Treat patients who have muscle, bone, and joint conditions.
What does a Rheumatologist do?
Bones, and the muscles that attach to them, allow people to stand, sit, and move about. While most people are able to do this every day without much thought, some develop painful conditions in their muscles and bones that can make it hard to move.
A rheumatologist has specialized training in these conditions and can offer solutions to ease pain and help people move about effortlessly again.
As a rheumatologist, patients are sent to you when their primary care doctors are unable to provide relief. When you meet new patients, you look over the notes from their doctors and ask about their symptoms. During your examination, you have them walk around, move their sore joints, or stretch, and you poke and prod to determine how much pain they feel. Then you order X-rays or other imaging tests so that you can see how much damage has occurred.
When you find the cause of the patient’s discomfort, you prescribe medications. At times you send patients to physical therapists or occupational therapists so that they can learn to work through their pain.
Patients come back to visit you at least once a year. During these follow-up consultations, you examine them and order imaging tests again. As time passes, you may adjust the medications you give them, or you may refer them to surgeons for additional help when you’re no longer able to ease pain.