Professor Bridget Hodkinson
Rheumatologists are physicians specialised in diagnosing and treating joint problems, particularly inflammatory joint disorders, and auto-immune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus. I have worked and trained in the field of musculoskeletal diseases for 15 years, researching, in particular, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus and osteoarthritis. Treating patients with chronic illnesses, such as arthritis, in an outpatient setting attracted me from an early stage in my career. As a medical student I discovered that rheumatologists have the opportunity to establish long-term relationships with their patients, and can change patients’ lives not only by developing excellent clinical examination skills, applying diagnostic reasoning, and prescribing therapies based on current evidence, but also by interacting with a multidisciplinary team to motivate and support patients as they lead their daily lives.