Feb 14, 2018

How to Choose a Rheumatologist

If you have aches and pains in your joints and bones it’s time to consider consulting a rheumatologist. Choosing a rheumatologist may end up being one of the most important health decisions you will make. You will rely on their expertise and knowledge and you will work closely with them to identify any issues and customize a treatment program. So how do you choose the right doctor for you?

Some background on Rheumatologists.

Rheumatologist are specialists who treat arthritis including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. They specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of autoimmune diseases that involve pain. In addition, they are experts in treating other diseases such as lupus, vasculitisgout, Sjogren’s Syndrome and fibromyalgia.

Do your research.

Make a list of rheumatologists in your area and be sure to ask your family doctor for a referral. Ensure they are all included under your insurance and they are conveniently located so you can get there with ease. Narrow down your list by researching the doctors’ credentials, experience and background.

What to look for.

What to look for is ultimately up to you. Do you relate more to a doctor with a good bed side manner – someone who is gentle and kind? Or do you want someone who is more aggressive and ready to attack your symptoms and pain? Whatever personality type you decide on, make sure your choose someone you are able to work closely with. Think about your future with the physician; is it a relationship that can be nurtured over time?

What to avoid.

When it comes to choosing physicians it may be easier to narrow down your choices by starting with you what you don’t want. Watch out for a doctor who doesn’t look you in the eye and is buried in your chart. Avoid any doctors who do not communicate well, or who don’t really listen to you speak. Before making your final decision call the office to talk with a doctor or nurse. If you don’t receive a call back, this is the time to walk away. Lack of response is a huge red flag.

Keep in mind while you are searching that a good doctor will guide you with advice and suggestions while supporting and encouraging you. Their goal should be improving your quality of life and that includes considering what you want. At Carolina Arthritis, we have seven expert doctors who are all educated, knowledgeable and skilled. If you are considering consulting a rheumatologist, make Carolina Arthritis Associates your first call. We are fully committed to offering you the highest level of care and meeting all your needs. Together we will explore your options and determine a treatment plan in a professional and compassionate manner.