Rheumatologists at Mayo Clinic work in a team environment to provide state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases that primarily affect the body's musculoskeletal system — joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments. These conditions are known collectively as systemic rheumatic diseases. Rheumatologic disorders may also affect the blood vessels, skin, nerves and most internal organs.

At Mayo Clinic, rheumatologists collaborate closely with physician experts in many specialties, depending upon the nature of the rheumatologic disorder. They also work closely with your local doctor to ensure a smooth transition in your care when appropriate. This multidisciplinary teamwork ensures you receive seamless care that addresses all of your individual, specific health needs.

Mayo Clinic rheumatologists see in excess of 31,000 unique patients each year, evaluating more than 100 types of arthritis and all forms of vasculitis, autoimmune connective tissue diseases, and inflammatory muscle diseases. Among these disorders are commonly known conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, spondyloarthritis, crystalline arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus and scleroderma.

Pioneering tradition

Mayo Clinic's Division of Rheumatology has a long history of exceptional care. In the 1920's, the first organized training program in rheumatic diseases for physicians was developed at Mayo Clinic. A few decades later, Mayo Clinic rheumatologist and division chair, Dr. Philip S. Hench, shared the Nobel Prize for helping discover the beneficial effects of cortisone in rheumatoid arthritis.

Dr. Hench's tradition of research prevails today as Mayo Clinic rheumatologists and scientists conduct research from its earliest stages of discovery through the clinical trials process, where the newest technologies, medicines and procedures are tested to ensure safety and effectiveness.

Mayo Clinic instills those traditions in the next generation of rheumatologists through residency and fellowship programs, in which physicians learn to treat the person comprehensively using the most advanced therapies available. Rheumatologists trained at Mayo Clinic practice around the world.

Mayo Clinic's combination of clinical, research and education efforts means you receive the best possible rheumatologic care.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, is ranked among the Best Hospitals for rheumatology by U.S. News & World Report.

Mayo Clinic rheumatologists have experience treating people with diseases and conditions that affect the body's connective tissue.

Rheumatologists work with a team of doctors trained in many areas to determine the most appropriate treatment for your individual needs. Your doctors will talk with you about the tests and procedures that are right for you.

Mayo Clinic rheumatologists are experts in the treatment of people with inflammatory conditions and autoimmune diseases of the body's musculoskeletal system. Mayo Clinic rheumatologists have expertise in the treatment of inflammatory diseases of blood vessels (vasculitis) and systemic autoimmune connective tissue diseases (for examples, lupus, scleroderma). Availability of some services may vary among Mayo Clinic locations. For example, children's services are only available at Mayo Clinic's campuses in Minnesota. Please confirm when you request an appointment.

In addition to general rheumatology and inflammatory arthritis, doctors in the division have special expertise in:

Mayo Clinic has one of the largest and most experienced practices in the United States, with campuses in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota. Staff skilled in dozens of specialties work together to ensure quality care and successful recovery.

Find doctors and medical staff:

Mayo Clinic has one of the largest and most experienced practices in the United States, with campuses in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota. Staff skilled in dozens of specialties work together to ensure quality care and successful recovery.

Alongside seeing people with rheumatic autoimmune disorders such as Sjogren's syndrome, undifferentiated connective tissue disease and other conditions, specialists in the Department of Rheumatology are organized into disease-oriented teams to enhance collaboration, research, education and patient care in these areas:

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, is ranked among the Best Hospitals for rheumatology by U.S. News & World Report.

Mayo Clinic is consistently ranked among the top hospitals in the United States by U.S. News & World Report. Our world-class experts work together to provide comprehensive care to more than 1 million patients from 140 countries every year. People who come to Mayo Clinic are frequently among the first to benefit from innovative therapies, new techniques and technology, and clinical research trials. Because we are continuously researching and developing new treatments, we can inspire new hope.

Mayo Clinic in Arizona is the No. 1 hospital in Arizona for 11 consecutive years.

Mayo Clinic has major campuses in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona; Jacksonville, Florida; and Rochester, Minnesota. The Mayo Clinic Health System has dozens of locations in several states.

For more information on visiting Mayo Clinic, choose your location below:

The Division of Rheumatology strives to improve the lives of people suffering from rheumatic diseases through innovative, patient-centered research. Staff members are involved in all phases of research, from basic investigations using models of disease to clinical investigations translating new tests and treatments.

Basic research in the division includes models of rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus as well as investigations into how diseases develop. Scientists work with biospecimens from people with rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, inflammatory myositis, vasculitis and scleroderma.

Current clinical research studies are determining the rates, predictors, costs and outcomes of a variety of rheumatic diseases. A number of clinical trials are underway, testing both established drugs and novel experimental therapies. Key areas of interest include:

  1. Adult and pediatric myositis
  2. Giant cell arteritis
  3. Gout
  4. Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
  5. Polymyalgia rheumatica
  6. Psoriatic arthritis
  7. Raynaud's
  8. Rheumatoid arthritis
  9. Scleroderma
  10. Systemic lupus erythematosus
  11. Systemic sclerosis and scleroderma
  12. Takayasu's arteritis

The ultimate goal of research programs in the division is to develop personalized treatment strategies that improve the health of people with rheumatic diseases.


One of the biggest breakthroughs in cancer treatment in the past decade is the use of immune checkpoint inhibitors. The treatment targets specific areas of the immune system to help it fight cancer. Unfortunately, the treatment also seems to be linked to certain rheumatic diseases in some people. These are a brand-new category of rheumatic diseases as the first inhibitor treatment was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2011.

Mayo Clinic researchers are investigating several key aspects of the disease:

  1. What are the main cell types and signaling pathways driving these diseases?
  2. What is the relationship between the therapy-induced rheumatic diseases and classic rheumatologic diseases?
  3. What are biomarkers that can identify people with high risk of developing rheumatic diseases following inhibitor therapy?
  4. What are the best treatment and management strategies for these people?

The ultimate goal of Mayo Clinic researchers is to gain a deeper understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying rheumatic diseases and to use this new knowledge to discover new therapeutic options.


Your intestinal tract is filled with good and bad bacteria. The good bacteria aid in digestion and provide your body with essential nutrients. However, the bad bacteria can cause inflammation. Mayo Clinic rheumatology researchers have used the latest technology to show that an imbalance between good and bad bacteria contributes to disease. Researchers are conducting preclinical studies to determine whether bacteria taken from the gut can be used to treat conditions such as arthritis. If successful, these types of therapies could revolutionize how physicians treat arthritis and many other diseases.

Our patients tell us that the quality of their interactions, our attention to detail and the efficiency of their visits mean health care like they've never experienced. See the stories of satisfied Mayo Clinic patients.

Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people.

In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals, or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

Learn more about appointments at Mayo Clinic.

Please contact your insurance company to verify medical coverage and to obtain any needed authorization prior to your visit. Often, your insurer's customer service number is printed on the back of your insurance card.