About Us

FAQs

What is rheumatology?

Rheumatology is the branch of medicine that cares for patients with various forms of arthritis, auto-immune and auto-inflammatory diseases.  Many of these conditions are related to disorders of bones, joints, muscles and ligaments.

What conditions are diagnosed and treated at ARTUS Health Centre?

The rheumatologists at ARTUS are sub-speciatists of internal medicine and care for patients with systemic auto-immune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, vasculitis, gout, osteoporosis and inflammatory diseases of the back. In addition, the team is trained to care for complicated musculoskeletal problems such as advanced osteoarthritis, injuries and tendinopathies.

How can I be referred for diagnosis and treatment to ARTUS Health Centre?

If you are a resident of British Columbia, in order to treated at ARTUS, you need to be referred to one of the ARTUS rheumatologists by your family doctor.  Once a referral is received from your family doctor, an ARTUS Health Centre doctor will review the reasons for referral and the medical information that they have provided.   All patient referrals are then placed in order (triaged), so that patients with life threatening or damaging diseases are treated urgently. If you have previously been assessed by a rheumatologist at ARTUS and your last appointment was more than 6 months ago, it is a provincial requirement that you visit your family doctor for a re-referral in case your clinical status has changed. Consultation and follow-up visits that are provided by ARTUS Health Centre doctors are covered by the Medical Services Plan in British Columbia. If you do not have coverage with the Medical Services Plan of British Columbia or are from outside Canada, you may book a private visit directly with one of the ARTUS doctors.

What will happen when I arrive at ARTUS Health Centre for my first visit?

In most cases, for your first appointment you will be scheduled to meet with a rheumatologist for approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour.  This consultation will include a history of your present and past illnesses, a physical examination, and a discussion of the diagnosis and treatment plan.  Your assessment may also involve care from a nurse. As all of the doctors at ARTUS are Clinical Faculty at the University of British Columbia, there is high probability a trainee (such as a medical student, resident or junior rheumatologist) will be involved in your visit as well.  ARTUS Health Centre values the opportunity to train a new generation in the care of autoimmune diseases and as such you may also be part of the process of training our future medical experts. Many of the conditions treated at ARTUS Health Centre (like rheumatoid arthritis), are chronic conditions that are best managed by ongoing follow-up consultations with the ARTUS Health Centre team. Individuals with ongoing chronic conditions that are cared for by ARTUS will receive on-going follow-up treatment and monitoring by members of the ARTUS team. Your family doctor is the quarterback of your overall health care and after every major visit at ARTUS s/he will receive a letter or update from your rheumatologist or ARTUS staff. Upon diagnosis of a rheumatologic condition the ARTUS Health Centre doctors will outline the various treatment options available to you.

Nursing Care at ARTUS Health Centre

The doctors at ARTUS work closely with rheumatological nursing staff to better manage concerns around inflammatory arthritis and autoimmune diseases. Our rheumatology nurses assist with many aspects of care including the following:

  • ARTUS nurses provide patient teaching sessions. Rheumatologic treatment is often administered by injection rather than in pill form, as such nurses teach patients to self-administer injections. This allows patients to treat themselves at home rather than attending clinic.
  • ARTUS nurses give intravenous arthritis medications in the office,
  • ARTUS nurses are available to help manage potential side effects from therapy
  • ARTUS nurses counsel on and administer important vaccinations like influenza and streptococcal vaccine
  • ARTUS nurses counsel patients in pain, lifestyle management and family support

Our rheumatologic nursing team can also help counsel in times of disease flares and are a key communication link with your ARTUS  rheumatologist.

Physiotherapy

ARTUS Health Centre is also fortunate to be able to offer physiotherapy services through Clark Physical Therapy. Most people in BC must pay for physiotherapy visits through their extended health benefits, personally, or a blend of the two.  However, up to three quarters of BC residents have supplemental health benefits via group insurance plans that may cover some or all of their physiotherapy treatment.  There are also some programs available for patients with low-income. These options should be discussed in advance of booking. Patients may be seen both on referral from a doctor or directly by Bruce M. Clark. Physiotherapy appointments can be booked by calling 604-877-0735, where Jenny, Bruce’s wife and administrative assistant, will help you.

Did You Know?

Did You Know – Meet Our Team

The ARTUS team involves multidisciplinary care with rheumatology doctors, nurses and physiotherapy.

Learn more about Our Team

Did You Know – Myositis

Myositis is a rare disease of the muscle that causes weakness.  ARTUS doctors are experts in treating this condition.

Learn more about Inflammatory Diseases

Did You Know – Ankylosing spondylitis

Ankylosing spondylitis causes back inflammation, often in young, healthy men.  New treatment options can make this condition very manageable.

Learn more about Arthritis

Did You Know – Vasculitis

Vasculitis is a form of blood vessel inflammation that often needs urgent treatment.

Learn more about Inflammatory Diseases

Did You Know – Gout

Gout is a common form of arthritis that can be extremely painful. ARTUS doctors can help prevent further flares.

Learn more about Arthritis

Did You Know – IV

Many arthritis medications must be given through an IV.  The ARTUS team will make your experience a pleasant one.

Learn more about Infusion Services

Did You Know – Arthritis

Patients with skin psoriasis can get inflammation in their joints.  ARTUS can help.

Learn more about Arthritis

Did You Know – Back Pain

There are many non-surgical treatments for mechanical back pain.  ARTUS has expertise in this area.

Learn more about Spine Medicine

Did You Know – osteoporosis

If you have broken a hip, ARTUS osteoporosis specialists can help prevent further bone loss.

Learn more about Spine Medicine

Did You Know – Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis can affect people at any age, often young women.  ARTUS doctors can help manage this condition.

Learn more about Arthritis