Rheumy Rounds™, part 2…

IFAA just put out the 2nd part of our first episode of Rheumy Rounds™, a breakout series from our ArthritisVoices360 podcast. In this episode we talk about the doctor/patient relationship. We also touched on what a patient expects to accomplish during visit as opposed to what a rheumatologist expect to accomplish during a visit. It’s quite eye opening to hear the different perspectives on the topic. We also touch on “Dr. Google”, and when it’s time to find another rheumatologist.

Dr. Google can see you now!

Another thing we touched on briefly is how long some patients, especially new patients, wait to get a rheumatology appointment. I met a rheumatologist who was new to the Philadelphia area, and he stated that new patients have to wait up to six months to get an initial appointment with him. During that wait patients are in pain and searching Dr. Google for advice. It can create for an awkward appointment because the expectations of both patient and rheumatologist may not align. The problem stems from the point that to patients, the appointment is emotional. To the rheumatologist, it is clinical. It’s no one’s fault. Honestly, it’s the result of a wonky medical s system.

Why does it take so long to get an appointment with a rheumatologist? We didn’t mention this in our podcast, but I thought I would explain. According to the American College of Rheumatology, there is a workforce shortage. There are resident doctors who desire a career in rheumatology, but there are not enough funded positions to accept all applicants.  In 2019, there were 366 applicants for only 236 positions (**data from ACR.)  It is clear that there are doctors who want to become rheumatologists, but if there aren’t funded positions to accept them, there will continue to be a shortage.  So this is the reason why many of us have to wait so long to see our rheumatologists. To learn more, check out this article in the ACR’s Rheumatologist journal : U.S. Rheumatology Workforce Shortage Puts Patient Care at Risk

I’m very proud of this premiere episode of Rheumy Rounds™. If you have any questions or comments please let me know or go to the ArthritisVoice360 page and take a “seat at the table” and leave a message directly on the site. Also, let us know what other topics you want us to cover in the future. If you are interested in cohosting, let me know. This podcast is patient centered, so who better to lead the conversation but you!

Click here to listen to the podcast: Rheumy Rounds, episode 1, part 2

Click here to learn more about IFAA: https://www.aiarthritis.org

Click here to learn more about AiArthritisVoices360: https://www.aiarthritis.org/podcast

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Kelly holds masters degrees in both Special Education and Speech-Language Pathology. She works full-time as a speech-language pathologist in both a public school setting and as an adjunct faculty member at a university, in Philadelphia, PA. She specializes in both autism and augmentative/alternative communication and took her skills to Uganda, Africa to start a special needs program for disabled children living in an orphanage in 2011. Kelly began experiencing symptoms of autoimmune arthritis in 1984 (while in her teens) but wasn’t officially diagnosed with autoimmune arthritis until 2001. Her first diagnosis was Sjogren’s syndrome. Eventually her diagnosis was changed to sero-negative RA and now Polyarticular Spondlyoarthropathy. She also manages thyroid disease (resulting from Graves Disease), fibromyalgia, renin-deficient hypertension, and disseminated superficial actinic porokeratosis (DSAP) on a daily basis. Kelly connected with other autoimmune arthritis patients via social media in 2008. She began volunteering with the “Buckle Me UP! Movement”, which evolved into the International Autoimmune Arthritis Movement (IAAM) beginning in 2009. Then became a cofounder of IFAA in 2013. She has represented the ACR on Capitol Hill as an Advocate for Arthritis, was a finalist in Wego Health’s Health Activist Hero awards in 2014, and speaks at various healthcare conferences as a patient advocate in the Philadelphia area.

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