A rheumatologist is physician who is qualified by additional training and experience in the diagnosis and treatment of arthritis and other diseases of the joints, muscles and bones. Many rheumatologists conduct research to determine the cause and better treatments for these disabling and sometimes fatal diseases.
After medical school an additional 2-3 years of training in hospital medicine, rheumatologists devote an additional four to 5 years in specialized rheumatology training, some of which will involve some time spent doing research. Once their specialist training has been completed, they are allowed to be included in the specialist register for rheumatology with the Irish Medicines board
Rheumatologists treat arthritis, certain autoimmune diseases, musculoskeletal pain disorders and osteoporosis. There are more than 100 types of these diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, lupus, back pain, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia and tendonitis. Some of these are very serious diseases that can be difficult to diagnose and treat.