Yes, you should have a baseline exam once starting plaquenil and then a 6-12 month check-up. I do it every 12 months. I have no idea why the nurse would have given you an attitude about that? Makes no sense to me. I got a referral to an opthamologist from my primary, not my rheumy. Definitely follow up with an opthamologist, though.
Current dx: Rheumatoid Arthritis
Suspected dx: UCTD/Early Lupus
Current Meds: Enbrel, Plaquenil, Aciphex, Ultracet, Zyrtec, Allavert-D, Zantac, Tylenol PM
Past Meds: Relafen, Vioxx, Mobic, Voltaren, Sulfasalazine, Entocort, Prednisone, Humira, Reglan