My role at Rush is multifaceted, and I find that above all I’m a patient advocate. I like to be able to be the person that the rheumatology patients come to for advice for all of their medical problems. I think it’s very important for me to be able to empathize with the effect that the disease has on their overall life.
I always encourage my patients to learn as much about their condition as they can. And any questions that arise while they’re researching on the Internet or reading a book or talking to another friend, I urge them to bring it in and discuss with me. We also urge our patients to join support groups and join specific disease groups that are provided through the American College of Rheumatology.
Thinking of the patient as a patient and not a disease and being able to tailor one patient’s treatment very differently than another is really the art of rheumatology.