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The Joy of being a (Renaissance) Allergist


The emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires  
   Merrian Webster Dictionary

Allergists love to talk about...allergic disease.  We discuss scientific papers, present lectures, and of course treat patients.  But the proverbial "elephant in the room" that we really don't talk about is....how much personal satisfaction do we really have in our profession?  When a patient comes to see an allergist, they can't know the answer to that question.  So I'll be honest and tell you:    

Being an allergist brings me great Joy. 

I take joy in having allergies myself so I can appreciate the problems my own patients have. Each day in the office, I feel like I am "coming home" to kindred spirits traveling down the (often painful!) Road of Allergies. I have personally suffered from allergies, so I know the terrible itching that generalized hives can bring, the incapacitating pain of a migraine headache, and the terrible aching and fatigue from a food reaction. In short, "I can relate". And I take joy in this.

I take joy in being in a fascinating field with continual variety:  The field of Allergy is the Queen of Specialties.  It deals with multiple organ systems (not just the respiratory tract) and the rich variety of presenting  problems and breathtaking patient responses to allergic disease is a joy for the physician who loves a diagnostic or therapeutic challenge and wants to help people.  I've always loved puzzles and strategy games, and with Allergy I'm never--ever--bored!

I take joy in the fact I have experience in using an effective immunotherapy available that's safe, painless, and affordable:  Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) is the wave of the future for allergists, and it's here.  Now.  And we use it. And it's a joy to see someone tell me of the recent exposure they've had to a prior allergen, and how they didn't notice any significant reaction. 

I take joy in "growing old" as an allergist.  As I have aged and practiced over 3 decades, I have seen patients with severe allergies grow up and live productive lives. For example, several of the young people I have treated are now doctors, helping others with illness.  I also see children of my former allergy patients.  Their parents, educated in the signs of early allergy and knowing the benefit of SLIT, have brought their children in at an early age for treatment to prevent further problems down the road.  The dreaded "Allergic March" of exploding progressive allergic disease doesn't happen with their offspring because they are treated with a disease-modifying modality (SLIT) And I take great joy in that! 

I take joy in teaching.   Truth be told, I love to teach.  Just love it.  And I have a willing, motivated, and eager audience in my patients.  And I take joy in that! 


Something to think about.  Something we all should have as physicians and allergists. And I'm very, very grateful to have it. 

Later, Dude 

Posted on Monday, September 10, 2012 at 05:39PM by Registered CommenterGeorge F Kroker MD FACAAI | Comments2 Comments

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Reader Comments (2)

Thanks for reminding of the blessing of Joy. Sometimes I forget!!!

September 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn Toth

Concerning your post, "The LaCrosse Method: Old and Antiquated" - While it is true that "new" does not always mean "better", it can be equally as dangerous for a doctor to fall so in love with a traditional method of treatment that they refuse to acknowledge other ways of doing things. The AAOA has never been an organization which has disregarded the past, and they have repeatedly acknowledged that the "best" way to provide SLIT is not known yet. Based on the latest research and a voluminous amount of clinical experience, the AAOA has suggested one effective method for delivering SLIT, but this is not intended to be a strict guideline. Anybody who is getting good results in a safe way should not change a thing.

January 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWilliam Reisacher, MD

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