Mark Fisher, MD FACR

Mark Fisher, MD FACR
Board Certified in Rheumatology and Internal Medicine
Rheumatology and Arthritis Physician


Looking at the patient, not the symptoms

Rheumatology and arthritis physician Mark Fisher, MD believes that your health goes far deeper than only your physical symptoms.

“Every day, I see patients who feel frustrated because they have not been effectively treated elsewhere, or their health concerns have not been understood or valued. They do not feel “heard” says Fisher. “I look them in the eye and say, ‘I believe you, and I understand.’ Listening carefully to all of their concerns and symptoms allows me to treat them more effectively, improving their quality of life.”

 “Listening carefully to all their concerns and symptoms allows me to treat them more effectively, improving their quality of life.”

When it comes to treating diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, gout, osteoporosis and autoimmune disorders, understanding the patient’s symptoms can only tell him a part of the story, Fisher says. He desires to know how these problems have impacted the patient’s life, family, and work. As one of the only solo-certified rheumatology specialists in South Jersey, his type of practice allows him to spend more one-on-one time with his patients.

He can get to know them on a more personal level. That level of comfort allows patients to be open and candid about their lives and their health and the patient – doctor relationship begins.

“Rheumatology involves so many different aspects of internal medicine,” says Fisher. “ I can work with the ‘whole person.’”

These diseases are so complex, and often some of the symptoms can develop from a number of external factors, he says.

“If someone is going through family stress, work issues, financial problems, anxiety – it can impact your health,” says Fisher.

Many of these concerns, he says, may cause trouble sleeping. That can cause fatigue and lower your tolerance for pain, which is especially troublesome for patients dealing with issues like rheumatoid arthritis.

“Stress alone can exacerbate joint symptoms,” says Fisher. “From a diagnostic standpoint and a pain management standpoint, it’s so important to look at a patient as a whole, not just as a collection of symptoms.”

He states passionately how critically important it is to explain the goals of management. Relieving not only the discomfort and fatigue, Fisher states he has the critical focus on preserving joint function, and improving and maintaining one’s quality of life personally and with family, as well as their work life.That approach is what helps Fisher distinguish the normal aches and pains that come with aging and activity from more serious conditions that require treatment, he says.

“Many patients may ignore their symptoms at first,” says Fisher. “We all want to be optimistic. We like to think there is nothing wrong, or we are too young to have these issues – that these are diseases for much older persons, not I.”

Unfortunately, he says, the majority of rheumatoid and other rheumatic conditions have genetic predispositions. They often affect people earlier than the general population may believe. Oftentimes, these conditions occur between ages of 30 to 50. However, they can present as early as your teens and later in life. That mindset can be challenging, he says, because early diagnosis is the key to managing these conditions.

“People have to be made aware and recognize these symptoms of stiffness, pain and joint swelling lasting longer than 6 weeks,” says Fisher. “Evaluation can lead to a proper diagnosis and management program early for the best life results. Other symptoms including fatigue, low-grade fevers, rashes, and numbness or tingling in the fingertips can be signs of such systemic arthritic conditions.”

While there is no cure for these conditions, there are extremely effective medications and therapies available for the successful management, he says – especially when recognized early. Fisher has a state-of-the-art infusion center for the administration of new biological treatments for these various conditions. These have produced amazing results in the management of these diseases and the quality of life for his patients. Exercise, dietary measures, and medications have made a huge difference in people’s quality and longevity of life, he says.

In fact, Fisher has been an active participant in many clinical trials for rheumatology and arthritis drugs before these treatments came to market. For 30 years, Fisher took part in intensive drug research trials.

“I wanted to be active in clinical research” he says. “We have seen a dramatic and revolutionary change in treatments for these rheumatic diseases, gout, psoriasis and arthritis, and osteoporosis over the last 3 decades. It makes me feel proud to participate in better management and have such successful tools for my patients’ success.” “Pain and joint damage may keep them from being able to go to work, do the activities they love and spend time with their family,” Fisher adds. “When you give them proper treatments, you give them their lives back.”


713 Station Avenue, Haddon Heights 856-547-8004 |