Downloads2013 R1 ad - rheumatology
This page contains information on the specialty of rheumatology, one of 18 specialties participating in RCP-SRO-coordinated ST3 recruitment.
Rheumatology is an excellent career choice for those who enjoy the challenges of clinical medicine.
It offers clinical diversity and career flexibility with opportunities to develop practical skills in joint injection and musculoskeletal ultrasound.
The specialty is also ideally suited to the development of subspecialty clinical, academic or educational interests and high levels of job satisfaction are reported by UK rheumatologists.
Rheumatology - trainee characteristics
Rheumatology will suit trainees who are:
- stimulated by the challenges of diagnosis, and treatment of diverse conditions affecting a wide range of systems and age groups
- interested in the link between basic science research, disease aetiology and development of 'cutting edge' therapeutic agents
- committed and motivated to support patients with chronic disease.
Working/training in an ST3 rheumatology post
Rheumatology is one of the most exciting and varied medical specialties.
The rheumatologist relies heavily on basic clinical skills to diagnose diverse conditions ranging from regional soft tissue problems, to complex multisystem diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, connective tissue disorders and systemic vasculitis.
The clinical skills of the rheumatologist are widely respected and often called upon when faced with the most complex diagnostic challenges.
Team-based working is the norm in rheumatology, thus promoting a supportive environment for trainees.
Opportunities for diversifying training
There are numerous opportunities to develop sub-specialty interests in clinical, scientific or educational fields, and many rheumatologists become national and international leaders in each of these areas.
There are extensive opportunities for collaborative working with colleagues in primary & secondary care and the scientific community.
Most of the workload is planned outpatient and day case based, and as such lends itself to an excellent work-life balance.
ST3 rheumatology posts are competitive and attract high calibre trainees.
While prior experience in rheumatology is desirable, demonstrating a commitment to the specialty is essential.
On appointment to an ST3 post, approximately half of trainees undertake a five-year programme to dual accredit with general internal medicine (GIM).
The remainder undertake a four-year training programme in pure rheumatology.
Upon completion of training, about 70% of consultants in the UK currently practise pure rheumatology.
Rheumatology is one of the few specialties where there is still a reasonable balance between the number of trainees and the availability of consultant posts in the UK.
In summary: rheumatology offers academic stimulation, clinical diversity, excellent career prospects and a good work-life balance.
- NHS medical careers
- JRCPTB specialty page
- RCP (London), My specialty
- 2010 curriculum
- 2013 person specification