Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Font Size
A
A
A

Find the Right Doctor to Treat Your RA

It’s best to see a doctor who knows rheumatoid arthritis, inside and out. Ideally, you should see a rheumatologist -- a specialist in arthritis and related conditions.

If you can’t see a rheumatologist for all your RA care, look for one who will partner with your regular doctor. You will still need to see the rheumatologist occasionally, but your primary care doctor may handle your day-to-day treatment.

Recommended Related to Rheumatoid Arthritis

What to Know About RA Test Results

Your ankles ache and your fingers are stiff and swollen. Could it be rheumatoid arthritis (RA)? Tests may provide a clue. Doctors diagnose RA based largely on your medical history and a physical exam. You may also get lab tests, including the following.

Read the What to Know About RA Test Results article > >

If it’s just not possible to see a rheumatologist, look for a primary care doctor who treats many people with RA.

How Do They Treat RA?

It’s important to treat your RA early to prevent joint damage. You need a doctor who is experienced in prescribing medicines to do that, even if your condition is mild now.

If you can't see a rheumatologist, then look for a doctor who has that know-how or who will work closely with someone who does.

Are You Comfortable Talking to Your Doctor?

It’s simple: You need to be able to tell your doctor what’s going on, and he should be able to communicate clearly to support you.

Your doctor should also help you better understand your RA, what to expect from treatment, and what complementary treatments might help or hurt your condition.

How Responsive Is He?

To make the best match, also think about:

  • The office staff. Are they considerate and helpful? Do they return your calls promptly? Because your time with your doctor may be limited, find out if your doctor works with other people who can help answer some of your questions.
  • Access. Can you get an appointment on short notice if you have an RA flare? How soon will the doctor return your calls or reply to your emails?

If you have a doctor who doesn't have all of the traits you would like, you may be able to improve the situation. Tell them how you feel, and ask for what you need.

If you are still unhappy, look for another doctor. Check with organizations such as the Arthritis Foundation or American College of Rheumatology for names of rheumatologists in your area. Ask your primary care doctor or friends.

Ask questions such as:

  • Is the doctor part of a group, or does he/she work independently?
  • Can I see the doctor of my choice, or must I see the first available doctor?
  • How long is the average wait for an appointment?
  • Does the doctor offer evening or weekend appointments?

Once you narrow your choices, make appointments to talk with each of your top choices. It will take some time and effort. But it's worth it to find a doctor who's a good fit for you.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David Zelman, MD on November 18, 2015

Today on WebMD

rubbing hands
Avoid these 6 common mistakes.
mature couple exercising
Decrease pain, increase energy.
 
mature woman threading needle
How much do you know?
hands
Swelling, fatigue, pain, and more.
 
Lucille Ball
Slideshow
Hand bones X-ray
Article
 
prescription pills
Article
Woman massaging her neck
Quiz
 
woman roasting vegetables in oven
Slideshow
Woman rubbing shoulder
Slideshow
 
doctor and patient hand examination
Video
arthritis
Article