Time for a little Rheumatology revision. In this article Dr Mariam Al-Attar, one of our M4RD Clinical Ambassadors, explains why she’s interested in Rheumatology. Plus you can have a look at a revision tool that she has created about small vessel vasculitis. Thank you to Mariam and the lovely team at Vasculitis UK who she consulted with in the making of this revision tool.
Mariam is a Foundation Programme Doctor at Manchester Foundation Trust and the winner of The Student Voice Essay Competition 2017. Check out a previous article she wrote about her fantastic essay in which she followed the journey of two sisters with a rare disease in their battle to get treatment. Please also take the time to visit Vasculitis UK who have a wealth of resources including up-to-date clinical guidelines. This is a website worth bookmarking!
During my time in medical school, I witnessed first-hand how neglected rare diseases can be. This particularly struck me about rheumatology, which is considered by most to be quite a niche speciality, and therefore perhaps “not worth” spending a lot of time on, as it is less likely to come up in exams.
I do also understand, however, that it is often difficult to know where to start, particularly when there is a vast amount to learn in a limited time. I was therefore inspired to create a ‘Rheumatology for Finals’ series, focusing on the rarer conditions which can be more difficult to get to grips with, but nonetheless do crop up in exams (and real life!)
I have started with a resource on small vessel vasculitis, which I hope you will find beneficial. Creating this and working alongside a lead consultant in the field also made me aware of how outdated some of our education is surrounding rheumatological diseases. Although advances have been made, much of the older understanding and terminology remains in common usage. This resource therefore incorporates updated terms and definitions, as well as old, for ease of understanding and to try to facilitate transition. Watch this space for more in the Rheumatology for Finals series!