Program Goals & Objectives
The Allergy/Immunology training program at LSU Health Shreveport is a combined Pediatric-Medicine program with entry tracks for physicians who completed an ACGME-accredited residency in Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, or combined. The program provides a 24-month, full-time education in the broad spectrum of the specialty. It is structured according to the ACGME Requirements for Residency Education in Allergy and Immunology and becomes revised whenever new requirements are implemented. Its objective is to prepare skilled A/I specialists capable of delivering primary or consultative medical care, to both pediatric and adult patients, as well as capable of conducting investigative studies.
The program’s components are distributed, time wise, as follows:
50% in activities relevant to patient care, that comprise direct patient care (in both the outpatient and inpatient settings), clinical conferences, case discussions, and medical records reviews. The program provides knowledge in the principles and experience in the diagnosis and management of various allergic and immunologic disorders and related diseases, including rhinoconjunctivitis, sinusitis, asthma, occupational lung diseases, skin hypersensitivities, gastrointestinal hypersensitivity reactions, systemic anaphylaxis, and allergies to specific agents such as foods, food additives, insects, drugs, diagnostic agents, biologicals, and anesthetics. It also includes primary and secondary immunodeficiency diseases and autoimmune disorders. Our patient population comprises both children and adults in approximately equal numbers. The program is complemented with rotations in certain relevant specialties, with specified goals and responsibilities.
25% in research and scholarly activities
Research can be clinical, basic, or combined. The specific areas of research are selected according to the A/I resident’s special interests and the potential scientific merit. The A/I resident is expected to act as a principal investigator in at least one research project, in which he/she takes the primary responsibility of designing the study, prepares the study protocol, obtains the Institutional Review Board approval, performs the practical work, analyzes and presents the data, prepares the findings for presentation at regional and/or national meetings, and prepares manuscript draft for publication. The scholarly activities can be library search, scientific discussion, preparing review articles or book chapters, preparation for conferences, and other related activities.
25% in other educational activities that promote scientific knowledge, enhance academic advances, and improve patient care. This may include participation in scientific discussions, literature search, attending local, regional, national and international A/I conferences, and teaching primary care residents, medical students and allied health professionals.
- Complete history taking, appropriate physical examination, review of medical records, formulate a differential diagnosis, and design a plan for evaluation.
- Presentation of patients to the attending faculty who verifies certain issues in the history or physical findings. After discussion with the faculty, the resident orders the necessary tests, prescribes medications, provides patient education, and arranges for follow up.
- Continuity of care is enhanced by scheduling F/U visits with the same fellow as much as possible.
- Provide a written report to the referring or primary care physician, which in some cases may be preceded by a telephone call.
By the end of the first year, the resident is expected to master the medical history taking and physical examination. The fellow is also expected to be able to reach an appropriate differential diagnosis and formulate satisfactory diagnostic and therapeutic plans, at least for the common A/I disorders. This would include the performance and interpretation of allergy skin testing, pulmonary function testing, oral food challenge tests, IVIG therapy, and selection and interpretation of in vitro allergy tests.
All responsibilities outlined for the first year, albeit with lesser involvement by the supervising faculty as the resident’s competencies advance.
Progress in patient care, particularly in patients with complex diagnostic or therapeutic problems.
- Assist the first-year residents in consultations and share in teaching the rotating primary care residents and medical students.
- Provide continuity care for complex and unusual cases.
- Demonstrate an increasing gain in knowledge and hands-on experience in various diagnostic and therapeutic modalities of the A/I specialty, including the performance and interpretation of skin testing for allergies to insect, drug, and biologic agents, prescribing and administration of immunotherapy for aeroallergens, rush immunotherapy with insect venom, and desensitization to certain drugs.
During the last quarter of the second year, the trainee is expected to:
- Provide adequate patient care with little intervention by the supervising faculty and to demonstrate increasing ability towards independent quality clinical practice.
- Complete preparing his/her research project for publication in a reputable journal.
Throughout the above learning process, an adequate number of supervising faculty instruct the resident and evaluate his/her performance in all of the above components of the program. The resident will be assessed in 6 competency areas: patient care, medical knowledge, practice-based learning, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, and system-based practice. The training program director reviews with the resident such an evaluation, at least every 6 months and reports it to the American Board of Allergy & Immunology. The resident is expected to complete confidential evaluations about the faculty, various rotations, and the overall program. The process aims at mutual constructive assessments and striving for constant improvement