The future of allergy practice: An academician's perspective

Academic Article


  • The subspecialty of allergy and immunology, like all medical specialties, lias 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 immnnologists 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.
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    Author List

  • Rich RR
  • Start Page

  • 295
  • End Page

  • 299
  • Volume

  • 19
  • Issue

  • 5