Tips on talking to your Doctor about Chronic Illness such as RA


In this interview, Sergio Schwartzman MD (left), a specialist in arthritis, provides important suggestions on getting the most out of your office visits if you have a chronic, long-lasting illness (as compared to a visit for an acute problem like an infection).

Dr. Schwartzman also discusses newer information about RA (rheumatoid arthritis) and some of the medications used in its treatment, how current therapies target more specifically than previously, and special measures needed for diseases involving inflammation.

Dr Gracer then adds some thoughts about the kinds of notes a patient can make to help prepare for an effective visit with a physician, and the kinds of questions you could think about asking.

For a more in-depth discussion about types of treatments and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, please go to

More about Dr Schwartzman: Dr. Sergio Schwartzman, MD, is an associate attending physician at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, NY and an associate professor at Weill Cornell Medical College with more than 26 years of medical experience. Dr. Schwartzman received the “Best Doctors in New York” award in 2011 from New York Magazine, the Castel Connolly Top Doctors award in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.  Dr. Schwartzman received his MD from The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, NY and completed his residency at Long Island Jewish Hillside Medical Center and his fellowship at The New York Hospital, Hospital for Special Surgery. He received his certification in internal medicine in 1985 and rheumatology in 1988.


About Richard Gracer

Richard I. Gracer, MD, is the founder of Gracer Behavioral Health Services, an innovative and comprehensive substance abuse program that stresses the reduction of cravings, and has been in medical practice since 1974. He is certified in Addiction Medicine and Family Practice, and a Diplomat of the American Academy of Pain Management. He edited Beating the Years, Beating Sports Injuries, and Beating Back Pain (Barron’s, 2003,2005, 2006), and wrote the popular “Ask the Doctor” column in the Lamorinda Sun for 10 years. He is the author of A New Prescription for Addiction.

Dr. Gracer is also the Host of A New Prescription for Health on WomensRadio. A New Prescription for Healthfeatures discussions with noted experts, both researchers and practitioners, on cutting edge, holistic, and comprehensive treatments for pain and addiction. Aimed at the educated person seeking more information, this series provides hard-to-get information and insights, including interviews with actual patients, on treatment of these difficult and pervasive problems.

Email Dr. Richard Gracer by clicking HERE.