Once you're diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, it becomes a part of your life—for the rest of your life. Finding a doctor you trust to help you manage the condition is critical. In fact, it may be one of the most important decisions you make. Psoriatic arthritis is a complex condition affecting many parts of your body. Most patients do best with help from a whole team of health experts. A study published in the Archives of Dermatological Research found those who got help from both arthritis and skin doctors got a more accurate diagnosis and better targeted medications. The right team can help you make smart treatment choices, understand your rights as a patient, and control your condition so you can continue to enjoy life. The Key Players Your primary care physician may be the first person you call when you have a health concern. If you had psoriasis first, you have probably already seen a dermatologist, an expert in treating skin diseases. If you have joint pain that lasts more than a few days at a time, ask your primary care doctor or dermatologist if you should see a rheumatologist. This doctor specializes in the more than 100 types of arthritis and related conditions. Many types of arthritis appear similar at first, but rheumatologists know how to identify and treat psoriatic arthritis quickly. That's important, because about half of people with psoriatic arthritis experience joint damage within the first year. Early treatment can slow or even stop this damage. Working as a Team You and your doctors have the same goal: improving your health and your life. To achieve it, you must develop trust and open communication. Your health professionals have a responsibility to talk with each other and with you. This will ensure all aspects of your disease—both mental and physical—are addressed in your treatment plan. You have an important part to play as well. Prepare for each doctor's visit by making sure you have a clear goal in mind. For instance, you may need to report a new symptom or find out more about your medication. Make a list in advance of the questions and concerns you have so you can make the most of your visit. During the visit, be honest with your doctor about your symptoms and whether you're having a hard time following his or her advice. Chances are, you can make changes to your treatment plan so it works better for you. Also take notes on what your doctor tells you. Don't be afraid to ask questions if you don't understand something he or she says. Between visits, stick to your treatment plan and know who to call if you have questions or need help. Key Takeaways The right team of doctors can help you make smart treatment choices, understand your rights as a patient, and control your condition so you can continue to enjoy life. A rheumatologist knows how to identify and treat psoriatic arthritis quickly. Take an active part in your treatment plan. Ask questions and be honest about your symptoms.