Should I get a new allergist?

Posted on: Fri, 02/21/2003 - 4:22am
AJSMAMA's picture
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Joined: 06/12/2002 - 09:00

We had A.J.'s yearly exam with his allergist yesterday (no skin test or anything this year). I was asking several questions regarding new research, safe products, etc... and the allergist told me that I was "the most informed parent" he has ever spoken to. I know this was meant most sincerely as a compliment, but I am seriously questioning how that can be good. I do not want to know more than our allergist. Why doesn't he know some of the things I was talking about? He claims that he will be going to a national conference on food allergies in March and that he will share anything new he learns there with us. It is so hard to find a good allergist. He is our second try and he is a lovely man, but I feel like we need someone who is up on anything and everything having to do with peanut and tree nut allergies. Am I over-reacting?

Jaime

Posted on: Mon, 03/03/2003 - 2:06pm
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Joined: 07/21/2001 - 09:00

Honestly, if you like the doctor and feel comfortable with how your doctor has been treating your child, then I wouldn't switch.
So many times I have heard that I am more "up" on my son's allergies than his own peditricians...and this was coming from his peditricians. And the reason being that we are more "up" on stuff is because we have a truly vested interest in doing the networking and research. I think that most doctors are "up" on things in general, but cannot specialize like we can on our children's allergies.
I was unhappy with our old allergist because I didn't get a good feeling about how "up" he was on things with the peanut allergy. So, I called around to find an allergist in my area who was known to be good with allergens and called him and "interviewed" him.
I got a good vibe from the new allergist's understanding of the peanut allergy. So, I switched. He's been wonderful at treating my son and while I seem to be more in-tune to what's going on in the peanut-allergic community than he is, I feel comfortable with his expertise and bedside manner.
In fact, he even mentioned how impressed at how much I knew about my son's allergies and that he enjoys when I inform him because although he does do a lot of reading and seminars and what-not, he can't be "up" on everything. So, indeed, take it as a compliment from your child's allergist.
I see my relationship with my son's allergist as good learning. I learn new allergy stuff from him and he learns from me. And grin with this...I actually like when I can kinda "one up" him. Hee. And, he sees it as a challenge to be more versed in my son's allergy. But, that's his personality -- he's a very laid-back kind of doc without an ego. And honestly, it sounds like you have a doc that doesn't mind being educated, too, from the patient.
Go with your gut. And if you really doubt your current doc, call around. Hope this helps. I know it's so hard since we as parents have to be such protectors of our children...and it seems we need to be so extra careful of our peanut-allergic kids. Take care. Warmly, Julie B.

Posted on: Tue, 03/04/2003 - 2:02am
Dawn's picture
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Joined: 02/22/1999 - 09:00

Julie, I agree with every thing you wrote!
Jaime, our first pediatrician was miserable ("just don't feed him peanuts") and our first allergist was uninterested. Our next ped was superb, and while he might not have been completely up-to-date on the latest, he took my son's allergies very seriously and took [b]me[/b] seriously. I felt very comfortable bringing up questions or challenging things he said. He didn't look through me or down at me, which I found refreshing. (Our second allergist was mediocre, by the way.)
Now we've moved and I like our pediatrician and our allergist is Dr. Wesley Burks, who is definitely "up" on the latest! I am thrilled to have him as my son's doctor, but I do have to admit that I am so in awe of him, I'm a bit intimidated. Maybe that will go away in time. It's just that with our former pediatrician, it felt like a real team effort...it was a really good relationship. I'm sorry, I'm rambling....(I haven't been able to post much lately so I guess I feel like I have to "talk" a lot! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] )What I'm trying to get to is that if you are comfortable with your current doctor, and A.J. is receiving good care, you don't have to feel like you are depriving him of the latest research because if your dr hasn't heard about it yet, you can tell him.
Well, I guess I haven't added anything to this, I think Julie already put it all so eloquently. Let's just say that I say "yeah, what she said!"
------------------
Be safe,
~Dawn~

Posted on: Fri, 03/14/2003 - 6:27am
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Joined: 06/12/2002 - 09:00

I have been away for awhile and just read your replies today. Thanks for the advice. I am checking around to see what my other options might be, but overall I think he genuinely cares about my child.
Jaime
[This message has been edited by AJSMAMA (edited March 14, 2003).]

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