What is a Rheumatologist?
Rheumatologists are Physicians with specialty training (Internal Medicine Residency and Rheumatology Fellowship) in the diagnosis and treatment of over 100 types of arthritis and immune system diseases; specializing specifically in disorders of the bones, muscles, joints, and connective tissues. These illnesses are often referred to as autoimmune or Rheumatic diseases. The specialty’s strong foundation in Internal Medicine prepares these specialists to care for patients with the complex and changing nature of rheumatic diseases. The Doctors at the Rheumatology Center of Princeton encourage the formation of a close physician patient relationship so diseases and treatments can be followed and modified as needed. Your Rheumatologist may take the lead in diagnosing and caring for your condition, or work as a consulting physician to your primary care physician.
Rheumatologists are trained as detectives since many of the diseases are not easily identified in the early stages. It is important to establish a correct diagnosis as early as possible so that early treatment can be started. Some musculoskeletal diseases respond best to treatment only in the early stages. Because many Rheumatic Diseases change or evolve, you may have to make more than one appointment before your physician makes a definite diagnosis. The diagnostic process usually includes a complete medical history, physical examination and if indicated, blood tests and x-ray studies. Based on the needs of your individualized treatment plan, your Rheumatologist can coordinate your care with the other professionals comprising your health care team.
Dr. Gina Del Giudice, M.D., FACR, FACP
Dr. Del Giudice received her BA degree summa cum laude from Mount Holyoke College in 1982. There she was also elected to Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi, and named a Mary Lyons and Sarah Williston Scholar. She graduated from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in 1986 and was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha. Dr. Del Giudice completed her internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in 1989. From 1989 to 1990, she was Chief Medical Resident at Mount Sinai. Dr. Del Giudice completed a three year Rheumatic Diseases Fellowship at the Hospital for Special Surgery and a Clinical Research Fellowship at New York Hospital Cornell Medical Center. While at HSS, she was a recipient of a Lupus Foundation Grant. She has compiled many publications and is licensed to practice medicine in New Jersey and New York. She has received research grants to study the immunology of childhood psychiatric diseases while at Mount Sinai School of Medicine where she served as an Adjunct Clinical Instructor of psychiatry from 1995 to 1998. She also served as an Attending Physician at the Catholic Medical Center of Brooklyn and Queens and was a practicing member of University Medical Group in New Brunswick, NJ.
Dr. Del Giudice is a Senior Attending at Penn Medicine Princeton Health and serves as the Section Chief of Rheumatology. She is Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at Rutgers Medical School and is a fellow of the American Board of Physicians. She is an ISCD Certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Del Giudice has been recognized as an outstanding specialist in the field of Rheumatology by “America’s Top Physicians”, “The Best Doctors in America”, and featured in NJ Monthly Top Doctors 2010, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017.
Dr. Del Giudice served on the Board of Trustees of the Eden Family of Autism Services from 2008-2014, is a member of The Board of Trustees of Rheuminations, Inc, and the Asch Family Foundation Funding Education and Research in Autism. She has been in private practice in Mercer County since 1999, when she established this Rheumatology group.
Michael J. Froncek, MD, MS, FACP, FACR
Dr. Froncek was born in northern New Jersey and educated at The Pingry School prior to attending the University of Rochester. There he graduated summa cum laude, was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and also studied abroad for a year at University College, Oxford. He completed a summer research project in Oxford’s Department of Biochemistry for which he was awarded his degree with distinction in research. Dr. Froncek has a Masters Degree in Immunology and Microbiology from Rochester University. His medical education was completed at the University of Rochester as well. He subsequently completed his residency training at Baystate Medical Center, the western campus of Tufts University School of Medicine. Subsequently, he pursued his rheumatology fellowship training in the Arthritis and Rheumatism Branch of the National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases at the National Institutes of Health. While there, he assisted in clinical research protocols investigating Lupus Nephritis, Rheumatoid and Psoriatic Arthritis, Myositis, and Familial Mediterranean Fever. He then completed additional fellowship training at the University of Southern California, site of one of the oldest Lupus clinics in the country, and he remained there as Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine after entering private practice. During this time, he co-authored a chapter on immunology for Dan Wallace’s textbook of systemic lupus and was also featured on KABC news in Los Angeles. Prior to joining Dr Del Giudice, he has practiced rheumatology in California, northern New Jersey, and North Carolina.
Dr. Froncek is an attending physician at Penn Medicine Princeton Healthcare and was Chief of Rheumatology at University Medical Center at Princeton from 2009-2013. He is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at Rutgers Medical School. Biard certified in Rheumatology, Dr. Froncek is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American College of Rheumatology. He is also an ISCD Certified Clinical Densitometrist (bone density) and trained in Musculoskeletal Ultrasound. He was recognized as one of New Jersey’s favorite physicians with the 2008 Patient’s Choice Award.
Connie Rutan Kartoz, PhD, RN, FNP-BC
Connie Kartoz is originally from Rochester, NY. She lived up and down the East Coast before settling in central NJ. She is an Assistant Professor at the School of Nursing and Exercise Science at The College of New Jersey in Ewing, NJ and a recent New Jersey Nursing Initiative/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation scholar. She is a certified Family Nurse Practitioner and a member of the Gerontological Society of America.
Connie received her Bachelor of Science degree cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania where she was also inducted into Sigma Theta Tau, the International Honor Society of Nursing. She earned her Nurse Practitioner degree through Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA where she was awarded a graduate scholarship. Her recently completed PhD from Seton Hall University involved study of the relationship between medication adherence in community dwelling older adults and family relationships. Her clinical expertise includes primary care, preventative health, asthma and now Rheumatology. She is currently a tenured Assistant Professor of Nursing at The College of New Jersey.