A rheumatologist is a doctor who specialises in the diagnosis and medical treatment of joint, muscle and bone disorders. Your GP will usually refer you to a rheumatologist to confirm your diagnosis and for treatment.

Because early diagnosis and correct treatment can reduce the impact of rheumatoid arthritis, people with symptoms of the condition should visit a rheumatologist as soon as possible.

Your rheumatologist will probably start you on medicine to slow down the disease and reduce pain, and may suggest certain types of physical therapies. Because every person's rheumatoid arthritis is different, your rheumatologist will probably select different treatments over time to find the best one for you.

Your GP may recommend a rheumatologist. You can also find a rheumatologist at the Australian Rheumatology Association website.

At first, you will probably see the rheumatologist every two to three weeks.  After that  you should visit about every three months, depending on your treatment.