In Atlanta, said Stanley M. Fineman, MD, MBA, Immediate Past President of the Joint Council of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, and an allergist with the Atlanta Allergy and Asthma Clinic, “there is some concern among board-certified allergists that we practice immunotherapy differently from some of our ENT colleagues. From the perspective of anyone who provides similar services, there is going to at least be some perceived competition.” Another concern, said Dr. Fineman, is that patients may not understand the differences between the training of a board-certified allergist and the training of an ear, nose, and throat allergist. “To the extent that this can sometimes be confusing to patients, then that is a concern.”
Role of Communication
The benefits of one-to-one communication cannot be overemphasized, ENT leaders note.
“There has definitely been a sea change in the relationship between allergists and otolaryngologists,” confirmed M. Jennifer Derebery, MD, Clinical Professor of Otolaryngology at the Keck School of Medicine at USC, in private practice at the House Ear Clinic in Los Angeles, and Past President of the American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery and AAOA. “We’ve always respected each other, but I think that there’s a much greater understanding about the level of training each specialty has. We have much in common in how we view clinical disease, but each specialty has its own unique way of analysis as well.”