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Rheumatologists are doctors who investigate, diagnose, manage and rehabilitate patients with disorders of the musculoskeletal system such as the locomotor apparatus, bone and soft connective tissues.

Training and qualifications required

Training usually starts with a five year first degree in medicine. 2 year foundation doctor training, 2 year core medical training and 5 year specialist training (ST3-7). This period of training will include your royal college exams. Length of training can vary according to your circumstances.

Expected working hours and salary range

Doctors may work up to 48 hours a week. The working hours may sometimes extend beyond the normal working day to include early mornings, evenings and weekends. On call possible. Pay scales (2017): Consultants earn between £76,761 and £103,490.

Desirable skills and values

For this role you'll have a broad knowledge of general medicine which will aid your good diagnostic skills. You'll also have an empathetic approach for patients with long-term conditions. Your good management skills within a multidisciplinary team are essential, as are your good communication skills.


There are 572 consultants in rheumatology in England in 2016. Opportunities exist for research and teaching
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