Rheumatology Expert Witnesses
Key insights on medical issues and injuries affecting the joints
Rheumatology is a medical specialty that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of diseases that affect the joints, muscles, bones, and connective tissues of the body, collectively known as rheumatic diseases or musculoskeletal diseases. Rheumatologists are physicians trained to identify the signs and symptoms of these conditions, as well as to develop and manage treatment plans to alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, and prevent joint damage.
In the United States, rheumatologists must complete a medical degree (MD or DO), followed by a three-year residency in either internal medicine or pediatrics. They must then complete a two- to three-year fellowship in rheumatology. Board Certification for rheumatologists in the United States is administered by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM).
Some examples of diseases rheumatologists treat include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Sjogren's syndrome
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Systemic sclerosis (scleroderma)
- Polymyalgia rheumatica
- Giant cell arteritis
- Lyme disease (in advanced stages)
The role of a rheumatologist as an expert witness
Rheumatologists are frequently called upon to testify in medical malpractice cases that involve misdiagnosis or mismanagement of a musculoskeletal disease. A Board-Certified rheumatologist can explain the applicable standards of care and offer their professional opinion on whether those standards were met or breached. A rheumatologist can also explain the causal relationship between malpractice and joint damage and the potential long-term prognosis for the patient.
In personal injury and workers’ compensation matters involving damage to the joints, a rheumatologist can assess and explain the extent of the patient’s injuries. Rheumatologists can also opine on the possible long-term consequences of such an injury – for example, if the patient is now at an elevated risk of developing arthritis or osteoporosis later in life.
The best in rheumatology to assist the legal community
For decades, Rieback Medical-Legal Consultants has been working with America’s leading attorneys in medical malpractice and personal injury matters. Our network includes Board-Certified specialists in adult and pediatric rheumatology who are available for consultation and trial testimony. Contact us today for a free case summary review.