Seeking a good Rheumatologist in Cambridge

JoeB2
JoeB2 Bots Posts: 31
edited 30. May 2012, 19:11 in Living with Arthritis archive
Dear All,

I am wondering if anyone could recommend a good Rheumatologist in Cambridge ? I was seen at The Lister in Stevenage for many years but today my G.P. suggested I be referred to Addenbrookes. Accordingly I will be receiving a "choose & book" form in due course.

Does anyone have any experience of Rheumatologists at Addenbrookes ? I am seeking what I would call a good "whole person" Rheumatologist (I know they all should be but ........). Someone who is open minded, treats the patient not the disease, and is aware of their limitations.

My own story, if anyone should be interested, is as follows :-

I was initially diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis (B 27 +ve etc) back in 1989 but as time has progressed it has become apparant that there may well be other processes at work. In fact there is very litle evidence of AS on my X-Rays. It is interesting to note that the Consultant who confirmed my diagnoses all those years ago was of the opinion that there was something else going on. I've had gut problems (not NSAID related) for 20 years and I've recently (last couple of years) developed Sclerodactyly.

Such is life.

Any suggestions as to who to see at Addenbrookes (assuming their name is forwarded by "choose & book") would be gratefully received.

Many thanks for taking the time to read this.

Arthur

Comments

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,173
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Arthur and welcome to the forum. I'm afraid I'm much further up north than Cambridge but hopefully someone will be around soon who can help. I can well understand you'll want the best possible option as we stick with our rheumatologists for many years and they are so important to us. I've been lucky in that, in over 50 years of RA, I've only had three. All excellent. The first two retired.
    "The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain." Kahlil Gibran
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,558
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello and welcome from me too. I'm afraid I am too far east ( in Suffolk) to be of any help but I am sure a little web-based research will throw up some names with background. I hope that in due course you find someone who can be of proper assistance to you and that you do find out exactly what is ailing you. I've never heard of the Sclero wot-not thing you mentioned but the name sounds nasty. I wish you well, please keep in touch as between us all on here we have a pretty good knowledge of the ins-and-outs-and-dos-and-don'ts of auto-immune arthritic conditions! DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • JoeB2
    JoeB2 Bots Posts: 31
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks.

    I have already done a fair amount of research via the web and elsewhere. I have several names, academic backgrounds and clinical experience / interests.

    Unfortunately this tells me nothing of what these individuals are actually like. Among other things - their approach to disease management, their ameniability (for want of a better word) to complementary therapies, and how they approach the "grey areas" within Medicine.

    I am not seeking the world's best Rheumatologist. What I am trying to find is a competent Rheumatologist with reasonable interpersonal skills. I fear, based on experience, this may be something of a challenge.

    For what it's worth perhaps I should divulge a little about my professional background. I worked as a Nurse for 22 years, eventually becoming a "Nurse Practitioner" in Gentio-Urinary Medicine (diagnosing, prescribing etc). I then went to work for "The U.K.s leading private health insurer" as a programmer and data analyst before being made redundant a couple of years ago.

    In my experience Rheumatology tends to be something of a "Cinderella" service within the wider N.H.S and this is sometimes reflected by the calibre of the staff who end up working within it. I'm well aware that one could make a similar statement about Gentito-Urinary medicine !!

    I have found Rheumatologists to either be far too "test / result focused" or, alternatively, not really interested in Rheumatology at all, save as a means to an end.

    I would like to see one who falls somewhere in the middle.

    Ultimately, the proof of the pudding, is most definitely in the eating. I am just trying to get a little taste before making a commitment on who to see.

    Once again - thanks for taking the time to reply.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,173
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I’m sorry you’ve not had a great time with rheumatologists in the past, Arthur. I can only suggest you come up here where I am – great guys who talk and listen and work with you. Having said that, in my early arthritic years (I’ve now clocked up over 50) I was a believer in complementary therapies and the docs tended to be sceptical. Nowadays, I’m equally sceptical. It’s bring on the DMARDS and joint replacements, as far as I’m concerned. They’re the things that have made most difference to my life.
    "The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain." Kahlil Gibran
  • clanckyclara
    clanckyclara Member Posts: 32
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Arthur,
    I spent just over a year in Ashwell before returning to Devon 18 months ago. Whilst there I was also given the choice of Lister or Addenbrookes.
    I went for Addenbrookes and was referred to Dr. Nick Shenker who, I have to say, I found to be great.
    I'm not altogether sure but seem to remember that he was researching the relationship between wellbeing and pain management but without looking it up can't be altogether sure.
    I found him to be kind, gentle and interested in his patients and wouldn't hesitate to recommend him.
    Good luck.
    Judy
  • JoeB2
    JoeB2 Bots Posts: 31
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I like to think of myself as "an open minded skeptic".

    Take accupuncture for pain, for example. Whilst the exact manner in which it works is still a matter of conjecture there is little doubt that a significant number of patients find it a useful adjucntive therapy.

    I have found it useful in the past but I am not averse to taking some types of pharmaceutical based analgesia. Non-Steroidal based drugs, in long term use, tend to cause more problems than they solve (IMHO).

    However as I follow a Vegan diet some medications, such as those in Gelatin capsules or those containing milk derived lactose, are unacceptable to me. They may well also be unacceptable to those who follow Kosher or Halal diets.
  • JoeB2
    JoeB2 Bots Posts: 31
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you - Clanky Clara ! Ashwell is just down the road to where I live.

    In the course of my research I did come across the name Nick Shenker and, from what he wrote about his own experience as a patient and a carer, he struck me as my type of chap !

    In view of your very positive comments he is certainly at the top of my list - so thank you very much - very much appreciated.

    Obviously I can probably only get to see him if his name is on the "choose & book" list but, should it not be, I will have another word with the G.P. and see if she can arrange something.

    Once again - thanks !

    Arthur
  • Annah
    Annah Member Posts: 92
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Dr Shenker does have a great reputation round here, but then so do many of the rheumatologists at Addenbrooks, and they all tend to have their own interests in different conditions. I wouldn't worry too much about who you choose as I don't know of any bad ones. People have personal likes and dislikes about particular personalities, and I've mostly heard positive experiences.

    I live just up the road and go to Hinchingbrooke hospital, but we share some specialists with Addenbrooks and I've got to know who's who through doing some volunteering for AC.

    Unfortunately, none of them have been issued with the NHS magic wand that cures all known diseases on sight yet :( (what do you mean? there is no such thing?)
  • JoeB2
    JoeB2 Bots Posts: 31
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you for that !

    I'm not looking for any magic wand.

    A sympathetic ear and a modicum of expertise would more than suffice !

    Once again - many thanks.

    Arthur
  • JoeB2
    JoeB2 Bots Posts: 31
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    My sincere thanks to all for posting - much appreciated.
  • Moller841
    Moller841 Member Posts: 28
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi,

    I have been seeing a rheumy specialist from Addenbrookes... mine is Doctor Ostor... he has been very good with me... had a very good attitude...
    Infact he knew the specialist i saw in Australia which is mental...

    He is my best bet...

    Hope all works out...
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