About the Society
The Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology is one of the oldest specialty societies in Canada. It was founded in 1945 as the Canadian Society for the Study of Allergy and changed its name in 1954 to the Canadian Academy of Allergy. In 1967, it adopted the present name, The Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (CSACI).
The goals of the society, as outlined in the constitution, are to:
- Improve the standards of teaching and practice of allergy and clinical immunology
- Foster co-operation between those engaged in the study and practice of allergy and clinical immunology
- Encourage research in the field of allergy and clinical immunology
- Promote harmony and understanding between physicians engaged in the practice of allergy and clinical immunology and others of the medical profession.
From its earliest days, the society supported clinical research and education in allergy. Since 1946, the society has convened a scientific program every year but two. These provide its members with a national forum for the presentation of studies in allergy and clinical immunology. In addition to our scientific program, the CSACI co-sponsors guest lecturers and symposia to our own membership, other specialty groups, primary care practitioners and to the public. As well, our members actively participate in international meetings and have played prominent roles in international allergy and clinical immunology societies.From the time of its inception the society lobbied for accreditation of allergy and later, clinical immunology as a separate subspecialty of medicine. Since accreditation was granted in 1968, CSACI members serving on the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) and / or university committees, collaborated in developing goals and objectives, curriculum specifications and evaluation systems appropriate for postgraduate training programs in the specialty. There are now five RCPSC accredited training programs in Allergy and Clinical Immunology in Canada: at the University of Manitoba, McMaster University, University of Toronto, McGill University, Dalhousie University, University of British Columbia, Université de Montréal, and the University of Western Ontario. Certified Allergists and Clinical Immunologists are specialists in the diagnosis and treatment of allergic diseases such as asthma and anaphylaxis, immunodeficencies and autoimmune diseases.
The frequency of all allergic diseases, including asthma and food allergies, has risen dramatically over the past few decades. Allergic diseases and their complications are a significant cause of morbidity and also in some cases mortality, both in children and in adults. They merit the attention that they have been getting. Advances in immunology have allowed us to have better knowledge of the pathogenesis of disease, better diagnostic tests and better immunologically based treatments. In recent years, the CSACI has actively collaborated with other specialty groups, the media, government and organisations such as patient advocacy organizations in order to better educate patients and the public of these advances. In order to better protect our patients, the CSACI also is establishing guidelines to ensure that appropriate standards are applied both for diagnosis and for treatment.
In 1996, the CSACI established a permanent secretariat in Ottawa. In addition, The Canadian Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Foundation was granted charitable status, and is headquartered at the same address. The objectives of the Foundation are to fund research into allergic and immunologic diseases in Canada and because the formation of certified specialists in allergy and clinical immunology is not keeping up with demand, to fund residency and post fellowship training in Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
The CSACI continues to improve the standards of teaching and practice of allergy and clinical immunology in Canada, encourage research as well as educate the public.