Rheumatologist doctors are medical doctors who specialize in arthritis and other diseases
affecting muscles, joints, and bones. Patients are usually referred to rheumatologist doctors by their primary
Rheumatology is a sub-specialty of internal medicine and rheumatologist doctors undertake specialized
training after receiving their Doctor of Medicine degrees.
Rheumatologist doctors first must complete a three-year internal medicine residency followed by a
two-year rheumatology residency. They then need to pass a test administered by the American College of
Rheumatology to become board certified rheumatologists.
Many familiar diseases and conditions fall under rheumatology including arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis,
lupus, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, and osteoporosis.
Rheumatologist doctors diagnose, treat, and manage the medical plan for people with rheumatic disorders.
For your first appointment with a rheumatologist doctor, you should bring your medical history including
test results and information on any drugs you are taking. Bring x-rays of affected areas, if you have them.
You will be asked about your symptoms. It is often helpful to jot down notes on your symptoms before you
meet the doctor so you can give as complete a picture of your symptoms as possible. After hearing your
history, the rheumatologist will probably order additional tests and x-rays.
Some people go to rheumatologists to receive expert diagnosis and treatment options and then return
to their internal medicine doctors for continuing care. Others will have the rheumatologist be responsible
for continuing clinical care.
How do you find a rheumatologist doctor? One way is to ask your primary care physician for a referral. The
American College of Rheumatology will have a list of members in your area.
NEW: We now offer a brand new Rheumatologist Doctor and Rheumatoid Arthritis Resource
Center - We hope you enjoy the new articles below!