The internist-rheumatology practice in the ATOS clinic is specialised in diagnosing and treating inflammatory rheumatic diseases.
The term rheumatism encompasses approximately 400 different diseases which can affect the joints, spine, cardiovascular system, connective tissue and the internal organs. Non-specific pain and increased CRP and ESR levels can also arise from rheumatic diseases. Often there are disorders of the immune system.
Early diagnosis and treatment of inflammatory rheumatic diseases is very important for a good long-term prognosis. A multitude of different medicines are now available as treatments. Alongside medication treatments, special physiotherapy, complementary therapies (such as touch, pressure and movement therapies), specially adapted sporting activities and diet are central elements of patient care.
Immune system disorders require interdisciplinary collaboration between various specialists.
The ATOS clinic, with its excellent networking, is an optimal foundation for this.
Dr. Dornacher and Dr. Schmitt offer the patients a very personal and individual doctor-patient relationship.

Range of services

  • General
    Inflammatory rheumatoid diseases can affect various areas of the body. By obtaining exact medical history data of the patient (symptoms, previous or concomitant diseases) and performing a thorough physical examination, a preliminary diagnosis may be made in many cases. The doctors then try to support this preliminary diagnosis by means of further targeted tests and examinations. 
  • Laboratory tests
    In addition to inflammatory markers such as erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and c-reactive protein (CRP), blood count, liver, kidney, thyroid and iron metabolisation values, electrolytes, uric acid, urine status as well as serum protein values will be determined. Depending on the clinical symptoms, rheumatoid factors and CCP antibodies, autoantibodies against cell nucleus components will be determined and HLA B27 diagnostics will be performed.
  • Imaging
    Sonography (ultrasound) is an important diagnostic element. For this purpose, the Centre for Rheumatology has available a new high-quality colour duplex and power doppler ultrasound system which meets the various requirements in the framework of internistic rheumatology to an optimum degree. This way, joints, organs, thyroid, heart and vessels can be examined on a high level.
  • Radiological and nuclear medical diagnostics
    Further radiological and nuclear medical diagnostics (conventional x-ray, CT, MRI, scintigraphy) will be performed in cooperation with the joint radiological practice (Drs. Lederer, Schneider, Wrazidlo) and Dr. Aufderstraße at the ATOS Clinic. Direct data transmission is possible.
  • Capillary microscopy
    Using a microscope, the smallest blood vessels at the nail fold will be evaluated. 
    Capillary microscopy is painless and free of side effects and is especially suited for diagnosis and progress assessment of inflammatory diseases of the connective tissue (collagenoses). This procedure allows to differentiate between unspecific and often harmless perfusion disorders of the fingers and collagenosis-typical alterations.
  • Joint aspiration
    In some patients, aspiration of swollen joints (under ultrasound control if required) will be necessary. This brief intervention can take pressure off the affected joint. The joint fluid obtained is analysed immediately after the aspiration. Thus, by determining the cell count in the joint fluid, inflammatory rheumatoid processes at the joints may be differentiated from degenerative changes, and the presence of crystals in gout and pseudogout and of bacteria in infectious joint disorders may be determined. Depending on the individual symptoms, further biochemical and microbiological analyses will be performed. In the course of joint aspiration, a cortisone preparation may be injected into the joint.
  • Biologics therapy including infusion therapies
  • Special consultation hours ─ “Nutrition and rheumatism”
  • Osteoporosis consultation


Dr. med. Ines Dornacher

  • 1984-1985 Human medical studies at the University of Florence
  • 1985-1994 Human medical studies at the Ruprecht-Karl University Heidelberg
  • 1995 Dissertation titled “Immunohistochemical study on the histogenesis of renal cell carcinomas“
  • 1996 Licence to practice human medicine

Dr. med. Verena Schmitt

  • 1989-1997 Human medical studies at the Albert-Ludwig University Freiburg
  • 05/97 3rd state examination (graded “very good”)
  • 1997 Dissertation titled “Metabolic syndrome – relation with homocysteine, Lp(a), ApoE“ (magna cum laude)
  • 1999 Licence to practice human medicine

Clinical career

Dr. Ines Dornacher and Dr. Verena Schmitt are medical specialists for internal medicine and rheumatology.
After a thorough internistic education, they have worked as specialists for rheumatology at the University Clinics of Heidelberg, the Rheumazentrum Baden-Baden, the rheumatology departments of the city clinics in Karlsruhe and Ludwigshafen as well as at 2 rheumatological practices for many years. By their participation in national and international conventions, they have been actively enhancing their knowledge in their specialist area. Dr. Dornacher and Dr. Schmitt are highly competent in their speciality, applying the latest official guideline-oriented therapy concepts when treating rheumatoid diseases.
Dr. med. Ines Dornacher

  • 1996-2004 Specialisation in internal medicine, Academic Teaching Hospital Salem, Heidelberg
  • 2003-2004 University Clinics Heidelberg, Internal medicine V, Rheumatology section, Prof. Dr. Fiehn and Prof. Dr. Lorenz
  • 2004 Approbation as a medical specialist for internal medicine
  • 2004-2005 Inpatient rheumatology, Acura Clinics Baden-Baden, Prof. Dr. Fiehn and Prof. Dr. Lorenz
  • 2005-2010 Gathering practical experience in rheumatology, Dr. I. Gao, Heidelberg
  • 2006 Approbation as a medical specialist for rheumatology
  • 2009 Additional specialisation in medical diets (DGEM)
  • 2011-2013 Institute for medical advice Patientconsult, Heidelberg
  • 3/13-7/14 Rheumatologist at the MVZ Endokrinologikum Karlsruhe
  • 10/13 Opening Centre for Rheumatology

Dr. med. Verena Schmitt

  • 07/97-02/2006 1st Medical Clinic at the Städtisches Klinikum Karlsruhe, Department of Nephrology/Rheumatology
  • 03/06-12/08 Gathering practical experience in cardiology, Prof. Dr. Gless/Dr. Dr. Kuhn, Heidelberg 
  • 01/09-03/11 Gathering practical experience in rheumatology, Dr. I. Gao, Heidelberg
  • 10/09 Specialisation in internal medicine 
  • 03/11 Approbation as a medical specialist for rheumatology
  • since 04/2011 Städtisches Klinikum Ludwigshafen, Department of Rheumatology
  • 04/11-12/13 Städtisches Klinikum Ludwigshafen, Rheumatology
  • 10/13 Opening Centre for Rheumatology

Information relating to the Telemedia Act

Professional denomination:
Dr. med. Ines Dornacher: Fachärztin für Innere Medizin und Rheumatologie (Medical Specialist for Internal Medicine and Rheumatology)
Dr. med. Verena Schmitt: Fachärztin für Innere Medizin und Rheumatologie (Medical Specialist for Internal Medicine and Rheumatology)
Medical Association: State Medical Association of Baden-Wurttemberg