A local rheumatologist is a physician who is trained in treating patients who have diseases of the joints, bones and muscles. There are certain diseases that cause a person’s immune system to attack their own body. Patients with different types of arthritis and diseases such as gout and fibromyalgia work with a rheumatologist. If your local family physician thinks you may benefit from working with a local rheumatologist, they may refer you. It’s important to see a local rheumatologist as soon as possible, as many diseases can cause permanent joint damage over time. If you have a family history of diseases such as arthritis, talk to your local family physician.