In 1979, the growing importance of both immunology and allergy fields initiated the concept for cultivating specialists in these fields. In the beginning, the responsibility of training rheumatologists was assigned to the Division of General Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine. Under the assistance of the founder of allergen immunotherapy in Taiwan, Professor SH Han, the clinic of allergen immunotherapy was also established since then. In order to improve our experience on clinical rheumatology practice, we invited Professor HR Schumacher from University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine as a visiting professor to our hospital and established for the first time the arthritis clinic in outpatient clinics. Subsequently, in order to fit with its clinical purpose and to provide better service and better education for patients with immune-associate disorders, the Division of General Medicine was changed to become Division of Rheumatology/ Immunology and Allergy (RIA).
Our division is dealing with a variety of autoimmune disorders such as SLE, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic sclerosis, polymyositis/ dermatomyositis, crystal-induced arthritis (e.g. gouty arthritis, pseudogout), osteoarthritis, vasculitis, hypersensitivity reaction and many different kinds of rheumatic disorders. To be of assistant in diagnosis and treatment of autoimmune disorders, many instruments such as flow cytometry, specific allergy tests, polarized microscope, autoantibody examinations and human leukocyte antigen tissue typing for transplantation purposes are well-equipped.