Editorials from the Executive Medical Director

From the desk of the EMD: Airlines and doctors

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April 17, 2017


Dr. Blaiss

Everyone has heard, read about, or seen the video of the Louisville physician dragged off United flight 3411 in Chicago for failing to “voluntarily” get off the jet to make way for some United crew members. He refused to leave the plane as he told the law officers he had patients scheduled the next morning. I think we can all empathize with his situation. None of us want to have to cancel a clinic and upset our patients if we can avoid it. This was truly a fiasco and a public relations nightmare for United.

From the desk of the EMD: Fake news!

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March 20, 2017


Dr. Blaiss

No this column is not a piece on the war between President Trump and the media about “fake news.” My guess is that if I gave you my thoughts on the issue, half of the allergy community would praise me and the other half would demand that our President, Stephen Tilles, MD, FACAAI, fire me immediately. I love my position as EMD of the College, so I’m not going there.

From the desk of the EMD: Because I’m happy….

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February 6, 2017


Dr. Blaiss

I’ll bet you remember the Pharrell Williams song "Happy" from the 'Despicable Me 2' soundtrack. It’s one of those songs you can’t get out of your head. When I started reading the new 2017 Medscape's Physician Lifestyle Survey and looked at some of the findings, that song took up residence in my brain again—at least for a short time. Let me explain.

From the desk of the EMD: What is an Executive Medical Director? Why does the College need one?

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December 19, 2016


Dr. Blaiss

For the last seven years, Bob Lanier, MD, FACAAI, has been the Executive Medical Director (EMD) of the College. So what is the big deal? The College has a president, president-elect, vice president, and treasurer, along with the Board of Regents – don’t they lead the College? Isn’t there an administrative staff in Chicago that conducts the day-to-day business and all the activities related to the Annual Scientific Meeting? Why do we need an EMD? In fact, what is an EMD? What has Dr. Lanier really done for you and me in this post over the last seven years?

Irreverent opinions: Nosodes give way to labrapersians

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October 17, 2016

You may have missed this notation in your rounds of national newspapers, but recently a big city allergist, who is not a College member, had his license suspended for using nosodes.

Edward Jenner used nosodes in his revolutionary observations on cowpox and small pox. In case you missed it, a nosode “is a homeopathic remedy prepared from a pathological specimen. The specimen is taken from a diseased animal or person and may consist of saliva, pus, urine, blood or diseased tissue.”

In this case, our modern day ingenious allergist used cat saliva mixed with vodka to vaccinate children, and in some cases, babies. Apparently he used only top shelf vodka and an AKC certified Persian cat!!

Irreverent opinions: $300 mosquito bites and demonologists

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August 15, 2016

As I was walking my jumping, snarling, twirling, Italian greyhound puppy last night, I noticed a familiar “buzz” in the air. I am used to mosquitoes – I grew up on the Texas coast. As a child I remember running behind the DDT sprayer truck without a shirt on to get covered with the spray so I could play without being bitten so much. But now it’s different, and every newspaper I get warns of some new catastrophic virus. First it was West Nile, and now it’s Zika.

Irreverent opinions: I’m an expert on anything

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July 18, 2016

Just ask me – I dare you! The perils of being a medical expert.

My young partner often confounds me asking questions I can’t answer. After practicing 40 years, you would think I would have seen one of everything, but no, my partner has an amazing propensity to expose my knowledge gaps. But while I may not know the answer, I certainly know people who do know.

While I hate to bother them, I’m sometimes reduced to calling people on the phone, admitting my incompetence.  I either get reinforcement that no one knows the answer, or that there has been “a very recent article on that very subject in the Journal of the Leptoneese Immunology and Cryptic Allergy Society this month.”