Rheumatology: A week in the life of a rheumatologist 

What do you do? and what is a typical week for you? 

I am a consultant in rheumatology and general internal medicine in Liverpool University Teaching Hospitals. I am lucky to have a very varied job plan. A typical week for me looks like this: On Monday I am usually on-call for rheumatology referrals. In the morning I will spend time reviewing the GP referrals to our department and triaging them, along with the referrals from the Royal hospital. In the afternoon I have an outpatient clinic, were I see general rheumatology patients. On Tuesdays I have a general clinic in the morning and then will do my admin from clinics during the afternoon, which includes signing letters and actioning results. I may also drive to the Royal Hospital to see inpatients. On Wednesdays I spent the day in Ambulatory care in Aintree Hospital. I will often see rheumatology patients during my time on the unit. On Thursdays I do an urgent rheumatology clinic in the Royal Hospital and then will spend time doing acute medicine in the afternoon. That might be a post take ward round, or a session on GPEAU. On Fridays I will catch up with my emails and other admin, and I also often lecture at the university of Liverpool or teach medical students on the unit.  

What qualifications and experience do you have? 

I have a medical degree from the University of Sheffield and have completed my postgraduate training in rheumatology and general medicine. This included foundation training, medical training and then registrar training in rheumatology. As part of this I did MRCP and the exit exam in rheumatology. I also have a PGCE in medical education. 

What’s the most interesting aspect of your job?  

I like how varied my job is. Its enjoyable being able to teach medical students and be involved in their education. I enjoy the acute medicine aspect of my job as its rewarding to be able to manage acutely unwell patients, but I also enjoy the relationships I build with my long-term patients in my rheumatology outpatient clinics. I feel I have the best of both worlds in my job plan.  

What one piece of advice would you give to someone seeking a career in rheumatology? 

You want to make sure that rheumatology is right for you by trying to get experience in it. This could be through getting study leave to attend rheumatology clinics, or getting a rotation in it. If you already know you want a career in rheumatology, you want to make yourself as competitive as possible by participating in teaching, audits and quality improvement projects.  

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