Rheumatology is a specialty that deals with a group of conditions collectively called "rheumatic or musculo-skeletal diseases".
The term covers over 200 conditions affecting joints, bones, soft tissues and muscles. Arthritis is the biggest cause of physical disability in the UK. More than half of the six million physically disabled adults in Britain are disabled by a musculo-skeletal disease and 15% of all people consulting their GP have a disease of the locomotor system.
Arthritis and rheumatism is the most frequent self-reported long¬standing condition in Britain. Some of the conditions are very common, for example osteoarthritis, back pain and rheumatoid arthritis, while others are rarer and more exotic - systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic sclerosis or vasculitis.
The multi-system nature of many of the conditions provides the opportunity to keep in touch with all medical and surgical specialties while at the same time working in a very specialised field.
Essential qualifications include MB ChB, MRCP and a wide experience in General Medicine with a minimum of two years at SHO level. Desirable qualifications include some research experience or higher degree.
- Ability to work in a clinical team and to understand the multi-disciplinary nature of the specialty
- Flexible approach to service development
- A will to understand the psycho-social impact of chronic incurable disabling conditions to the individual patient
- Ability to keep up with recent developments in biomedical research
- Some manual dexterity and technical skills