Internal Medicine

Rheumatology Home

Department of RheumatologyHead of Department & Aaron Beare Professor of Rheumatology


A rheumatology service in KwaZulu-Natal was initiated in the late 1960’s by Dr WG Neil and was subsequently managed by Dr I Chalmers and later Dr PD Naidoo. There was a major impetus for the development of rheumatology with the endowment of the Aaron Beare Family Chair of Rheumatology in 1992 and the establishment of the Rheumatology Unit.

The Department of Rheumatology is dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of all patients with diseases of the joints such as Arthritis, bone diseases such as osteoporosis, soft tissue diseases such as tendonitis, and autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus and scleroderma. This is accomplished through a balance of education, research, and clinical care of patients with various rheumatic disorders.

Clinical Activities
The Department provides a consultative service for patients from all over KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.

Out Patient Services
The following clinics are held weekly:

  • Monday morning: Lupus Clinic
  • Monday afternoon: New Patient Clinic
  • Tuesday morning: Arthritis Follow-Up Clinic
  • Thursday morning: Arthritis Follow-Up Clinic
  • A combined clinic is held once a month with the Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Inpatient Services
The Department has 14 in-patient beds. Most admissions are for the management of multidisciplinary patients with connective tissue diseases and the management of acute inflammatory arthritis.

Academic Meetings

  • Rheumatology Journal Club: Tuesday 1-2 p.m.
  • Seminars in Rheumatology – Friday morning 8-9 a.m.
  • A Departmental Grand Ward Round is held on Friday mornings and includes the medical staff, nursing staff, a physiotherapist and occupational therapist.



  • Joint Co-ordinator with the Department of Orthopaedics for the ‘Body in Motion’ Module in the 2nd year and contributor to the module in the 3rd year ‘Body in Motion II’.
  • Bedside tutorials for 4th and 5th year students in Medicine.
  • Clinical teaching in the Rheumatology Clinics for 5th year students.
  • Use of “Patient Partners” for undergraduate training.


  • We have two medical registrars rotating through the Department at any one time.
  • We offer clinical rheumatology teaching once a month on a Monday afternoon.
  • We present in rotation at the General Medicine Postgraduate meeting on Monday, Grand Round, Problem Round and Basic Sciences.


  1. Outcome of thrombocytopaenia in systemic lupus erythematosus.
  2. The spectrum and outcome of myositis.
  3. An investigation of apoptosis and p53 polymorphisms in South African Black Rheumatoid Arthritis patients.
  4. Comparison of profile of Rheumatic Diseases among Indians and Africans. 


Full-Time Academic Staff

  • Prof Girish M Mody
  • Dr Amritha Budhoo
  • Dr Thozama Dubula
  • Dr Neeta Patel

Support Staff

  • Ms Mbali Mahlangu

Contact Us

Physical Address Postal Address
Dept of Rheumatology
Room 85, Ground Floor
Medical School
719 Umbilo Rd
Dept of Rheumatology
Medical School
Private Bag 7
South Africa

Tel: +27 (0)31 260 4284
Fax: +27 (0)31 260 4482