Nature of the work
Rheumatology provides inpatient and outpatient
care for people with musculoskeletal conditions. These conditions
include inflammatory and non-inflammatory disorders which
predominantly affect the joints, bones, muscles and soft tissues.
Although the prevalence of some conditions, such as arthritis,
rises with age, musculoskeletal conditions may affect all age
groups, and specialists see a large variety of patients. New
treatments are currently transforming the lives of patients with
autoimmune inflammatory conditions, making this an exciting and
progressive area of medicine.
Working in rheumatology
The work of rheumatologists tends to be
outpatient based, and they generally work as part of a
multidisciplinary team, including:
- specialist nurses
- occupational therapists
- orthopaedic surgeons.
Rheumatologists may also find themselves
working in the growing number of day assessment and treatment
Links with primary care are important for this
specialty, as many patients with inflammatory arthritis are managed
in a ‘shared care’ arrangement with general practitioners (GPs). In
the case of some conditions, such ‘shared care’ arrangements are
likely to be even more common in the future.
There are opportunities for rheumatologists to
have sub-specialty interests, and many will also have commitments
in general (internal) medicine.
Common procedures / interventions
Common procedures for rheumatologists include
soft tissue and joint injections. Some specialists perform various
spinal injections for relief of back pain, biopsy procedures, such
synovial or muscle biopsies, and musculoskeletal ultrasound.
Associated sub specialties
Sub-specialty interests include:
- paediatric rheumatology
- metabolic bone disease
- sports medicine.
Just click the buttons below for more information: