Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Robert Shmerling, M.D., is associate physician and clinical chief of rheumatology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and an associate professor in medicine at Harvard Medical School. He is an active teacher in the Internal Medicine Residency Program, serving as the Robinson Firm Chief. He is also a teacher in the Rheumatology Fellowship Program and has been a practicing rheumatologist for over 25 years.


Posts by Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Are you getting the most out of your high-deductible health plan?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD
Robert H. Shmerling, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

One way to manage healthcare costs is to choose a health plan with a higher deductible, but it’s important to understand that such plans don’t make sense for everyone, and that sometimes the cost of a service or procedure can be negotiated.

Can shoveling snow put your heart at risk?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD
Robert H. Shmerling, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Based on data from over three decades of Canadian hospital admissions, there is evidence to suggest that men who are at high risk of heart disease, or who already have it, should avoid shoveling snow.

Can an online game really improve blood sugar control for people with diabetes?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD
Robert H. Shmerling, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Participation in an online game could lead to better control of blood sugar in people with poorly controlled diabetes, according to newly published research.

The Couric-Jolie effect: When celebrities share their medical experiences

Robert H. Shmerling, MD
Robert H. Shmerling, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

When a prominent person uses their notoriety to raise awareness of a health condition, it can encourage others to seek testing or treatment, but it’s important to be sure that any medical test or procedure is necessary for a particular person.

Researchers may have discovered a cause of multiple sclerosis

Robert H. Shmerling, MD
Robert H. Shmerling, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Looking for possible causes of multiple sclerosis, researchers found that people who had a concussion prior to age 20 had a greater risk of developing MS, suggesting head injuries are a risk factor.

Activity trackers: Can they really help you get fit?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD
Robert H. Shmerling, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Using an activity tracker to monitor the amount and intensity of a person’s daily movements may provide motivation for some people to make greater effort to improve their health. Further research may find that using these devices in innovative ways and with creative incentives could make them even more helpful.

Genetic testing to predict medication side effects

Robert H. Shmerling, MD
Robert H. Shmerling, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Genetic testing may help identify when certain people may be at risk of having an adverse reaction to medication. Researchers hope that such testing will eventually be lead to the ability to recommend the most effective medication that has the fewest side effects for a specific person’s condition.

Good news about the HPV vaccine

Robert H. Shmerling, MD
Robert H. Shmerling, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

The administration of the HPV vaccine has significantly lowered rates of infection among the population it is intended to protect, as well as among those who have not been vaccinated.

The mysterious rise in knee osteoarthritis

Robert H. Shmerling, MD
Robert H. Shmerling, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

It’s tempting to attribute the increasing prevalence of osteoarthritis of the knee to more people being obese or overweight, but researchers found that it’s not quite that simple.

The latest scoop on the health benefits of coffee

Robert H. Shmerling, MD
Robert H. Shmerling, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Coffee used to be criticized for contributing to a number of health problems, but time and research have disproved most of those beliefs. Now coffee is considered healthy, but as with so many things, moderation is important.