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Vivian P. Bykerk, BSc, MD, FRCPC

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About Dr. Bykerk

Dr. Bykerk works with patients who have, or have recently developed rheumatoid arthritis.
With a patient care focus on the importance of proper diagnosis, particularly in the early stages of inflammatory arthritis, which may prevent serious joint damage, lifelong impacts on quality of life. Dr. Bykerk notes that if detected and treated in its early stages, the effects of inflammatory arthritis can be greatly diminished.
"As rheumatologists, we want to see patients with new onset rheumatoid arthritis ideally as soon as possible." said Dr. Bykerk. "Patients often don’t get to us for four to six months after their symptoms have been identified. The longer they wait, the higher the chance damage will occur."
Dr. Bykerk is the director of a team of specialists at the Inflammatory Arthritis Center of Excellence at Hospital for Special Surgery. The Center includes a dedicated inflammatory arthritis clinic, extensive arthritis registries, scientific studies focused on musculoskeletal and autoimmune diseases, a physician education program, and most importantly, an emphasis on providing quality health care to patients.
Dr. Bykerk is principal investigator of the Accelerated Medicines Partnership (AMP), a multiyear NIH funded translational research project across numerous sites in the United States. Dr Bykerk also serves on several subcommittees of this consortium in leadership roles. She has worked to advance the goals of the AMP consortium in RA, co-leading the Phase 0 and I arms of the study and participating in the leadership group of the phase II study planning group. Dr Bykerk has served as a co-chair for the RA Disease Focus Group (DFG) since the project’s inception, written integral parts of the protocol, lab and clinical manuals for both Phase I and II, and provided guidance for policy and publication documents that govern AMP consortium sites.
Dr. Bykerk brings an extensive knowledge base and experience in rheumatology. She completed a residency in Internal Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and spent two years as a Rheumatology Fellow at McGill University, in Montreal, Quebec. Dr. Bykerk received the Senior Rheumatology Scholar Award in 1989 presented by the American College of Rheumatology for her research in lupus. She served as the Director of the Early Arthritis Program at Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada and comes to Hospital for Special Surgery from Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Boston, where she was in the Division of Rheumatology. She has been in rheumatology practice for over 25 years.

Profile Video


Specialized Centers

Inflammatory Arthritis Center


Arthrocentesis (joint draining and injections)


If your insurance is not listed, please call our office if you have questions regarding your insurance coverage. If you have out-of-network benefits, then your insurance may reimburse you for a portion of your office visit. We will work with you and your insurance to minimize your out-of-pocket costs. Financial assistance may be available for patients in need.



Attending Rheumatologist, Hospital for Special Surgery
Professor of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College
Director, Inflammatory Arthritis Center of Excellence


Member, American College of Rheumatology (ACR), 1989 - present
Member, Canadian Rheumatology Association (CRA), 1987 - present
Member, Ontario Rheumatology Association, 2003 - present
Member, Society for Bone Mineral Research, 2000 - 2007


Fellow American College of Rheumatology, 1990 - present
Fellow Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons - Canada F.R.C.P. (C) Rheumatology, 1985 - present 
Fellow Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons - Canada F.R.C.P. (C) Internal Medicine, 1983 - present 
FLEX - Michigan, 1981
LMCC, 1981


Recognized by the International Association of Healthcare Professionals as a Doctor of Excellence,
        Inducted into 2013 Edition of Leading Physicians of the World Publication, 2013
Senior Rheumatology Scholar Award presented by the American College of Rheumatology, 1989
Canadian Arthritis Society Fellowship, 1985-1987
Winner, Mount Sinai Hospital Clinical Research Competition, 1985
Cystic Fibrosis Research Grant, 1977 
Governor's Scholarship, McMaster University, 1974 
Ontario Scholarship, 1974


MD, McMaster University Medical School, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, 1981
Post graduate Studies Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, 1983 - 1988


General Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, 1982


FRCPC, Critical Care and Internal Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 1985
Internal Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, 1983


FRCPC, Rheumatology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 1987

State Licensure



For My Patients

Publications by Dr. Bykerk

Patient Education

Selected Journal Articles

Selected Books/Chapters

Bykerk VP, Crow MP:  An Introduction to Rheumatic Disease.  Editor:  Cecil’s Textbook of Medicine, pending publication, submitted 2014.

Bykerk VP:  Nonimmunosuppressive disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs.  Rheumatology 6e:  Editor:  Hochberg.  Date published: 2014-07-03.  ISBN-10:  0323091385.  434-442 . 

Bykerk VP. Monitoring the Patient with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus at the Clinic and Bedside. Lupus Erythematosus Clinical Evaluation and Treatment. Editor: Schur, PH and Massarotti, EM. Date Published: 2012.  ISBN 978-1-4614-1188-8. 

