A subspecialty of internal medicine that involves the non-surgical evaluation and treatment of the rheumatic diseases and conditions. Rheumatic diseases and conditions are characterized by symptoms involving the musculoskeletal system. Many of the rheumatic diseases and conditions feature immune system abnormalities. Therefore, rheumatology also involves the study of the immune system. Classical rheumatology training includes 4 years of medical school, 1 year of internship in internal medicine, 2 years of internal medicine residency, and 2 years of rheumatology fellowship. There is a subspecialty board for rheumatology certification. The American College of Rheumatology is the official organization acting on behalf of the field of rheumatology in the United States.
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The medical specialty concerned with the study, diagnosis, and treatment of rheumatic conditions. [G. rheuma, flux, + logos, study]

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rheu·ma·tol·o·gy .rü-mə-'täl-ə-jē, .ru̇m-ə- n, pl -gies a medical science dealing with rheumatic diseases
rheu·ma·to·log·ic -tə-'läj-ik or rheu·ma·to·log·i·cal -i-kəl adj

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the medical specialty concerned with the diagnosis and management of disease involving joints, tendons, muscles, ligaments, and associated structures. See also physical medicine.

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rheu·ma·tol·o·gy (roo″mə-tolґə-je) the branch of medicine dealing with rheumatic disorders, their causes, pathology, diagnosis, treatment, etc.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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