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The Future of Allergy Practice: An Academician's Perspective

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The subspecialty of allergy and immunology, like all medical specialties, has been dramatically impacted by the managed care revolution. Many of the changes that have been imposed by our environment are likely to persist, including increased emphasis on efficiency of practice and cost-effectiveness of treatment modalities. It is predicted that these changes will decrease the involvement of allergists and immunologists in the primary treatment of patients with allergic rhinitis and mild asthma, in favor of management by generalists with subspecialty consultation. Conversely, outcomes studies demonstrate the cost-effectiveness of management of moderate to severe asthma by an allergy and immunology subspecialist. It is thought probable that HMOs will recognize this fact and implement it as a pattern of practice. The allergist and immunologist will continue to offer, uniquely, expertise in allergic history taking, patient education, environmental control, and management of allergic inflammation. He or she will also be afforded an opportunity for practice expansion, particularly as an expert consultant, into other areas of immune inflammation, such as autoimmunity and graft rejection. Potentially new and increasingly specific products of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries will enhance these opportunities for practice expansion by physicians who combine intellectual understanding with practical expertise in patient management. Realization of these new opportunities will require us to work together as teachers and role models to communicate the excitement of our subspecialty to new physicians. Allergy and immunology is a subspecialty with a bright future, provided that we have the will and the insight to deal effectively with our challenges and to master opportunities that our science presents to us.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 1998-09-01

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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