Studies have shown that people with rheumatoid arthritis who see a rheumatologist regularly (several times a year) do better than people who visit erratically or not at all. The first step is finding one!
Your primary care doctor can refer you to a rheumatologist. If you like your doctor and have a good relationship, chances are good you'll get along with the rheumatologist your doctor recommends.
You may be able to see a rheumatologist directly without a referral; check your insurance plan...
The Arthritis Foundation is a national not-for-profit group that provides a wealth of information and support for all types of arthritis, including RA. On the web site, you can learn more about rheumatoid arthritis, review the latest studies, and even find support with others who have RA.
American College of Rheumatology
The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) is a prominent organization of physicians, scientists, and health care experts. On the ACR site, you can find information on the latest educational programs, topical research, and recommended medications. There is also a section for patients that explains rheumatic diseases and conditions, with special support for caregivers.
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
NCCAM, part of the National Institutes of Health, provides a wealth of insight, information, and research on complementary and alternative medicines. On the NCCAM site, you’ll find cutting-edge information, including the truth or hype, on topics such as acupuncture, botanicals, and supplements.
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), part of the National Institutes of Health, is a large group of professionals that support ongoing research in arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases. On the NIAMS site, there’s a wealth of self-help information on topics ranging from arthritis, back pain, and gout, to knee problems, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.