Have you ever been told you should see a Rheumatologist? And when you were told, did you know what they were talking about? I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t. Rheumatology is a somewhat obscure field, even though there are close to 5000 of us in the United States. Rheumatologists are specialists who complete 4 years of medical school (after college), either an Internal Medicine or Pediatrics residency (3-4 years) and then a Rheumatology Fellowship (2-3 years). Keep reading or watch the video to learn more about what a Rheumatologist does!
Do you need a Rheumatologist?
Rheumatologists care of everything from your grandmother with osteoarthritis in her hips to your teenage cousin with lupus. Many of the conditions we care for, most people have never heard of. Our treatments can range from Ibuprofen to state of the art biologic infusion therapy and chemotherapy.
Rheumatologists are often considered the arthritis doctor, which is true, but we are so much more than that. Our take on arthritis is also, not what you may think. We work with our orthopedic colleagues to determine if and when you need surgery but we certainly don’t think that is your only option. Our training allows us to keep the entire individual in mind when diagnosing and treating our patients.
Rheumatologists are often work as the doctor’s doctor. We are the ones called when no one else knows what to do. The cases brought to our attention are often complex and confusing and we love it. We are given immense trust not only by our colleagues but by our patients. We have the honor of developing close relationships with each of our patients as the maneuver through the chaotic world of autoimmune disease.
Being a rheumatologist has been a wonderful gift. I am proud of my field for what we do and what we are capable of doing. I never mind the quizzical look I may get when I say what I do because it’s just another opportunity to brag about the field I love!
In good health,