By Felicidad G. Cua-Lim, MD
In the interest of optimal patient care, the Philippine Society of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology wishes to convey and define both the expertise of the allergist-immunologist and under what circumstances they can be added value in the treatment of patients.
The PSAAI started with 11 members in 1972 with 11 members and has grown to a 108-strong members, through the establishment of 3 training centers for Allergy/Immunology: University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital, University of Santo Tomas College of Medicine and Surgery and the Dr. Fe Del Mundo Medical Center Foundation Philippines, a subspecialty board (Philippine Board of Allergy and Immunology) was established to ensure high standards of care by the new practitioners in the field.
PSAAI is globally recognized organization of moral and ethical physicians with the passion for excellence I the field of Allergy and Immunology, committed to be in the Forefront of dedicated service, continuing education, training and research, leadership and partnership with other organization, with the ultimate goal of providing the best health care for all people.
The mission statements of PSAAI includes
- To abide by the moral and ethical standards in accordance with the Code of Ethics of the Philippine Medical Association and the Rules and Regulations promulgated by the Board of Directors of the Society.
- To promote holistic, compassionate, and competent care to all patients responding to changing priorities of the times through continuing medical education, initiation and recommendation of public health programs geared towards awareness, prevention and management of allergic and immunologic disease
- To uphold excellent standards in training, teaching and research in allergy & immunology
- To develop a referral network among local and international health care providers.
- To become respected leaders who will be in the subspecialty
- To establish camaraderie, fellowship and mutual respect among members of the society and with affiliated organizations.
An allergist-immunologist is a physician trained in either Internal Medicine or Pediatrics and who has completed an additional 2 (or more) years in training program. Most are certified by the Philippine Specialty Board of Internal Medicine or the Philippine Pediatric Society, Inc. Specialty Board. In addition to keep up with the advancement of knowledge and skills, the PSAAI's primary objective has been to raise awareness of the prevalence and immunologic disorders.
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology has published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology in February 2006 an article entitled "Consultation and Referral Guidelines Citing the Evidence: How the allergist-immunologist can help?"
The guidelines stated that the allergist-immunologist is uniquely trained in the following:
- allergy testing (skin test, in vitro studies);
- history – allergy test evaluation;
- broncho-provocation testing (eg. exercise and methacholine);
- environmental control instructions;
- inhalant immunotherapy
- immunomodulator therapy (eg. anti-IgE, intravenous immunoglobulin);
- venom immunotherapy;
- food and drug allergy;
- drug desensitization;
- evaluation of immune competence;
- education (disease, medications, and monitoring), and
- management of chronic or recurrent conditions in which allergy is not always identified: rhinosinusitis, conjunctivitis, asthma, cough, urticaria-angioedema, eczema, and anaphylaxis.
For most patients, working with an allergist-immunologist can assist the primary care physician or the specialist in the management of the disease in order to prevent morbidity and mortality as well as to improve the quality of life for the ultimate benefit of the patients we serve.