When Richard Lockey, M.D., founded his allergy and immunology practice in 1984, he brought in and trained Roger Fox, M.D., and Dennis Ledford, M.D.
While Dr. Fox and Dr. Ledford have both recently retired, Dr. Lockey has no plans to slow down. He has always struck a balance between old-fashioned good practices and cutting-edge technology.
“I have no plans to retire,” Dr. Lockey says. “I like medicine, and I like what I do.”
And, while a new generation of doctors comes up behind him, his practice continues to move forward and grow, with Drs. Glaum, Cho and Pepper, all of whom have been part of the practice for several years.
The doctors are a team of Board-certified allergists and immunologists found online at AllergyTampa.com. They treat patients in private practice and also conduct research at the University of South Florida (USF) Division of Allergy & Immunology Clinical Research Unit (CRU). The private practice office and CRU make up the top floor of a medical building near the corner of Fletcher Ave. and Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd, just south of New Tampa.
“We all want to be in academics to push the window forward,” says Dr. Lockey, who says he has written 800 papers and 50 books. “We want to be innovative and learn, and participate in studies.”
He says that there’s nothing wrong with a doctor who chooses only to focus on seeing patients, but that physicians join his team because they want more than that.
“We also want to do academic research and teaching,” he says. “All of the doctors here are fantastically excellent at that.”
Drs. Lockey, Glaum, Cho and Pepper manage a variety of disorders related to allergies, asthma and immunology, including food allergies, rhinitis (inflammation and swelling of the mucous membrane of the nose, often referred to as hay fever), cough, laryngitis, headaches and immune disorders. These specialists also treat allergic reactions and immune responses resulting in rashes and dermatitis.
As members of the USF Division of Allergy & Immunology, they meet weekly via conference call with about 30 members of the division, all of whom are experts in their field.
“We all have our areas of specialty and interest,” Dr. Lockey explains. “That’s what makes us so powerful.”
For example, he says, Amber Pepper, M.D., is an expert on food allergies. All the physicians within the division know to call on her when they have questions about their patients struggling with food allergies.
“It’s shared knowledge,” Dr. Lockey says, “Know what you know, know what you don’t know, and know who to know. That’s the secret to being a good doctor.”
Decades Of Quality Care
Dr. Lockey says that the practice of medicine has changed over the past several decades, and that’s not always a good thing. While the doctors in his practice are committed to research that keeps them on the cutting edge of advancement in their field, they also adhere to some old-fashioned techniques that are forgotten at some other practices.
“I always take a new patient’s history and do a physical,” explains Dr. Lockey. He gets frustrated to hear that patients are shuffled from doctor to doctor, being given a test and then referred to the next doctor.
He says that there are some conditions that can only be diagnosed through spending time talking with a patient.
He says it’s a problem within his specialty that physicians aren’t paid for their time, but for procedures they perform. As a result, they often order a test and move on, when what a patient really needs is someone to listen to them.
When Dr. Lockey trains physicians, he says he always tells them to treat patients like they are their own next of kin.
“If it was your mother, father, sister, brother, son or daughter,” he says, “what would you do?”
He also says that there have been repercussions of Covid-19 that many people don’t realize.
“Covid has caused so much anxiety and upheaval,” he says. “There’s been a lot of weight gain, and patients delaying seeing their doctors.”
In fact, some of Dr. Lockey’s patients were so fearful, they wouldn’t come in to see him. One had pneumonia and died from that, rather than from Covid.
Dr. Lockey says he protects himself by wearing a mask, but never considered not working, even though many people told him he was at-risk and shouldn’t see patients.
“I was more scared in the 1980s when we were dealing with HIV patients,” he says. “As immunologists, we set up a clinic. We were afraid because we didn’t know how (HIV) was transmitted and it was universally deadly. If you survived during the first 10 years, it was an enigma. We thought it was viral, and knew it was sexually transmitted, but we didn’t know if it was transmitted other ways, too.”
He says he treated patients and worked to advance medicine through research despite the risks, and will continue to do so.
“As long as I am physically and mentally capable, I will practice medicine,” he says. “We’re doctors. That’s what we do.”
About The Doctors…
Richard Lockey, M.D., founded the practice in 1984 as Academic Associates in Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. He earned his Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree from the Temple University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, PA. Dr. Lockey served in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War, then subsequently joined the faculty of the USF (now the Morsani) College of Medicine as a Professor of Medicine. He currently is the director of USF’s Division of Allergy & Immunology. He also volunteers at the James A. Haley Veterans (VA) Hospital, where he was previously Chief of Allergy & Immunology. Dr. Lockey also has served as president of the World Allergy Organization and is a past president of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI), of which all of the practice’s specialists are members.
Mark Glaum, M.D., Ph.D., earned his M.D. at Hahnemann University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, PA. He completed a fellowship in allergy and clinical immunology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, also in Philadelphia. His areas of interest include how the body responds to substances that cause allergic reactions and advancing diagnostic techniques, such as rhinoscopies (examining nasal passages with specialized instruments).
Seong Cho, M.D., received his M.D. degree as an otolaryngologist — an ear, nose and throat doctor — from Kyung Hee University School of Medicine in Seoul, South Korea. His allergy and immunology training was completed at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, IL.
Amber Pepper, M.D., joined the practice in 2018. Dr. Pepper earned her M.D. from USF in 2013, then completed her residency in internal medicine in 2016 also at USF, where she was in a once-weekly rotation at the practice. She then completed a fellowship at the practice through USF’s Division of Allergy & Immunology.
To learn more about Drs. Lockey, Glaum, Cho and Pepper, visit AllergyTampa.com or call (813) 971-9743. The office is located at 13801 BBD Blvd., Ste. 502, Tampa 33613.