For eight decades the Primer on the Rheumatic Diseases has been the standard text from which most medical students and house ofcers have learned rheumatology. I myself will never forget thumbing through an older edition of the Primer as a second-year resident, while waiting to review a perplexing patient with my tutor. Fortunately the tutor was r- ning late with his own patients, so I had time to fip through the book - then much thinner - a couple of times. While turning the pages, per- ing the features of those diseases whose names were still exotic to me, and considering my patient's history of conductive hearing loss and p- monary nodules, a light went on when I stumbled eventually on a part- ular chapter. I still remember the jaw-dropping efect on my tutor of my announcement then that I had a patient with Wegener's granulomatosis. I think I became a rheumatologist that very moment! Subsequent editions of the Primer have sufered from the inevitable "obesity creep," making it an outstanding reference textbook but virtually impossible to fip through quickly while awaiting one's tutor, and even more difcult to slip into the pocket of a white coat to carry on rounds. For this reason we have created the Pocket Primer, a mini version that cuts the larger book down to its essentials.
John H. Klippel, MD - President and CEO of the Arthritis Foundation based in Atlanta, GA, Dr Klippel has more than 30 years experience in rheumatology, and since joining the Arthritis Foundation in 1999 as medical director, has provided overall direction to the Arthritis Foundation's research programs. He previously served as clinical director of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) and as the scientific director of the Alliance for Lupus Research. His honours and awards include the Surgeon General's Exemplary Service Award, Distinguished Clinical Teacher Award (NIH Clinical Center), Directors Award (NIH Clinical Center) and the Burroughs-Wellcome Visiting Professor Award from the Royal Society of Medicine in London. John H. Stone, MD, MPH is Clinical Director of Rheumatology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA and the Chairman of the International Network for the Study of the Systemic Vasculitides (INSSYS). Dr Stone's research interests relate to translational investigations in systemic vasculitis. He has directed two multicenter clinical trials in Wegener's granulomatosis and antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitis, the Wegener's Granulomatosis Etanercept Trial (WGET) and the Rituximab in ANCA-associated Vasculitis (RAVE) trial. His other research efforts relate to the identification of new biomarkers through proteomic approaches, and to the development of clinical trials' outcome measures in rheumatic autoimmune diseases. Leslie J Crofford MD - Gloria W. Singletary Professor of Internal Medicine, Chief of the Division of Rheumatology and Director of the Center for the Advancement of Women's Health at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY. Dr Crofford specialises in auto-immune diseases, with research interests including rheumatoid arthritis, myositis and lupus treatments. Patience H White MD MA - Chief Public Health Officer at Arthritis Foundation, Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences (GWU) and also Executive Director of the Adolescent Employment Readiness Center, Atlanta, GA. Dr White has published over 60 articles and has been the principle investigator on 23 peer-reviewed grants and contracts in her specialized area of independent functioning in adulthood for youth with disabilities.