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why is it so difficult to get an appointment with a Rheumatologist?

My symptoms and blood work all point to RA. I cant get a true diagnosis or treatment because i cant get into a Dr. until December. Thoughts on surviving the pain and sleepless nights until I can get in to see the Dr? Thank you.

  1. Hi . So sorry you are having these difficulties seeing a rheumatologist and getting a diagnosis. The shortage of rheumatologist is very real, especially outside of urban areas. This article discusses the shortage and some actions being taken to try to address it: https://www.healio.com/news/rheumatology/20210212/workforce-shortage-selling-a-specialty-that-should-sell-itself. None of this, of course, helps your current situation. Sometimes it can be helpful to ask to be put on a cancellation list - to be contacted in the case of cancellation and go to an appointment on short notice. It can also be helpful if your GP would call the rheumatologist to plead your case for an expedited appointment. Has your GP prescribed any treatment for you? This article from our editorial team compiled thoughts from the community on how to get comfortable during a flare: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/10-ways-to-get-comfortable-during-a-flare-tips-from-the-ra-community. Hopefully others will have some additional thoughts. Wishing you the best. Richard (RheumatoidArthritis.net Team)

    1. Hi Richard, Thank you so much for your response. I plan on calling tomorrow and asking to be put on the cancellation list. My GP basically told me to take Advil or something equivalent as needed. I had a heart attack in 2015 and have a stent. Taking the NSAIDS make me a bit nervous especially the doses that seem to make a dent in the pain. I'm also on a baby asprin regiment which adds to NSAID balancing act. I plan on calling my cardiologist to get his take, ask if he could recommend a recommend a rheumatologist and then see if he can try and get me in sooner than later. Thank you again for your response, Nice to be able to reach out and get advice from others living with RA. Stay healthy. Chase

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