Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
Catherine Burt Driver, MD, is board certified in internal medicine and rheumatology by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Driver is a member of the American College of Rheumatology. She currently is in active practice in the field of rheumatology in Mission Viejo, Calif., where she is a partner in Mission Internal Medical Group.
The main goal of treatment in children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is help them live as normal a life as possible. To be successful, this treatment must address all aspects of the disease, including medical problems and complications, physical functioning, school performance, and social and emotional adjustment.
Care requires the coordinated efforts of a team of professionals.
This care may be overseen by the child's primary care professional, with consultation from a specialist in rheumatic diseases such as arthritis and similar conditions (a rheumatologist), preferably one who specializes in rheumatic diseases of children, as well as specialists in eye problems (ophthalmologist), skin problems (dermatologist), heart problems (cardiologist), digestive problems (gastroenterologist), kidney problems (nephrologist), lung problems (pulmonologist), and/or orthopedic surgery, if necessary.
Medical treatment is only part of the equation. The team also may include physical and occupational therapists and a psychologist or counselor. A social worker can help the family cope with the social, financial, and emotional aspects of the disease.
Although medication is the cornerstone of treatment of JRA, medication alone is unlikely to be successful if the child is not also receiving appropriate physical therapy, emotional counseling, and school assistance.