Rheumatology

Rheumatologists in Sugar Land at HMC

Dr. Grace Makhlouf - Rheumatology

Grace Makhlouf M.D.

(713) 273-5881

Dr. Tareq Abou-Khamis - Rheumatology

Tareq Abou-Khamis M.D.
(713) 273-5805

What is Rheumatology?

According to Merriam-Webster, Rheumatology is “a medical science dealing with rheumatic diseases.”  Rheumatic diseases are those affecting the joints, muscles, bones, and sometimes related internal organs such as the lungs and brain.

rheumatologist consulting a patientWhat a Rheumatologist Does

Rheumatologists aim to help patients dealing with rheumatic diseases to have the highest possible quality of life.  In addition to providing therapy, medication, and care for patients with rheumatic disease, a rheumatologists teaches a patient and his family about the disease and how to live with a chronic disease and stay healthy.

Many rheumatic diseases are hard to identify when in the early stages and many general doctors do not have the tools or expertise to diagnose them.  Rheumatologists are specially trained to know what to look for and do the necessary detective work to uncover the cause of the patient’s symptoms.  They work closely with patients to monitor their health and to be able to adapt quickly to the ever-changing nature of rheumatic diseases with a personalized treatment program.

Education Requirements for Rheumatologists

The first requirement to become a rheumatologist is to earn an M.D. (Doctor of Medicine) or D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathy) degree from a medical college.  After obtaining their degree, physicians will then have to take at least 3 years of residency training where they will study rheumatology under an experienced doctor.  The physician then will enter 2 to 3 years of training in a rheumatology fellowship in order to become a rheumatologist.

The physician can then become certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine.  Because rheumatology is a sub-specialty of internal medicine, physicians must first pass the examination for internal medicine.  Once that test has been passed, the physician can take the examination for rheumatology to become certified.