What Role Rheumatology?

Sanford H. Roth, MD
Arch Intern Med. 1982;142(1):27. doi:10.1001/archinte.1982.00340140029007.
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Rothschild's editorial (p 26) directly identifies the generally poor training and limited interest of primary care practitioners toward the complaints of their patients about arthritis. The problem is not a new one. It dates back to the time of Osler, who reportedly claimed "when the arthritic comes in the front door, the doctor wants to go out the back door." Despite the nihilistic attitude reflected, paradoxically, it is now rheumatoid arthritis and related crippling disorders that are the chief cause of disability and work time loss in the United States. Is the answer then, as Rothschild suggests, to train a corps of practicing practitioners by bringing them back to educational institutions for six months to a year to correct this problem? I think not. Although Stross and Bole1 have described a four-month program at the University of Michigan Arthritis Center, Ann Arbor, for such a purpose, they realistically have


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