Rheumatologists are doctors who specialize in diagnosis and treatment of rheumatic disorders of the skeletal system, muscles and joints. Rheumatologists usually deal with the patients suffering with rheumatic diseases such as lupus, tendonitis, arthritis, myositis, scleroderma, and osteoporosis to name a few.
The rheumatologist examines the patients, obtains lab reports including the X-ray reports of the joints, prescribes anti-inflammatory drugs and other medications. In addition, a rheumatologist suggests occupational or physical therapy to patients suffering from arthritis or any type of joint disorders.
Rheumatologists usually work regular office hours with occasional longer hours including evening and weekend work. A typical day involves seeing outpatients and spending time doing paperwork. The role can be emotionally demanding yet rewarding.
- Good general medical knowledge and proficiency in rheumatic medicine.
- To be interested in helping people with disorders of the joints and all rheumatic diseases.
- To enjoy finding solutions to problems.
- A broad and empathetic approach as the conditions have psychosocial ramifications.
- Excellent communication skills to liaise with other physicians and provide clear information to patients.
- Stamina to work long hours.
- Emotional strength and maturity.
- Strong ethics.
- Assess and evaluate patient and their concerns.
- Diagnose and treat muscle, bone and joint dysfunction.
The pay scale of a rheumatologist ranges between AUD$152,000 – AUD$205,000 per annum.