What is a Rheumatologist?

A rheumatologist is a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of arthtitis and other rheumatic diseases. These health problems affect the joints, muscles, bones and sometimes other internal organs. Because these diseases are often complex, they benefit from the care of an expert. Only rheumatologists are experts in this field of medicine.

The rheumatologist interacts with the patient and family, gives health information and partners with other health care providers. A rheumatologist aims to help patients with rheumatic disease to have the best possible quality of life. Toward this aim, rheumatologists advocate for the patient in all aspects of health care and in the community. As a group, these doctors also support laws that promote patient rights and patient-centered care.

The rheumatologist teaches the patient, family and community about health information and how to live with a chronic (long-term) rheumatic disease. Topics can include medications, coping mechanisms, techniques for preventing disability or regaining function, and ways to improve quality of life.

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