Different "Rheumy" at every appointment.

I keep reading on here about people have a "relationship" with their Rheumatologist or Rheumy nurse and how important it can be. I was diagnosed with either RA or PsA in September and was seen by the Consultant Rheumatologist who quickly explained what I probably suffering from and that I would have a steroid injection and then be put on Mtx. At the next appointment I saw a very nice Rheumy nurse who explained things in more detail and prescribed the Mtx (15mg). At the next appointment I saw a different doctor who although being very nice just asked me how I was getting on and to keep taking the Meds but maybe up the Folic acid because of stomach issues. I am going for another appointment on Monday and I am expecting to see a different person. I am being treated at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital and when I arrive for the appointment there seems to be about 6 to 8 doctors or nurses dealing with appointments and when it is your turn you appear to see whoever is available.

I must say that everyone I have seen appears to be very competent and helpful but it is impossible to have a rapport with any of them for obvious reasons. Does anyone else have this dilemma?

Just for the record the bad areas for me are my hands and wrists, especially wrists, my right ankle which stops me walking for more than 100 yards and some pain in my left Achilles. The swelling has gone right down and I think my indicators are pretty good but it is still very painful. I used to love playing darts but that is now impossible because of the wrist pain, hopefully I will be able to play again one day.

12 Replies

  • Could be that the N&N is a teaching hospital. I know that I saw a different endo every time I had an appointment when I had Graves Disease. They obviously have to learn somewhere but like you say you don't end up with a relationship with any of them which is a pity. On the other hand as someone pointed out after my first appointment when I wasn't wildly keen on the guy I saw 'Oh don't worry about that - you'll never see him again' and she was so right, I never did. So it has its advantages I suppose. Y could be stuck with some you don't like, it also worked the other way, I had one lady and guy I really liked and I never saw either of them again :(

  • I only see my rheumy once a year .Just had my yearly checkup and he was a different doctor from the last time.Have been referred to pain clinic so may get more one on one from that department and manage to actually get to no them.I find it very difficult when I see a different doctor every time as they no nothing about me or my problems. Hope you manage to get sorted. X happy new year

  • I know what you mean. I was living abroad when I was diagnosed at a diagnostic clinic but thereafter saw the same Consultant every three months. It was a surprise to me when I first saw my Rheumy in the UK & I was told I'd only see her once a year & one of her Registrars at 6 months. I do have the option of contacting Rheumy nurses here but I had been used to the option of contacting my Rheumy, on his mobile! The confidence in treatment & care is quite different I've found, previously any changes were quickly acted upon & all my joints were checked which has meant a big difference for me as my feet have suffered not being included in examinations.

    I suppose if you've not known any different it's easier but still I'd prefer to see the same person each time, I think continuation of care is important & certainly makes it easier to form a good professional relationship. ;)

  • I almost wish that I could go through a rotation of rheumatologists like that! Certainly the ability to build a rapport is important, but when you're stuck with one rheumatologist that you don't like and have no real prospects for a different rheumatologist, it feels more like jail. I think communication is probably as necessary as consistency! :)

  • Completely agree Karen I'm stuck with a locum consultant and specialist nurse here in East Sussex- neither of whom I have any confidence in 😩

  • Is there not a possibility to change rheumatologysts?

  • Here in France you are never stuck with any doctor not specialist or GP. If you are not happy you just find one that you get along with😊 The hard part ,for a foreigner is finding the doctors you want to work with😕since you really have no idea where to look!😳

  • The last time I wanted to change rheumies, it took nearly 2 years to get in to see the new one (the current one, who has rave reviews online). There are not that many rheumatologists in Ottawa, and I'm on my third. At some point it's going to look like the problem is me, though (in my defense) the first one retired!

  • Really a shame. Doctors are such important companions in this bomppy journey 😕

  • Hi, yes the N&N is a teaching hospital (I also go there). What does it say on your appt letter? They usually say 'Dr XXX's clinic' or 'Early arthritis clinic' (or whatever clinic you are attending). If you are under a particular consultant then they do have an overview of all the patients they see and after you have been there a few more times you MAY come to recognise some of the Registrars! They allocate you to particular Dr - look where they place your file next time when you go through to the second waiting area.

    They run several clinics from the same waiting room, so for example I am seeing the Biologics nurse tomorrow there and will wait in the same place as I wait to see the consultant. Hope that helps with how it works. Best wishes.

  • I have my first appointment at the same hospital on Monday. Glad to hear some positives.

  • I had a tertiary referral to a teaching hospital and saw a different doctor at every single appt.. Continuity was impossible. I felt far better off when I was discharged back to my local hospital where I always see the same consultant and the same nurse.

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