About me

This is a rheumatologist’s blog I just started off at the end of the year 2011. Being a rheumatologist myself I decided to use my personal blog to write down some notes that I made during an interesting visit to the Karlinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. Amongst other rheumatologists from nine european countries we obtained valuable updates on quite some different rheumatoid diseases in the broad and rapidly evolving field of my profession.

When I studied Medicine, students wrote abstracts of the lessons we were taught when it was their turn as was scheduled in advance of every course. At the end all abstracts were copied and put together in a booklet that actually summarised the whole course (e.g. Anatomy or Nefrology and so on…). Personally I always liked to be “on duty” to write an abstract of a lesson (approx. 2 hours). From the one hand side I felt some sort of obligation and responsibility to pay extra attention to that lessons, because my fellow students were counting on me for a straightforward and practical abstract to use for preparations of exams, from the other hand typing my written swift notes in a textprocessor on my PC put everything nice in place and enabled me to remember that specific lesson even better. Repeating what you have heard or seen by writing it down not too much time later has a very beneficial effect on ones memory capacities. It seems like things are just stored better in your brain.

Anyway the joy I felt that I had put things right and that I did remember all that was of importnace and the simultaneously felt joy that others were happy upon reading my abstracts is the same joy I am striving for by starting this blog.

Now it is not the university colleges lessons but my experiences in daily clinical practice and especially lessons learned when on rheumatology meetings with other collegaues, such as the one at Karolinska Institute, that I would like to share with others. I hope visitors of my blog will apreciate this and leave a response, but also if nobody bothers blogging is a great tool for me as a rheumatologist to keep myself more up-to-date.

About me
I am Michiel Zandbelt, MD, PhD, currently working as a rheumatologist in Deventer, the Netherlands. In October 2009 I finished my trainee posts and my education at the Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and started working as a rheumatologist thereafter. During my trainee posts I finished my thesis entitled “Classification and follow-up of Sjögrens syndrome: usefulness of objective parameters in clinical practice” in October 2007. If you are interested in my thesis, you can find it online, click here.
I was born in November 1971, so I just reached the age of 40, am married to my half english/half-dutch wife Helen, and we have two daughters (twins) that are a quarter english ;-). Within rheumatology my special interests are with Sjögren’s Syndrome, but also more general issues best summarised in “Health 2.0”. I like to be aware of cutting edge enws and gadgets, like to build and maintain several websites, use social media for crowd-sourcing and sharing ideas. I like running once or twice a week (to regain a “fresh” head) and I follow my struggling-in-the-bottom-division-for-over-15-years-now favourite soccer team with the somewhat remarkable name “Go Ahead Eagles”, who play in Deventer (and yes, that is also the city where I am currently working in the Deventer Ziekenhuis (Deventer Hospital)).

If you want to keep in contact, you can aso find me on LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+.

My citations via Google Scholar: click here

As a final remark I would like to say that I aprreciate you took the time to read this “about” page.

Be my guest!

Greetings from the Netherlands,

Michiel Zandbelt MD PhD

  1. 27 January 2012 at 01:50


    • 27 January 2012 at 11:41

      Thanks for your kind comment, I will do my best to keep the blog updated every now and then, stay tuned 😉

  2. 27 January 2012 at 11:25

    Congratulations! Nice opening page. Will frequent it more often and put a link on my blog.
    Good luck!

    • 27 January 2012 at 11:40

      Thanks for your kind words, and I will add a section with links to otrher rheumatologist’s blog shortly, a good idea that I got from your comment, will link back.

  3. Dick Siewertsz van Reesema
    9 April 2012 at 08:53

    You made a fresh start with us in Deventer Hospital and we hope you will enjoy the upcoming years in rheumatology!. Be sure we will encourage your creative ideas about E-health issues.
    Nice blog Michiel,
    On behalf of Ike Nuver too,
    Dick Siewertsz van Reesema

  4. debbie holland
    14 April 2012 at 00:39

    I enjoyed your blog and about me. It is nice to get a perceptive from another country. I often wonder what makes a Rheumatologist interested in the field they chose. Keep the news and info coming.

    • 14 April 2012 at 07:38

      Dear Debbie, thanks for your visit and kind words. For me, the reason to choose to become a rheumatologist is based on the combination of the psycho-social aspect on one hand and the technical/immunological aspect on the other hand. I like to accompany patients for a longer time in their lives, walking down the road together looking for an optimised journey through life. A job that is almost 100% psycho-socially driven, like e.g. a psychatrist would however not suit me (although I studied psychology for one year before starting my medicine study). For me body care and mind care should be nicely balanced. So examining joints, if necessary give intra-articular injections, and the rapidly evolving knowledge in immunology make rheumatology (not as wide as internal medicine, but still wide enough considering the spectrum of rheumatic diseases) the ideal mix. It ‘s also a nice speciality to bring the Compassion for Care charter in practice, see http://www.compassionforcare.com/en/. Finally, what is good, is that unlike e.g. an obstetrist/gynaecologist a rheumatologist has not often to come to the hospital in the middle of the night when on duty 😉

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