How Oral Immunotherapy Changes Lives and Sometimes Career Paths
Oral Immunotherapy (OIT) continues to change the lives of people with food allergies, a gratifying experience for medical professionals and researchers. In this case, the positive results brought about by OIT, has even shaped one individual’s chosen career path. It’s a story of a patient so influenced by the life-changing treatment she received from her allergist and the positive experience with OIT, that she now aspires to pursue a medical career as an allergist.
Dr. Wasserman replies:
“I was touched to read your note. You made my day.
I chose to be a doctor because I was always interested in science and wanted to be able to help people directly.
I have two kinds of typical days. Some days, when I am seeing patients, I start at 8:30 and work until about 5:00 seeing mostly children and teenagers with food allergy, asthma, allergy or problems fighting infection. On other days I work at my desk writing letters to other doctors, supervising research and writing papers on our research findings.
My educational path was a little unusual. I went to college and majored in chemistry. After college, I went to medical school. While in medical school I got interested in research so I worked in a research lab nights and weekends while in medical school. In addition to off-hours research, I spent two years in the middle of medical school working on research and studying for a PhD. So I got a medical degree and a PhD in Immunology which is related to allergy. After graduation, I spent three years getting clinical medical training to be a pediatrician and then spent two years in a research lab. I spent a total of eleven years after college before my first real job.
I have been working for 32 years since I completed my training.
The best thing about my career has been that I have had the opportunity to change people’s lives for the better.
The thing I like least about my career is the general system of healthcare that doesn’t work in the best interest of patients and makes it harder for people to accomplish their goals.
Basically, I am a teacher and thoughtful communicator working to help people, in addition to my medical skills. To follow my path, you need to be willing to work hard and be able to accept that you may not receive the reward for your hard work immediately. Keep your eye on the goal and good luck.”
Richard L. Wasserman, M.D.,Ph.D.