Rheumatologist Job Description

Rheumatologist Job Description, Skills, and Salary

Are you searching for a rheumatologist job description? Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a rheumatologist. Feel free to use our job description template to produce your own. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a rheumatologist.


Who is a Rheumatologist?

A rheumatologist is a medical practitioner who specializes in the treatment of disease, and disorders of muscle, bones, joints, and other tissues of the body. They are usually trained to diagnose and treat conditions or illnesses such as scleroderma, lupus, arthritis, fibromyalgia, autoimmune disease, and others. Rheumatologists are responsible for diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal and rheumatic diseases.

Rheumatologist work so hard to make people’s lives better and they spend most of their time in outpatient facility monitoring and undertaking investigations such as plain x-rays and other ultrasound scans. The more a patient becomes educated about his or her condition, the more the demand for a rheumatologist becomes high. This is a result of the fact that they need someone that will update them about their disease. A rheumatologist must therefore be an excellent communicator that can interpret things or information from patients. There are complex terminologies that a patient cannot understand without the help of a rheumatologist. They must be able to provide the adequate support and guidance a patient need in the course of their treatment.

Rheumatologists must also know how to work with other specialists in the field to provide more patient care. For instance, rheumatologists can work with orthopedic surgeons to assist them in treating patients with joint problems. They may also need to work together with cardiologists to assist diagnose heart conditions in patients with arthritis.

The rheumatologist also maximizes the use of technology in healthcare to communicate with patients and pass information to patients very easily. They take advantage of technology by using it to enhance their career. They achieve this by utilizing electronic medical records or also maximizing the online patient portals to communicate effectively with patients. They may also use social media to make further research or to work with professionals to unearth the latest trend in the field.


Rheumatologist Job Description

What is a rheumatologist job description? A rheumatologist job description is simply a list of duties and responsibilities of a rheumatologist in an organization. Below are the rheumatologist job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a rheumatologist job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.

The following are the duties and responsibilities of a rheumatologist and they are:

  • Prescribing prescriptions to treat conditions such as arthritis or Lupus
  • Performing physical examinations, including taking x-rays and MRIs as needed to diagnose conditions
  • Conducting biopsies to remove tissue samples for analysis by a pathologist or other specialist
  • Delivering consultations to other physicians regarding difficult cases that they are unable to diagnose or treat
  • Diagnosing patients with rheumatic diseases such as rheumatoid, arthritis, systemic lupus, erythematosus, Sjogren’s syndrome, scleroderma, and osteoarthritis
  • Accomplishing clinical research to advance the understanding of rheumatic disease
  • Inferring patients to other specialists when appropriate to help them manage their conditions
  • Stipulating medications to treat rheumatic disease and other conditions that cause inflammation in the body
  • Instructing patients how to manage their conditions, work with another physician on a treatment plan, and prevent flare-ups of their disease from occurring
  • Constructing tailored treatment plans
  • Evaluating joint-related conditions
  • Assessing lab results and other advanced tests
  • Giving recommendations for treatments
  • Notifying on further examinations



A professional rheumatologist needs to have the following qualification:

Education: Rheumatologists usually need to complete a residency and a medical school program. The first step they embark on is to enroll for a bachelor’s degree in pre-medicine, biology, or any other course that is medically related. In the course of their undergraduate degree, they are expected to complete the coursework that is a requisite for medical school.

After completing their undergraduate degree, prospective rheumatologists are expected to attend medical school. Medical school is usually a four-year program that includes classroom, clinical experience, and laboratory instruction. During their final two years, students are expected to complete rotations in diverse medical specialties which also includes rheumatology.

Training & Experience: After completing medical school, a rheumatologist has to also complete a residency program.  The duration of the residency program is three years and it helps doctors to acquire experience in a clinical setting. In course of a residency, a rheumatologist will learn how to treat and diagnose patients and also how to manage patient care. After they have completed their residency, they will also have to complete their medical fellowship. In the course of the fellowship, a rheumatologist will get to learn how to diagnose and treat patients with severe conditions such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. They will also get to learn how to manage a patient’s care and how to collaborate with other medical professionals.

Certifications & Licenses; after completing their residency, they are required to get licensed by passing the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) to be able to practice legally. They must also possess a medical license which can be applied through the state medical board.

Acquiring certifications is also very important because it will boast their job prospects and they can acquire certifications such as American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Certification, American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) general pediatrics certification, and ABP pediatric rheumatology specialization.


