Rheumatologist number two is the winner. He is fantastic! And I am so grateful to have a caring and knowledgable doctor in my corner. Here’s why I think he’s so great:

1. The appointment started in his office, then moved to the exam room later. (Previous Rheumy kept me in hospital gown and on exam table where my feet didn’t touch the ground for entire appointment!)
2. He spent a solid hour with me.
3. He answered every question without condescending and with just enough detail.
4. He was so careful about the physical exam – both by being thorough and by making sure he didn’t hurt me.
5. He seemed to enjoy showing me the details from my hand & foot xrays.
6. I asked for two more tests – one blood test (for celiac) and one x-rays of my knees. He agreed 100% with both ideas.
7. He seemed to expect me to participate in decisions regarding meds and treatment plans. Normally I have to push for that. Happy to be on the same wavelength!
8. I like that he seems to be a bit of a rebel.
9. I love that he understood how important my career is to me, and encouraged me to continue.

However, I am concerned about what seem to be a couple of downsides.

1. DMARDs (Plaquenil) have begun, since we now have definitive diagnosis based on x-rays and additional blood tests. He downplayed the possibility of any eye-related toxicity. But instead, I wish he would have sent me to an opthamologist for baseline field of vision tests. This means I will have to stay on top of side effects and options with a lot of detail, although I suspect I would have done that anyway. I’m planning to call his office and ask for an order since I already made the opthamologist appointment.

2. He’s older than me, which means at some point he will stop practicing. But I’ll just cross that bridge when I come to it …

Bottom line … I’m happy. So far, so good!