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LMH Physician, Dr. Derek Gateman

When friends and colleagues in larger communities ask me what I like about practicing in Listowel, I tell them I love the flexibility and friendly support that comes from a rural hospital not weighed down with red tape and politics.  Here, the hospital culture encourages new ideas and improvement.  The latest example in my practice involves our penicillin challenge clinic.


Over the last years, I’ve seen many patients with penicillin allergy documented on their charts.  Often, their reaction was either long forgotten, or sometimes not attributable to penicillin at all.  In this age of antibiotic resistance, an allergy to penicillin leads to difficult antibiotic choices, exposing a patient to dangerous side effects.  After review of several recent studies on the topic, and with the support of a Kitchener allergist, I developed a procedure to test penicillin allergies without skin testing or blood work, saving patients the long wait for testing with a specialist.  The clinic could not have started without the help and support from the hospital pharmacy team, nurses, and administrative staff.


I think it would be great to finish my career with hopefully several hundred fewer of these mislabeled allergies.  If you think you or your child might not have a true penicillin allergy, please pick up a survey from the Fisher Family Medical Clinic to see if you might be appropriate for the test.

June 2022
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