"I think of myself as a physician scientist,” Dr. Carolyn Beach Daul says. “I try to find out what’s going on with each patient as scientifically as I can.”
Daul sees her field as a subspecialty dealing with allergy and immunology therapies that’s full of unrecognized potential. “Not everyone realizes all that an allergist can do,” Daul says. “The training for an allergist really allows them to improve the life of a patient.”
Her patients’ symptoms range from typical seasonal allergies to more serious life-long conditions of allergic rhinitis, conjunctivitis and/or asthma. These patients with more severe symptoms are usually treated with daily medications for the rest of their life.
“After a successful course of immunotherapy,” Daul says, “These patients were able to lead lives without the impact of allergic symptoms and without the use of daily medications to control allergic symptoms.”
With their specialized training, Daul believes that allergists can provide life-changing treatments that other doctors can’t. “We are trained in allergy-immunology therapies,” Daul says. “We are the ones who formulate the vaccines.”
The allergies that can be treated by allergy-immunology therapy virtually disappear, allowing patients to lead allergy-free lives. Sometimes, these patients are even able to have a dog or cat.
In fact, after Hurricane Katrina, Daul found out just how important allergy relief was to her patients. One by one, her patients, who had relocated throughout the country, found a way to continue their treatment with Daul.
“It was like a remote practice,” Daul says. “People were all over but they would find me and call for medical advice.
“One day, my son called me up and said someone is trying to get in touch with you … There’s comment on nola.com from one of your patients looking for you.”
Daul’s dedication to finding solutions based the individual’s needs made her treatment invaluable to her patients. As soon as she could, she re-opened her practice for which she credits her staff.
“They are just a really loyal and energetic group of people,” Daul says. “Four of our office staff lost everything but they were here to get us up and running.”
Since then, Daul says her practice has grown in a recovering medical community, “Things are more stable now and starting to grow. Maybe it’s not in the numbers yet, but things are improving.”
A native of Wilmington, Del., Daul earned her undergraduate degree at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C. When she moved to New Orleans to attend Tulane University in New Orleans, Daul knew she had found a home. “I just fell in love with the whole way of life,” Daul says.
Daul encourages other doctors to return to her beloved city and invest their medical careers in the city, which she loves for its incredible spirit and vibrant life. In her own practice, Daul sees exciting new developments.
“Several breakthroughs have come down the research pipeline,” Daul says. “There’s an oral immunology therapy that a patients can take a home, by mouth instead of having to come to the office to get a shot.”