There’s always a continuity of relationship going on with patients with rheumatologic illnesses. It’s not usually a one-time visit. I like that continuity. I like to have a long-term relationship with my patients. I want them to think of me as just like a warm, compassionate, knowledgeable physician, not some specialist in just rheumatoid arthritis and just a lupus doctor.
I have some history myself with physical impairment and disability due to a motor vehicle accident many years ago. I certainly have had many of the complaints that my patients come to me with, and I do have a sense that they’re well aware of that. And that when they explain their pains and their discomforts and their problems in daily living to me, that I have that extra bit of empathy, coming from someone who’s walked that road.