The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA has received a $150,000 grant from the Arthritis Foundation to fund a fellowship aimed at boosting the number of rheumatologists practicing in underserved areas throughout the United States.

The three-year award will help train a physician who specializes in the treatment of children and adolescents with rheumatic diseases, said Dr. Deborah McCurdy, a clinical professor of pediatrics at the medical school and program director of the Pediatric Rheumatology Fellowship Program at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital.

Through the grant — also awarded to four other medical schools — more children will receive the care they need and physicians will get training that will boost their skills. The United States faces a severe shortage of rheumatologists, and many of the estimated 54 million Americans diagnosed with arthritis don’t have access to care, forcing some to travel out of state for treatment, according to the Arthritis Foundation.