We are experiencing exceptionally high volumes in our emergency rooms.
Every patient is important to us, and we are doing all we can to provide care quickly and efficiently.
Skip to main content
Go to homepage

Print Page

Health Care Providers: Rheumatologists

What Is Rheumatology?

Rheumatology (roo-muh-TOL-uh-jee) is the medical specialty that diagnoses and treats problems of the joints, muscles, ligaments, and tendons.

What Is a Rheumatologist?

A rheumatologist (roo-muh-TOL-uh-jist) is a doctor who diagnoses and treats problems that affect joints, muscle, bones, and tendons that can cause pain, swelling, and stiffness. Many of these problems are due to autoimmune diseases (when the immune system mistakenly attacks the body and causes symptoms or damage).

Why Would Someone Need One?

Rheumatologists treat autoimmune diseases such as:

They also treat people who have:

What Is Their Training?

A rheumatologist's training typically includes:

  • 4 years of pre-medical education at a college or university
  • 4 years of medical school — a medical degree (MD) or doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO) degree
  • 3 years of training in an internal medicine or pediatric residency or a combined internal medicine/pediatric residency. 
  • 2–3 years of training in an adult or pediatric rheumatology fellowship. A “fellow” is a doctor who had more specialty training after completing medical school and a residency.

Good to Know

Autoimmune disorders are usually chronic (long-lasting) and can affect many body parts. To provide the best care, rheumatologists often work with primary care physicians, immunologists, occupational therapists, neurologists, and other medical specialists.

Reviewed by: KidsHealth Medical Experts
Date Reviewed: Sep 5, 2022

Lea este articulo en Español

What next?

Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
There are 10 nurses in the picture.

And we have many more pediatric primary care providers in Northeast Ohio. You can meet some of them here.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The five differences are:
– Phone color
– Coat pocket
– Stethoscope earpiece color
– Stethoscope bell dot
– Clipboard paper color

Need help finding a doctor, choosing a location or getting a general question about Akron Children's answered? Call us or fill out the form and we'll help in any way we can.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The two matching doctors are 9 and 14.

With virtual visits, you can see our pediatric experts from the comfort of home or wherever you are.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The correct path:
The Correct Path
We offer many ways to get pediatric care all over Northeast Ohio. Use this page to find the right kind of care and the most convenient location for you.