Definition of a rheumatologist, or a physician specializing in rheumatology. Outlines qualifications including education, training and certification requirements. Rheumatic diseases are characterized by pain and rheumatologist rheumatoid arthritis in the joints and associated structures, and muscle soreness and stiffness.
There are more than 100 types of rheumatic conditions. Rheumatic diseases are complex and often difficult to diagnose and treat. The rheumatologist also evaluates the patient’s mental condition and level of independence. Many rheumatologists conduct research to learn more about the causes of rheumatic diseases and develop more effective treatments. Premedical undergraduate study may include art, biology, English, the humanities, mathematics, physics, philosophy, social sciences, and inorganic and organic chemistry. During the first 2 years of medical school, students take courses in anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, pharmacology, psychology, microbiology, pathology, medical ethics, and classes in laws governing medicine. They also learn how to perform a medical history, examine patients, and diagnose illnesses.
During the final 2 years of medical school, students care for patients in hospitals and clinics, under the supervision of experienced physicians. In this setting, medical students learn acute, chronic, preventive, and rehabilitative care through rotations in multiple specialties including internal medicine, family practice, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, psychiatry, and surgery. The doctor then must undergo at least 3 years of special study and training, which is called a residency. Rheumatologists complete either a general internal medicine residency or a pediatric residency. After completion of the residency training, the physician is an internal medicine doctor or a pediatrician. 3 year training in a rheumatology fellowship to become a rheumatologist. A subspecialty board for rheumatology certification, which is offered by the American Board of Internal Medicine, provides board certification to approved rheumatologists.