Dr. Bernabela is originally from Curacao, Dutch Antilles. He completed his training at Drexel University/Saint Peter’s University Hospital in New Jersey and during his residency also completed a certificate program in clinical research at Drexel University College of Medicine. Following completion of his chief residency year he worked as an attending physician teaching medical students and residents in the Department of Medicine at Rutgers University/Saint Peter’s Hospital.

Drawn to both Rheumatology and Internal Medicine, Dr. Bernabela completed his fellowship in rheumatology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas with research focus in providing higher quality of care to patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Motivated to stay at the forefront of advances in Rheumatology, Dr. Bernabela joined UT Southwestern as faculty after completion of his fellowship. He also has an interest in the use of musculoskeletal ultrasound in the treatment and diagnosis of rheumatic diseases, and incorporates this in his practice.

Dr. Bernabela in addition to English speaks Spanish and Dutch and brings to UTSW a strong background in medical education and treatment of common and more complexed systemic rheumatic diseases.

Outside of medicine Dr. Bernabela’s interests include outdoor activities, spending time with his wife and kids, reading, swimming and jazz music.


Medical School
St Martinus University Faculty of Medicine, Curacao (2009)
Saint Peter's University Hospital/Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (2013), Internal Medicine
Chief Resident
Saint Peter's University Hospital/Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (2014), Internal Medicine
UT Southwestern Medical Center (2018), Rheumatology

Research Interest

  • Connective Tissue Disease associated with Pulmonary Hypertension
  • Musculoskeletal Ultrasound in Rheumatic Diseases
  • Myopathies/Polymyositis/Dermatomyositis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Systemic Lupus Eythematosus


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Predictors of Clostridium difficile infection-related mortality among older adults.
Chopra T, Awali RA, Biedron C, Vallin E, Bheemreddy S, Saddler CM, Mullins K, Echaiz JF, Bernabela L, Severson R, Marchaim D, Lephart P, Johnson L, Thyagarajan R, Kaye KS, Alangaden G Am J Infect Control 2016 11 44 11 1219-1223
Oral contraceptive causing renal artery thrombosis.
Bhargava A, Chopra A, Bernabela L, Chopra T BMJ Case Rep 2013 Jan 2013
Impact of cefepime therapy on mortality among patients with bloodstream infections caused by extended-spectrum-?-lactamase-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae and Escherichia coli.
Chopra T, Marchaim D, Veltman J, Johnson P, Zhao JJ, Tansek R, Hatahet D, Chaudhry K, Pogue JM, Rahbar H, Chen TY, Truong T, Rodriguez V, Ellsworth J, Bernabela L, Bhargava A, Yousuf A, Alangaden G, Kaye KS Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 2012 Jul 56 7 3936-42

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • American College of Rheumatology (2016)
  • USSONAR (2016)
  • American College of Physicians (2013)