What Will a Rheumatologist Do on the First Visit?

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New doctor visits are always a very stressful event. You have to wake up early, get extra clean, and prepare to tell a complete stranger all the most intimate details of your life while preparing to be lectured about everything you might possibly be doing wrong. Fortunately, visiting your Rheumatologist doesn’t have to be a scary experience. 

Take a breath. Relax. Don’t let the negative stigmas surrounding the doctor’s office make your first visit to the Rheumatologist a negative one. Chances are, you will leave feeling much more optimistic about your symptoms than when you arrived.

What Does a Rheumatologist Do?

A rheumatologist is just a fancy title for an internist. They are a doctor that specializes in internal medicine with a focus on arthritis,  musculoskeletal conditions and systemic autoimmune diseases. Their specialized training includes joints, bones, muscles, autoimmune diseases, and other rheumatic diseases.

They have experience in treating issues such as chronic back pain, Lupus, Osteoarthritis, Gout, Tendinitis, Rheumatoid arthritis, and many other internal medical diseases. They are the doctor you want to look into your symptoms when you have a condition causing you debilitating pain.

If you are experiencing joint pain, arthritis, and autoimmune issues, a Rheumatologist visit should be an exciting and welcome experience. It is the first step to alleviating the symptoms associated with your affliction.

What to Expect During Your Appointment and How to Prepare

So, what will a Rheumatologist do on the first visit? Thankfully, that is an easy question to answer. If you have ever been to a primary care physician, you have likely already had a similar experience. Let’s dive into what you can expect.

See. That wasn’t so bad. It is not unlike any visit you have already had with your primary care physician except maybe the extent of the scans. Now that you know what to expect, how should you prepare?

Preparation is relatively straightforward. Here are a few things that you can do to make your appointment goes as smoothly as possible.

Have a Referral: Chances are, you didn’t even get the appointment without a referral. If you somehow managed to get in without it, you may be turned away. Your insurance provider needs to know that your primary care physician approved the visit to your Rheumatologist to cover it.

Know Medical History: It might be routine by now, but make sure you are fully aware of your medical history. Prepare as many details as possible so that your Rheumatologist can be certain of what you may or may not have as a genetic predisposition. This can point them in the right direction before you even start.

Consider All Symptoms: You don’t want to leave out anything that you may be experiencing on a day-to-day basis. If necessary, write down everything that you experience so that you are prepared to share it with your Rheumatologist. There is no such thing as being too thorough or excessive when it comes to your health. Be ready to tell them as much as you can to get the treatment necessary.

Prepare Questions: You may plan to ask your doctor a series of questions of your own, but forgetting them when you arrive is very common. Write the questions down, and be prepared to ask them when the time comes. You may already have the answer when your Rheumatologist asks if you have any questions, but at least you know you did what you could.

Drink Lots of Water: If you are like the average person, when you leave the house, you use the restroom and try to stay away from too many fluids to prevent the need to use it while you’re out. Your Rheumatologist will ask for a urine sample. Drinking plenty of fluids will make it, so you’re capable of producing urine while in the office.

Don’t Worry

What might feel like a scary experience is actually something that you should be excited about. You are visiting your Rheumatologist because of the pain you are experiencing. It is their job to make it go away. View your trip as the next step to enjoying your life.

Don’t hold off any longer. Ask your primary care physician for a referral to a Rheumatologist today. You will thank yourself tomorrow. 

St Paul Rheumatology