Bykerk VP. Management of Rheumatoid Arthritis: The Newly Diagnosed Patient. Targeted Treatment of the Rheumatoid Diseases. ed. IBSN: 978-1-4160-9993-2. 2009. 17-26

Bykerk VP. Rheumatoid Arthritis. Therapeutic Choices, 5th ed. ISBN 978-1-894402-32-3. 2007. 955-971

Selected Presentations

International Invited Special Lectures and Presentations

Window of Opportunity in Rheumatoid Arthrisi: Myth or Reality? Symposium at the Annual Meeting of the American College of Rheumatology, Washington DC, November 2012

Predictors of Sustained Clinical Remission in Early Rheumatoid Arthritis – results from the CATCH cohort, November 2012

Patients with a Severe Clinical Disease Course Can Be Identified Using Cluster Analysis – Results from a Canadian National Early Arthritis Cohort, Chicago Illinois, November 2011

Bringing the Patient to the Clinic Earlier – How to Identify Patients with Very Early Inflammatory Arthritis, European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR)  London 2011, May 2011

Understanding the New Classification Criteria for the Diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis; Immunology Summit, Berlin Germany 2011, February 2011

How Guidelines can be Adapted from the World Literature, Mexican-Canadian Rheumatology Association Annual Meeting, Cancun Mexico, February 2011

How to Manage Early Rheumatoid Arthritis, Mexican-Canadian Rheumatology Association Annual meeting, Cancun Mexico, February 2011

How to Make a Diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis Earlier (European League Against Rheumatology Annual Meeting), June 2010

Practical Issues in Making the Diagnosis of Rheumatology (EULAR Fellows Lecture), June 2010

Controversies in Treating Patients with Early RA – Impact of Recent Clinical Trials. Brigham & Women’s Annual Centacor Arthritis Day, Harvard University, December. 2009

What the Early Arthritis Cohorts have Taught Us – Presented at Rheumatology Grand Rounds, Cedar Sinai Hospital, Los Angeles, November 2009

Treating the patient with Early Arthritis – a Workshop. Promise & Progress meeting. Amsterdam, March 2009

Tocilizumab investigator Meeting, Budapest.  An overview of clinical efficacy and safety data on Tocilizumab, September 2008

Oral Podium Presentations of Abstracts at International Meetings:

Visiting Speaker: Third Latin American Forum on Rheumatology. The Patient: An Integrated Vistion. Lecture on Safety in Biologic Therapies; Sept 25-27th 2014, Buenos Aires, Argentina September, 2014

Canadian Rheumatology Association National Meeting, Invited Speaker. “Are we performing too many investigations to monitor drug therapy in RA?” February, 2014

Who should be in the next RA Trial? Conference on the `10 year results of the BeST Study. Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, Netherlands. October 5, 2012

Implementing the new 2010 ACR/EULAR Classification Criteria for RA at the bedside – a workshop. Immunology Summit, Prague Czechoslovakia. March 7, 2012

How to Get the Patient with Very early Inflammatory Arthritis to the Rheumatologist. Plenary Session, European League Against Rheumatism Meeting, London, UK, May 28, 2011

The Revised 2010 ACR/EULAR Diagnostic Criteria for Rheumatoid Arthritis Identify Many More Patients Who Are Eligible for Treatment and for Clinical Trials. American College of Rheumatology, Atlanta, Nov. 2010

Care Gap in Early Inflammatory Arthritis Patients with a High Fracture Risk Identified Using the FRAX® Tool Podium Presentation American College of Rheumatology Meeting, Philadelphia, FRAX, Nov. 2009

European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) Symposium, Barcelona - Proportion of patients reaching remission and sustained remission in a real world cohort of patient with early RA treated with initial DMARD therapy, June 2007

Podium Presentation American College of Rheumatology Meeting, Boston– A High Proportion of patients reaching sustained remission in an early arthritis cohort," Nov. 2007


Dr. Bykerk is currently involved in a clinical research program focused on learning more about early rheumatoid arthritis in collaboration with the Inflammatory Arthritis Center of Excellence. This research program will focus on early inflammatory arthritis, identifying important questions, and addressing them through the use of Hospital for Special Surgery’s research registries. She is also the director of the Consortium of Early Arthritis Cohort Studies; a group of observational research studies in early RA in North America.

Dr. Bykerk is also involved in the planning of a clinical research program in Perioperative Medicine. Furthermore, Dr. Bykerk is a head figure in the Accelerated Medicines Program, sponsored by the NIH. This program is looking to develop techniques for ultrasound-guided biopsies of joints affected by arthritis and other autoimmune conditions.

Research Interests

early rheumatoid arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis

Clinical Trials / Research Studies

Industry Relationships

Industry Relationships

HSS has a long history of supporting appropriate relationships with industry because they advance HSS's mission to provide the highest quality patient care, improve patient mobility, and enhance the quality of life for all, and to advance the science of orthopedic surgery, rheumatology, and their related disciplines through research and education.

Below are the healthcare industry relationships reported by Dr. Bykerk as of February 01, 2024.

  • Bristol Myers Squibb - Consultant
  • Pfizer - Honoraria

HSS and its physicians make this information available to patients and the public, thus creating a transparent environment for those who are interested in this information. Further, the HSS Conflicts of Interest and Commitment Policy prohibits physicians from collecting royalties on products they develop that are used on patients at HSS.

Patients should feel free to ask their HSS physicians questions about these relationships.

Dr. Bykerk in the News