Q: What's a typical workday like for you?
A: It's a flurry of activity. I start early in the morning with conferences, meetings, allergy self-study courses or writing. Around 9:30 a.m., I begin office hours and see a mix of new and returning patients. The new patients are seeking relief from symptoms that include migraine headaches, summer pollen miseries, wheezing, rashes, chronic abdominal pain and tiredness. Most of the returning patients are there for allergy injections or regulation of their allergy injection treatment, which reaches inside the immune system and quiets it. Many return as we search for foods that are causing their chronic symptoms.
Q: How does your role fit into the bigger healthcare picture?
A: I am a specialist in illness caused by the air we breathe and the food we eat. My field is trying to figure out what's happening to people and where it's coming from.
Q: Who do you interact with during the course of the day?
A: I interact with patients, nurses and office staff. My patients range from toddlers through age 80.
Q: Why did you become an allergist?
A: I suffer from most of the allergies that affect my patients, including both environmental and food allergies. My allergies forced me to live with severe headaches, chronic sinus infections, skin itchiness, hay fever and many other symptoms. I became an allergist to learn how to treat myself and the unfortunate people who must live with these miserable symptoms.
Q: What do you like about your work?
A: One of the prime joys is seeing new patients, figuring out their problems and helping them, particularly if they have been suffering for years.