“Rheumatology? What’s that?”
Fair question. If you’re like the majority of people, you may never require care from a rheumatologist. When you have a good primary care doctor, your requirements for diagnosis and treatment with other specialists may be somewhat limited.
But for those patients who have autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, a rheumatologist could be a life-saver. Rheumatologists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disease and autoimmune conditions. These diseases, which include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis and polymyositis (among others), can cause pain and swelling in the joints, muscles and bones.
How Can a Rheumatologist Help Me?
If you experience muscle or joint pain that’s different from the common aches and pains you’ve known in the past, you may wish to see your primary care doctor for an evaluation. If your physician is concerned that your symptoms could be caused by a rheumatic condition, then he or she may refer you to a board-certified rheumatologist.
These diseases can be complex, but your rheumatologist will perform a full physical exam and evaluate your medical history in order to establish a plan of care. Diagnostic imaging test (such as x-ray, MRI, ultrasound and CT scan) may be ordered. Treatment may be administered via medication, injection, lifestyle modification, or other therapies.
Meet These Nashville Rheumatologists
St. Thomas Medical Group is home to two Nashville-area rheumatology specialists. Rheumatologists have received additional training beyond that of an internal medicine physician.
Leslie Cuevas, M.D.
Dr. Cuevas grew up in Germantown, TN. She attended Drake University on a softball scholarship and graduated in 1995 with a BA in Biology. She earned her medical degree at the University of Iowa College of Medicine in 1999. She then moved to Nashville where she completed her Internal Medicine residency at University of TN – Nashville in 2002 followed by a Rheumatology fellowship at Vanderbilt University in 2004. She joined Arthritis Specialists of Nashville after completing her training.
Dr. Cuevas moved with her family to Denver, CO, and spent time studying at Denver Seminary, but she has recently moved back home! She is excited to join St. Thomas Medical Group to provide rheumatologic care to the people of Nashville and the surrounding areas. She has a special interest in treating patients with fibromyalgia.
Poonam Somai, M.D.
Dr. Somai has been with St. Thomas Medical Group since 2009. She earned her Medical Degree at the University of Bombay, India in 2001. She completed her residency training in Internal Medicine at Michigan State University in 2005 where she served as a Chief Resident. She then completed her fellowship in Rheumatology in 2007 at the University of Iowa.
She is Board certified in Rheumatology and treats diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis and polymyositis. She specializes in ultrasound-guided injections of the joint, tendon and bursa.
She enjoys traveling and exploring different cultures / cuisines, reading, and spending time with her husband, daughter and twin boys.
She provides specialized care to the Gallatin community outside of her office hours at St. Thomas Medical Group. Dr. Somai is accepting new patients by referral. | Schedule With a Nashville Rheumatologist Online or call +1 (615) 964-5823.