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.
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