Rheumatology to BHC: A Lesson in Medical Education

by | Sep 12, 2020 | Home, ME/CFS, Provider Education

Prior to joining the team here at BHC, I worked as a rheumatologist, specializing in a host of autoimmune diseases.  Rheumatologists are often inundated with referrals for complex multisystem illness presentations, and we frequently encounter complicated patients without easily identifiable single explanations for their symptoms.

Though I had completed over nine years of medical training including four years of medical school, three years of internal medicine residency, and two additional years of rheumatology fellowship training, I NEVER ONCE learned a single useful tidbit about pathophysiology, much less the management and care, of ME/CFS.  Looking back on my rheumatology practice, I can distinctly recall certain patients who were clearly very ill but whom ultimately did not have a rheumatological autoimmune disorder for which suppression of the immune system would help their symptoms.  I would often counsel these patients that I was unsure as to their malady, but that treating them for lupus, for example, would not improve their symptoms.  Only after choosing to dedicate my career to the highly underserved ME/CFS and FM patients did I come to realize that I was seeing patients with ME/CFS in my former rheumatology practice.   

I truly believe that nearly all primary care and many subspecialist providers are seeing patients suffering with ME/CFS with some regularity.  Unfortunately, the majority of these providers have not yet received proper evidence-based medical education to equip them with the knowledge base or skills to identify or successfully manage these illnesses. 

In addition to providing exceptional patient care and participating in meaningful research projects to advance the care of patients with ME/CFS and FM, our mission includes a dedicated commitment to improving provider access to evidence-based knowledge that will help them to both identify and initially manage people with both ME/CFS and FM with regularity and accuracy.  

Move the Mark Campaign LogoIt is only through your generous support of our commitment to this tenet of our mission that we can make this possible.  Please consider a financial gift to help us continue to produce evidence-based, easily digestible material for physicians throughout the country in both primary care and subspecialty practices.  Make your gift here.