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Qualified physician parasitologists -Reply

Fri Feb 21 12:30:55 EST 1997

Dear Parasitologists one and all:

I would like to add to this string regarding parasitological diagnoses and lack of training of the MD community
and the second question of already diagnosed patients who can not be cured.

Firstly, medical parasitology is not one of the strong points of the medical school curriculum.  At my own
institution, I teach an 8 hour block out of 162 hours of the Medical Microbiology and Immunology course to
second year students.  By the time I get my students they are convinced that parasitology and mycology (which
I do not teach) are exotic and to be ignored or forgotten as soon as possible.  Some years back I was asked to
teach in the Walter Reed Summer course.  This course is primarily for military physicians who are about to be
shipped to endemic areas.  These guys and gals were very gung ho about learning parasitology and almost to
the person admitted that they did not take their earlier exposure to this material very seriously because they
thought that they would never have to use it.  I am not condemning or condoning this as there is  so very much
stuff that they do have to learn in a very short time.

Second verse:  From my limited teaching experience of over 20 years, I know that there are a finite number of
parasitic organisms that can infect the human body.  This is not to say that there might not be more, but the
currently used text books only discuss a finite number.  There is a clinical presentation for each one.  I also
know that parasites can not read road maps so as to always end up where the text book says they ought to. 
However, worms in particular tend to be recognizable, and more importantly, susceptible to the appropriate
drugs of choice.  The reason for this mini-rant is to say that many of the descriptions of parasitic infections
(internal parasites) or infestations (external  parasites)  described by some participants to this newsgroup are
not consistent with anything that is recognizable.  Lastly, be aware that the more exotic parasitic organisms are
only found between the Tropics and if the patient has NOT been there the chances of being infected are slim
to nonexistent.  If vectors are required for transmission the likelihood is even less.

Finally, in conclusion, if you still are looking for qualified physicians, the American Society of Tropical Medicine
and Hygiene list a directory of clinical physicians on their web page.  You may log on to it the following address:


I tried to verify this link this afternoon and the server seemed to be down to the directory of physicians but the
link to ASTM&H was working fine.

Good luck and hope that this helps somewhat.

Steve Kayes

Stephen G. Kayes, Ph.D                          Ofc: (334) 460-6768
Professor                                                   FAX: (334) 460-6771
Structural and Cellular Biology; 2042 MSB
University of South Alabama College of Medicine
Mobile, AL  36688-0002             

E-mail: kayes at sungcg.usouthal.edu

>>> I82GO <i82go at aol.com> 2/19/97  3:27 pm >>>
Dear Mr. Armitage,

I am replying to the letter you posted through the news group.  I have a
relative who may be experiencing the effects of a parasitic infection.  I
like yourself have found little help from our family practitioner.  I
would much appreciate any knowledge you have acquired about treatment
centers throughout the United States that specialize in the diagnosis and
treatment of such infections.  

Thanyou for your cooperaton.


W. Banks

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