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3 Tips for Your First Rheumatologist Visit

Going to the rheumatologist for the first time can be a nerve-wracking experience. You’ve likely been dealing with a few symptoms for a long period of time, and either your primary care doctor or another medical professional has referred you to a rheumatic diseases catonsville specialist. A rheumatologist is uniquely equipped to diagnose and treat patients who have autoimmune conditions and other diseases that affect their patients’ joints. On your first visit to your new rheumatologist, remember the following three tips to get the most out of your visit.

1. Bring Pertinent Medical Records

This tip can’t be stressed enough: When visiting a new doctor, bring any documents you think will help the doctor arrive at a diagnosis. This includes blood tests, X-rays, and other scans you may have had along your diagnosis journey. 

2. Ask Lots of Questions

What is your diagnosis? Will you need to see other doctors? What type of medication will you have to take, and for how long? All of these are great questions for your first rheumatologist visit. When dealing with a rheumatic disease, your condition will have many ups and downs and you will need to communicate specifically with your doctor about new symptoms as soon as they pop up.

3. Discuss Follow-Up Care 

At the end of your appointment, your new doctor will probably discuss what to expect long-term. If he or she diagnoses you with rheumatoid arthritis, for example, you may be expected to start on a trial of medication before coming back for a follow-up visit in a few weeks. 

Your circumstances have changed due to your new diagnosis, but not all of these changes will be bad or hard to manage. Once you find the right rheumatologist, work on establishing a long-term relationship with great communication as this doctor will likely be in your life for a while.