DORA DI MAURO, St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK

dora-di-mauroI am Dora Di Mauro, currently, I am attending my fifth year of Residency of the Post-graduate School of Paediatrics at University of Parma. During my training in Paediatrics I have developed special interest in pediatric allergy. In my opinion it is a field not completely explored and it leaves a large margin to research.

For this reason, I decided to spend three months at the Allergy Department at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust (London). As well as having a reputation for clinical excellence, the allergy department also runs an internationally renowned program of clinical and laboratory research and offers clinical fellowships intended primarily for non U.K. doctors, with an interest in allergy.

During my stay I had the possibility to be totally integrated with the delivery of allergy services at the st-thomas-hospitalhospital and to be included in the ongoing educational activities of the allergy department such as multidisciplinary team meetings as well as the program of the Allergy Academy. I worked alongside consultants, such as Dr Adam Fox, Dr George du Toit, Dr Susan Chan etc.., in a multidisciplinary environment. All clinics ran with a dedicated specialist dietician as well as specialist nursing support that provided allergy testing, management advice, education and support. During the joint clinics such as the joint Allergy/Gastroenterology clinic held with the paediatric gastroenterology team from Great Ormond Street Hospital and the joint Allergy/Dermatology clinic, I could observe the work of other specialists who work closely with the pediatric allergy department. I also had the opportunity to see the ongoing work in their dedicated Clinical Trials Unit, where large, interventional studies are in progress.

In addition, I had the opportunity to join a research study to assess the safety and the efficacy of sub-lingual immunotherapy for grass or tree pollen in children with allergic rhinitis. Data were gathered from a cohort of children suffering with allergic rhinitis and treated with specific immunotherapy for tree or grass pollen, by sublingual route. The focus was on the efficacy, compliance, side effects and changes in quality of life during the treatment. The results will be available soon.

This experience enabled me to increase my knowledge and my skills in the management of a lot of allergic conditions. In particular I learnt more about diagnosis, treatment and management of food allergy, allergic rhinitis, drug allergy and desensitizing vaccines. I would like to express my thankfulness to have worked under the supervision of Dr. Adam Fox, who has a worldwide outstanding reputation in the area of childhood allergies, and alongside all the pediatric team.

It was a great opportunity to improve my professional skills that now can be applied back at work in my own environment.