Essential Skills

  • Communication Skills: Rheumatologists must be able to effectively communicate with patients, medical professionals, and other medical staff to achieve their goals in an organization. They must utilize their communication skills to explain complex medical concepts such as medical conditions, treatment options, and prognosis to patients. They also need to employ their communication skills to answer patient questions and explain how the medical procedure will be applied to a medical condition.
  • Medical Knowledge: Rheumatologistsneed to possess very extensive medical knowledge about how to treat and manage rheumatic disease. They must be able to comprehend the current medical research and treatment procedures for these conditions. They must also know how to apply this research to medical conditions. This knowledge is highly vital because it provides patients with the most effective treatment.
  • Empathy: Empathy has to do with the ability to grasp someone’s feelings or emotions and in this case, it is the ability to understand and share a patient’s feelings or emotions. Rheumatologist often employs their empathy skills to understand what is wrong with a patient and the best treatment option to apply. They usually employ this empathy skill to make patients feel comfortable and at ease during the treatment process.
  • Problem-solving skills; Rheumatologistsutilize problem-solving skills to discover solutions to complex problems that a patient health issues, they need to employ these skills to aid a patient in managing his or her condition, reduce pain and enhance their quality of life.
  • Organization: Rheumatologists have to be very much more to manage multiple tasks or complex tasks. They need to arrange their schedules as expected especially their appointment with patients. They need to be very organized to be able to deliver their workload as expected and also provide patients with the appropriate care they need.
  • Diagnostic: this skill is very much important throughout the career of a rheumatologist. They need to employ their general and specific diagnostic abilities to become successful. They can treat and diagnose illnesses such as autoimmune and musculoskeletal conditions.
  • Critical-thinking:  they need to utilize their critical thinking abilities to make logical extrapolations with it. This skill is very much important because it helps rheumatologist to perform their day-to-day responsibilities. Critical thinking is utilized to diagnose potential conditions and also prescribe the best treatment plans for these conditions.
  • Attention to detail: this skill is very crucial because it helps a rheumatologist to be very focused when performing a task. When you are performing a diagnosis or testing patients, you must be very focused to avoid mistakes. It is also very crucial to also know how to apply the specific amounts of medication in a particular location in a patient’s body.


How to Become a Rheumatologist

  • Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

The first step to becoming a rheumatologist is to acquire a bachelor’s degree in an accredited university or college. Most aspiring candidates apply directly to medical school after or during their undergraduate program. There are no specific criteria for a medical school but the bachelor’s degree program has to be science-based and it must relate to medicine. The normal require GPA to enroll in a medical school is 3.00 GPA so that the candidate can flow well in the course of the degree.

  • Apply to the Medical School

The next step is to apply for a medical school program which the duration is usually four years. The first two years involve classroom learning while the next two years of clinical experience with different doctoral specialties. Most of the accredited medical schools in the United States and Canada are represented by the American Association of Medical College. Before you apply for medical school, you must enroll for the Medical College Admission Test offered by the AAMC. This evaluates the potential of a medical student based on their analytical, problem-solving abilities and knowledge of scientific concepts. They usually give preference to candidates with high scores. The medical school also considers the following; Prerequisite, field experience, research experience, and letter of recommendation.

  • Get Your State License

While your residency is still ongoing, you can process your application for a medical license. Make sure you meet the minimum requirements issued by your state medical board so that your application can be approved. You will need to renew your license as time goes on to meet up with the state board’s guidelines.

  • Complete residency

A prospective rheumatologist needs to complete a three-year internal medicine residency. Rheumatology belongs to the sub-specialty of internal medicine. Acquiring a residency will expose you to the experience you need and you need to also work under a supervisor which is usually a physician to acquire new skills and also get the feedback you need.

  • Join a Fellowship

You will be required to join a fellowship in rheumatology. This is a two and three years program that builds knowledge and skills in rheumatology. The fellowship training involves training a rheumatologist for one or two years. In the concluding part of the fellowship, you will work with patients and you will not be highly supervised. You can also undergo a fellowship to treat various illness that affects anatomical systems.

  • Seek Employment

The best way to get a rheumatologist job opening is to browse rheumatologist opportunities that are close to you or you can relocate to an area with a lot of job opportunities. Before you apply for a job; ensure that you thoroughly check out the job description mentioned in the vacancy. Draft your resume and attach it with a cover letter to apply for open job positions.


Where to Work as a Rheumatologist

Rheumatologists can work in a variety of settings such as clinics, hospitals, private offices, and outpatient care. Their work schedule is usually full-time which is more than 40 hours per week but they can work for extended periods if the need arises. Rheumatologists can work with other healthcare professionals, such as therapists to provide the best care for their patients. Rheumatologists can also be involved in conducting research and they can also lecture in medical school.


Rheumatologist Salary Scale

The salary of a rheumatologist varies across different countries and below are some countries:

  • In the United States, Rheumatologists make $299,669 per year on average or $144.07 per hour. The salary varies based on the location of the rheumatologist. The average rheumatology salary in New York is $198,333 per year or $102 per hour. Entry-level positions start their career at $30,000 per year while most competent workers make up to $275,000 per year. The average rheumatology salary in Mississippi is $275,000 per year or $141 per hour. Entry-level positions start their career  at $40,000 per year while most professional workers make up to $300,000 per year
  • In the United Kingdom, The average rheumatology salary in the United Kingdom is £43,703 per year or £22.41 per hour. Entry-level positions start their career at £34,628 per year while most skilled workers make up to £91,428 per year.
  • In Canada, The average rheumatologist’s salary in Canada is $232,500 per year or $119 per hour. Entry-level positions start their career at $160,597 per year, while most skilled workers make up to $274,383 per year.
  • In Ireland, A person working as a Physician – Rheumatology in Ireland typically earns around 108,000 EUR per year. Salaries range from 53,100 EUR (lowest) to 169,000 EUR (highest). This is the average yearly salary including housing, transport, and other benefits.
  • In India, The average rheumatologist’s gross salary in India is ₹26,69,103, or an equivalent hourly rate of ₹1,283.

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