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Why is Rheumatology important?

Joint complaints account for 10% of visits to primary care physicians. Musculoskeletal disorders are the leading cause of disability in the United States and account for more than 50% of chronic conditions in patients over the age of 50. The economic burden of musculoskeletal disease both in direct health care costs and indirect costs through lost wages is estimated to be $950 billion dollars annually. Multidisciplinary patient care and patient-focused research is urgently needed to improve quality of life and clinical outcomes in patients with rheumatic disease.

Autoimmune diseases affect the joints, bones and muscles and can sometimes cause inflammation in other internal organs such as the kidneys, lungs, blood vessels and brain. Treatment of these complex multisystem diseases requires physicians trained in Rheumatology. GW Rheumatology offers clinical training to medical students, residents and fellows wishing to learn more about caring for patients with rheumatic diseases and research opportunities for trainees interested in learning about rheumatology research.