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There is no greater professional reward than the ability to relieve the pain of a patient, Dr. Ricardo Gago

There is no greater professional reward than the ability to relieve the pain of a patient, Dr. Ricardo Gago

The expert says arthritis treatment should be multidisciplinary and include mental health professionals.

Dr. Ricardo Gago, rheumatologist. Photo: Archives of the Journal of Medicine and Public Health

for him Dr. Ricardo GagoAnd the Graduated Rheumatologist from Autonomous University of Guadalajara And a former president of the Puerto Rican Association of Rheumatologists, there is no greater professional reward than the safety of his patients by reporting improved symptoms associated with rheumatic diseases.

“For me, being able to take a person’s pain off is amazing. You see someone saying ‘Thank you, Doctor, because I can walk, I can sleep now’, which is a great bonus, and that’s what I keep when you get home,” the expert emphasized.

Dr. Gago completed his bachelor’s degree at the University of Puerto Rico, and after moving to Mexico to study medicine, he returned to the island where he specialized in internal medicine at the Medical Sciences Campus. Once his studies were completed, the specialist undertook his internship at Auxilio Mutuo Hospital and participated in various research projects of the Puerto Rico Research Foundation.

“I have the opportunity to do it rheumatismOne of my greatest passions: For me this specialty is a deeper extension of internal medicine. After that, it also focuses on musculoskeletal pain, which also caught my attention because I’m a sports fan and suffer from a lot of pain, and finally that kind of discomfort is what we deal with on a daily basis.

The doctor highlighted the importance of doctor-patient communication.

Over the years, it has become easier to provide more focused and targeted care to the patient, while at the same time emphasizing the importance of patient control and knowledge of their circumstances: “The practice is becoming more and more complex, and we are seeing how treatments affect other areas of the body, so we need to follow closely. and a more in-depth understanding of all these aspects.”

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To suspect rheumatic disease, you just have to think about it. It is very complicated to refer to the basic symptoms, because this type of condition can involve different organs of the body such as the heart, lungs or kidneys, that is, any of these functional structures can lead to the occurrence of this condition.

Among the points to consider at the time of diagnosis is the pattern of symptoms; To be able to determine whether the clinical picture is inflammatory or whether it responds to other characteristics consistent with the development of arthritis or other types of pathology.

Once there is a definite outcome of the patient’s diseases and symptoms, the expert stresses that it is necessary to have a multidisciplinary treatment that includes not only the physical well-being in the different areas affected by the rheumatic disease, but also the development of strategies for mental health.

The rheumatism It is his passion.

“The pain often leads to depression and anxiety, and the patient ends up needing the support of a psychiatrist or psychiatrist, because depression is definitely painful. In other words, it becomes a snowball going down a hill and getting bigger and bigger and more and sometimes the joint pain is not predominant, But worry.

In addition, the expert highlights the importance of being able to have an assertive channel of communication between the patient and the treating physician, in this way both of them will be able to discuss treatment goals and side effects that may occur as the organism’s response, this he calls mutual consent.

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“Both the patient and the doctor make the decision about treatment. They both go hand in hand with having this responsibility, knowing the potential side effects as well as knowing the purpose of the process.”

High demand for rheumatologists on the island

Currently, Puerto Rico has a shortage of rheumatologists and it is expected that the number of specialists will continue to decline, not only on the island, but also in the United States over the years.

“In Puerto Rico, there are hardly 60 or 65 active rheumatologists at the moment. However, the number of rheumatologists available to treat patients and new cases does not reach 20. In other words, it is necessary to make a preliminary diagnosis that will help us identify any patient He really needs an urgent rheumatic evaluation, and any condition can be best managed with primary medicine.”