RISE IN ARTHRITIS SPURS CALL FOR MORE RHEUMATOLOGISTS
The Arthritis Society investments designed to attract next generation of rheumatologists
TORONTO - In a report released yesterday, the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences drew attention to the
urgent and growing need for more rheumatologists to meet the needs of the rising number of
people with arthritis.
As many as 1 million Canadians will need to see a rheumatologist at some point in their lives
and at present there are fewer than 350 rheumatologists in the country. Further complicating
the matter is the fact that many of these specialists are due to retire within the next decade.
Tremendous advances have been made in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in the past 20
years. The introduction of biologics and other treatment options has radically improved quality
of life for people living with inflammatory diseases, but those treatments are most effective if
the disease is identified early and intervention begins before serious damage to the joints can
“If wait times to see a rheumatologist get longer, more people will be forced to live with
unnecessary and debilitating pain, inflammation and irreversible joint damage,” said Janet Yale,
president and CEO of The Arthritis Society. “It doesn’t have to be that way.”
The Arthritis Society is working with members of the Canadian arthritis community to invest in
the recruitment and development of the next generation of rheumatologists.
“We spend up to $1 million per year providing a wide range of programs such as grants,
knowledge transfer projects and young professionals’ workshops,” explained Yale. “Our goal is
to attract Canada’s best and brightest medical students to the field of rheumatology, and help
ensure that Canadians living with arthritis will continue to be supported by a community of
clinicians and researchers that is truly world-class.”