Partnering with your healthcare team

#CRArthritis Speaker’s Corner – The road to become a rheumatologist

A screen capture of Cheryl Koehn and future rheumatologist Kelsey ChomistekIn 2008, a rheumatology workforce analysis report published by the American College of Rheumatology Workforce Study Advisory Group concluded:

Based on assessment of supply and demand under current scenarios, the demand for rheumatologists is expected to exceed supply in the coming decades. Strategies for the profession to adapt to this changing health care landscape include increasing the number of fellows each year, utilizing physician assistants and nurse practitioners in greater numbers, and improving practice efficiency.

Fast forward to 2015

The 2015 ACR/ARHP Workforce Study of Rheumatology Specialists in the United States projects a shortage of 3,845 rheumatologists in the U.S. by 2025, an increase from the 2005 ACR Workforce Study, which projected a shortage of 2,576 rheumatologists. Reasons for the shortage include: Continue reading

Cold hands are one of several warning signs of Raynaud’s Phenomenon

Close up of girl wearing mittens - way to prevent Raynaud'sRaynaud’s phenomenon is a condition in which there is an exaggerated blood vessel tightening in response to cold or emotional stress, restricting blood flow to certain areas of the body – most often the fingers, but sometimes the toes, ears, or the end of the nose.

The exaggerated vascular response (tightening) in Raynaud’s phenomenon is called vasospasm, which often occur in response to cold or emotional stress. With vasospasm, the fingers turn white and cold then blue with dilated veins followed by relaxation of the vessel and normal blood flow causing a red ‘flushing’

According to a recent article published in The New England Journal of Medicine, Raynaud’s affects approximately 3 to 5 percent of the population – women are more often affected than men. Raynaud’s phenomenon occurs in two forms – primary and secondary. Primary is the most common and has no underlying cause. Secondary is when Raynaud’s phenomenon occurs in combination with another autoimmune disease like scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome or systemic lupus erythematous. The article also states that people who work with certain chemicals, like vinyl chloride, or vibrating tools like a jackhammer are also susceptible to secondary Raynaud’s. Continue reading

Employment and Arthritis: Making it Work

Making it Work LogoArthritis Research Canada would like to evaluate the effectiveness of Employment and Arthritis: Making it Work – an online eLearning program designed to help people with inflammatory arthritis stay employed. To do so, they are looking for participants to join a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the aforementioned program.

You are eligible if you meet the following requirements: Continue reading

Digital Health Technologies: Improving outcomes in paediatric chronic pain

Child and adult Hand HoldingThe Canadian Institute for the Relief of Pain and Disability (CIRPD) regularly hosts free webinars. The next one, conducted in partnership with Pain BC and the Canadian Pain Coalition, will be on Wednesday, December 9 at 9:30 am PST (12:30 pm EST). The Digital Health Technologies: Improving Outcomes in Paediatric Chronic Pain webinar will look at how the use of digital health technologies has facilitated access to appropriate and timely care.  Continue reading

Pan Am a day, ABN Photo a Day – Hiking

“Canada is a vast, scenic country that offers some of the best hiking in the world. From the ancient rainforests of British Columbia…the foothills and mountains of Alberta…the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere and the Northern Ontario wilderness…the Appalachian Trail in Gaspe…to the coastal beauty of the Eastern provinces…there are hiking trails for every skill and fitness level.” – Discover Canadian Outdoors

HikingAs a British Columbian, I am, of course sharing a picture of a hike I did with my friends at Garibaldi Lake hiking trail. This particular trial was 18 km long and took 6 hours to complete (roundtrip) – taking into consideration we took a nice dip and swim in the glacier water of Garibaldi Lake. This was a more strenuous hike but there are many other trails to discover on Parks Canada’s website.

Hiking and Arthritis

When we asked Dr. Julia Alleyne, the Chief Medical Officer for Team Canada during the 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games in Toronto, what sports she would recommend for people living with arthritis, she replied, “Any sports that involve both upper and lower extremities are good for people with arthritis. Sports with low impact on the joints such as water aerobics, aqua fitness, hiking, swimming, and golfing can be beneficial to someone living with arthritis.” Continue reading

JointHealth™ monthly – Dr. Cy Frank

Canada loses healthcare leader and arthritis patient champion

Dr. Cy Frank pictureApril’s JointHealth™ monthly celebrates the life of Dr. Cy Frank – orthopaedic surgeon, scientific researcher, teacher, mentor, entrepreneur, health-system administrator, policy maker, patient champion, and friend of many in the arthritis community.

In this JointHealth™ monthly, you will also find:

  • A chronology of Dr. Frank’s career achievements
  • Dr. Frank: Researcher and Innovator
  • A leader’s commitment to healthcare system reform and meaningful patient involvement