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What is Rheumatology?

Rheumatologists diagnose and manage many different conditions that affect the muscles, bones and joints, as well as taking part in research to improve our understanding of these disorders, so there are many reasons why you may need to visit a specialist in rheumatology. If you are about to see a rheumatologist for the first time, or if you would like to find out more about what your rheumatologist does, read on to find out more about this varied branch of medicine.

Rheumatology is the medical specialty that focuses on conditions affecting the joints and connective tissues. Although there are a wide range of different rheumatic conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system, many of these disorders relate to the immune system, so rheumatology is closely linked to immunology.

Doctors who specialize in this area of medicine are known as rheumatologists. In the UK, this means that they have spent several years focusing on musculoskeletal conditions after completing their general medical training.

Only after completing this specialist training will they have earned the title of consultant, as Dr Baburaj did when he completed his training at the University of Aberdeen in 2005. A consultant rheumatologist has to be able to recognise more than 200 different disorders in order to come up with the right diagnosis and treatment plan for each patient.