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Internal Medicine / Rheumatology: About Us

Ranked 14th in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, the division of Rheumatology at Washington University provides leading care for patients with rheumatic diseases (arthritis, musculoskeletal, autoimmune, and inflammatory diseases). The division is a Missouri Regional Arthritis Center and is affiliated with Barnes-Jewish Hospital.


John Atkinson, MD, is chief of the division of Rheumatology. Twelve faculty are in the clinical practice -- all of whom are board certified. Nine faculty are involved in basic science research and three perform clinical research.

Our physicians include a number of national and regional experts in a program nationally recognized as a leader in advancing the understanding and treatment of rheumatologic disorders. The Division houses one of the top programs in the country for educating future healthcare providers, educators and researchers.

The breadth of research and clinical experience enable rheumatologists at Washington University to treat a wide range of complicated rheumatologic diseases including a variety of types of arthritis and vasculitis (inflammation of the blood vessels), as well as other diseases of the bones and joints.

Common problems our specialists treat include:

  • Arthritis
  • Rheumatism
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Behcet’s disease
  • Connective tissue disease
  • Dermatomyositis
  • Gout and pseudogout
  • Lupus (SLE)
  • Marfan’s syndrome
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD)
  • Polymgalgia rheumatia
  • Polymyositis
  • Reiter’s syndrome
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sjogren’s syndrome
  • Scleroderma
  • Temporal arthritis
  • Vasculitis
  • Wegener's granulomatosis

Washington University rheumatologists offer you a level of experience and expertise available at few centers in the nation. Among the leading-edge treatment currently offered are plasma pheresis and IV infusion therapy, which provide alternate forms of therapy for appropriate patients who suffer from various rheumatologic disorders.

Integrated Arthritis Care and Research
The Division also is home to the Center for Arthritis and Related Diseases, one of eight new centers of excellence at Washington University School of Medicine, which seeks to integrate all aspects of arthritis patient care, education and research with the many different types of expertise at the Medical Campus.

Part of a long and successful research tradition, the Division of Rheumatology secures a significant amount of research funding each year. In the last four years, the Division’s extramural research funding has more than tripled due to new leadership and through the attraction of world-renown scientists to our laboratories.

Much of this funding comes from the National Institutes of Health and the Arthritis Foundation from grant petitions. In addition, several members of the Division faculty are investigators of the prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Institute that supports many of the best biomedical researchers in the country.

Basic science and clinical researchers within the Division of Rheumatology are heavily involved in research to increase our understanding of the immune system and various rheumatic diseases.

Clinical research is performed to determine the efficacy of new therapies in collaboration with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Within the Division, there are a number of promising new drugs in the final stages of study, particularly for rheumatoid arthritis, that are available for appropriate patients through such clinical trials. And, through participation in past trials, our experts have experience with a variety of new drugs that recently received FDA approval.

Patients are seen at the Center for Advanced Medicine, 5C, 4921 Parkview Place, St. Louis 63110

Patients can be self-referred or referred by their physicians.

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Copyright 2015 Washington University School of Medicine
Copyright 2015 Washington University School of Medicine