Thriving with Arthritis: Health Insights from Diana Girnita, MD, PhD

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Diana Girnita, MD, PhD, highlights the crucial role of patient education, the integration of traditional and integrative medicine, and the importance of reliable information for improving health outcomes in chronic conditions.

Diana Girnita, MD, PhD, founder and CEO of Rheumatologist OnCall, has a thriving YouTube channel with nearly 100K subscribers and over 500 videos to date. She provides comprehensive health information for patients with autoimmune diseases and arthritis, offering scientifically-based insights on conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis, anti-inflammatory nutrition, exercise, supplements, and stress management tips. Her goal is to help patients with arthritis make informed decisions and thrive.

In an interview with HCPLive, Girnita explained how she tailors her communication to ensure complex medical information is accessible to her audience and the ways in which she sees the role of digital platforms evolving in patient education and engagement.

She emphasized the importance of patient education first and foremost, including access to reliable information about specific diseases, their diagnosis, and treatment options.

According to Girnita, combining integrative medicine with traditional medicine sparks patient interest, so she often discusses lifestyle interventions, mindfulness, nutrition, exercise, and supplements with her audience as well. Basing her advice on current science, she strives to make scientific information digestible. This approach also helps her patients own review and understand the information from consultations. As research shows patients forget about 50% of a conversation with their provider, and 25% of the remaining information is often misunderstood, reviewing the information later is extremely helpful for patients.

Autoimmune diseases are chronic and require specific focus, attention, and expertise. Therefore, it is important for patients to know what to expect and to understand their options.

“The role [of education in healthcare] is huge,” she said. Rheumatologists like Girnita diagnose, treat, and follow up with patients for many years, providing a comprehensive understanding of autoimmune diseases. Taking education from reliable sources is crucial for improving health outcomes.