I met with the first rheumatologist three days before my 45th birthday. I had a positive RF test a few months earlier, and symptoms in my hands & feet for a few months before that. The rheumy, who seems like an old-school guy, says it’s most likely RA.

And then he ordered blood tests and x-rays. But it will be another two months before I can see him again.

I think it’s like a job interview … dear sir, would you be the right fit as a long-term medical partner for me?

So, I was originally planning to talk to 3 physicians/practices. Two are local – one large, one small. I had also hoped to talk with a physician/practice associated with a nearby teaching hospital.

However, our not-so-fabulous healthcare system has gotten in the way. My husband’s insurance (on which I rely) is changing to another provider in January. So I cannot use that nearby teaching hospital. Thankfully, I could try to get into the rheumys at another teaching hospital that’s further away but would still be manageable.

For now, I am proceeding only with local docs and hoping that’s okay.