Clinician Resources/ Articles

Why Primary Care Providers (PCPs) need to know about Sjogren’s

Did you know that Sjogren’s is about as common as rheumatoid arthritis? (1)  If you are seeing adult women, you are probably seeing Sjogren’s patients, many of them undiagnosed.

Sjogren’s is a serious multi-systemic disease. Timely diagnosis and early treatment are key to reducing complications and progression.  Yet long delays and misdiagnosis are the norm, partly due to the lack of Sjogren’s training during medical education.

PCPs are likely to encounter a variety of early Sjogren’s manifestations.  Lack of familiarity with the disease means they often fail to consider Sjogren’s as a possibility. The Sjogren’s Advocate website helps fill this knowledge gap, and provides a step-by-step guide on how to initiate diagnosis.

Sjogren’s Advocate highlights for PCPs 

Introduction to diagnosis-

PCPs steps to diagnosis-  Common presentations, red flags, preliminary tests and referral to rheumatology.  

Key articles- An annotated bibliography.  What every clinician should know, in a nutshell.  

A message from the author, Sarah Schafer, MD and Sjogren’s patient

Like many patients, I experienced long delays on the way to a Sjogren’s diagnosis. Once diagnosed, I found that many of my physicians were unfamiliar with the disease. Inspired to do something about this, I started teaching local PCPs, mostly in small group settings. I discovered that most of them viewed Sjogren’s as a mild dryness disease. Few were aware that a large majority experience disabling systemic symptoms or that life-threatening complications occur in a significant number of patients.
The gap between current medical education and the real-life impact of Sjogren’s inspired me to create this website. Please feel free to contact me with questions and comments.

Sarah Schafer

Updated  4-26-20