit training activities:

  • Rheumatology Meetings: 12 meetings held on Wednesday, between 5:30 and 7:30 PM. They will cover the hot topics related to rheumatology diseases. Students are required to take part in the meetings concerning connective tissue diseases and vasculitis (around 4-5). Over the last years, this activity has been carried out through webinars.
  • Excellence Conference: annual conference covering some cross-sectional aspects of connective tissue diseases and vasculitis. It is held in person, on two dates (Thursday and Friday or Friday and Saturday). The last editions were held around the end of April.

The general ranking of merit for the academic year 2023/24 will be published on the Italian page of this Second-level short specialisation degree according to the timing provided in the Call.


Health, environment and territory
€ 1.822,50
€ 850,00
Find the admission titles in the selection notice 23/24.


The course activities are held in presence, and students must attend at least 75% of theoretical lessons and 75% of clinical activities, which are held on different days of the week.

A mandatory attendance of 75% of Wednesday Meetings concerning connective tissue diseases and vasculitis is required. They can be followed in webinar. Moreover, attendance of all the sessions of the Excellence Conference is required.

Specific and documented needs may be assessed by the Short specialisation degree’s Director.

Students will be actively involved in clinical practice, by collecting patient’s data and carrying out the objective exam. They can also discuss any lab or instrumental follow-up with the professor, as well as any treatment deemed necessary. Those activities are always carried out under the supervision of professors with a long experience in managing patients suffering from connective tissue disease and vasculitis.

Are available n. 8 scholarships to fully cover the Second-level short specialisation degree’s registration fee (thanks to the financial support of GlaxoSmithKline S.p.A.).

Further financial support for the Second-level short specialisation degree’s enrollment fee is being defined with another pharmaceutical industry.

In-classroom lessons and clinical activities will be held within the Padua Hospital/University.