What is a rheumatologist?

Many people use the word “rheumatism” or “arthritis” to describe a broad range of musculoskeletal conditions, and people are perhaps more familiar with what an orthopaedic surgeon does, than what a rheumatologist does, even though there is some overlap in the conditions they treat.

A rheumatologist is a medical specialist who has expertise in diagnosing and treating arthritis and related diseases. Having an accurate diagnosis means appropriate medical treatment can be initiated and this has the best chance of preventing deterioration in the individual’s health and function. Many rheumatologists also have a special interest in autoimmunity and would diagnose and manage a range of multi-system autoimmune conditions.

Examples of the conditions rheumatologists treat:

• Rheumatoid arthritis
• Osteoarthritis
• Soft tissue pathology such as tendonitis and bursitis
• Gout
• Ankylosing spondylitis
• Lupus, Sjogren’s, Scleroderma and other connective tissue diseases
• Polymyalgia rheumatica and giant cell arteritis
• Systemic vasculitis
• Fibromyalgia

Our partner rheumatologists also offer selected services such as joint aspiration and injection (arthrocentesis) and intra-articular viscosupplementation to patients who may require these. If you are not sure if a rheumatologist can help you, please do not hesitate to ask your doctor, or call our office to discuss.


Due to overwhelming demand, our network implements a triage process.

This is so that we can meet the demand based on clinical urgency and the availability of our rheumatologists. Urgent appointments are available upon request.

  • You can make an appointment email, fax, or by calling the office during working hours.
  • For new patients, please ask your referrer to send through information covering all relevant medical history and investigation results. Where there is a preference for a specific rheumatologist, we ask you to indicate so in your referral.
  • For urgent medical needs, we recommend having an early appointment to initiate the diagnostic and management process, and then we can always make arrangements to transfer care to the rheumatologist of choice.

Once we have received all the clinical information, we will make contact when the detail of the appointment is known. If there is going to be a significant delay in this process, we will contact you to discuss alternative options.