Rheumatology, a subspecialty of internal medicine, is devoted to the diagnosis and therapy of rheumatic diseases. Rheumatologists, deal mainly with problems involving the joints and the allied conditions of connective tissue and have special interests in unexplained rash, fever, arthritis, anemia, weakness, weight loss, fatigue, joint or muscle pain, autoimmune disease, and anorexia.
Rheumatologists have particular skills in the evaluation of the over 100 forms of arthritis, and have special interest in rheumatoid arthritis, spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, antiphospholipid antibody syndrome, Still disease, dermatomyositis, Sjogren's syndrome, vasculitis, scleroderma, mixed connective tissue disease, sarcoidosis, Lyme disease, osteomyelitis, osteoarthritis, back pain, gout, pseudogout, relapsing polychondritis, Henoch- Schonlein purpura, serum sickness, reactive arthritis, Kawasaki disease, fibromyalgia, erythromelalgia, Raynaud's disease, growing pains, iritis, osteoporosis, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, and others.
Rheumatology training includes five years training in medical school, which is followed by a two year internship in General Internal Medicine during which MRCP (Membership of the Royal College of Physicians UK) which is a postgraduate membership diploma, is required. Later you have to complete five years in Higher Specialist Training in Rheumatology to obtain a CCST (Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training) and be entered onto the GMC Specialist Register to practice as a Consultant Rheumatologist.
Paediatric rheumatologists, paediatricians who have completed an additional 2-3 years of specialised training in paediatric rheumatology, specialises in providing comprehensive care to children with rheumatic diseases, especially arthritis.
The professional body in the UK which is responsible for training and regulating medical practitioners who specialise in rheumatology is the Royal College of Physicians. The organisation focused on the promotion of rheumatology within the United Kingdom is the British Society of Rheumatology. The Paediatric Rheumatology European Society (PRES) focuses and promotes knowledge on paediatric rheumatic diseases.
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