A rheumatologist is a type of physician who specializes in treatment of problems related to the muscles, bones and joints of people. Additionally, a rheumatologist may deal with immune system-related problems, though this is usually the case when these problems have affected any of the above systems. A rheumatologist first assesses the situation of a patient, evaluating any problems that are troubling them at the moment – and then designs an appropriate course of treatment which can be used to eliminate the problems in the most efficient manner.
Becoming a rheumatologist follows the same path most other physicians do – it starts with a 4-year Bachelor’s degree which then needs to be followed by a 4-year education at medical school – and then the candidate typically also needs to obtain some extra licensing in order to be fully qualified for practicing the job. After the licensing process, there’s also a residency program which is the last requirement before being allowed to practice (or in some states, second to last as candidates also need to go through a fellowship).
A rheumatologist can earn a lot per year, similarly to other positions in the medical field – the average annual salary is between $125,000 – $180,000, and the job tends to offer great prospects for developing one’s career in general. Additionally, rheumatologists see a good degree of clients on a regular basis and can enjoy a steady employment throughout the time they occupy the post.