Being an allergist and immunologist represents a vibrant, challenging career for people interested in working with patients with a range of allergic and immunological diseases. It offers the opportunity to help patients with rare and potentially life-threatening disorders. Here is everything you need to know about how to become an allergist and immunologist.
What Does an Allergist and Immunologist Do?
Before you decide to pursue a career as an allergist and immunologist, you should know the duties you will perform. These include:
- Diagnosing and treating allergic diseases and conditions such as:
- Chronic cough
- Allergic rhinitis
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
- Atopic dermatitis
- Chronic headache
- Shortness of breath
- Food allergy
- Attention to detail
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills
- Impeccable organization skills
- High-level researching capabilities
The requirements that must be fulfilled before you can qualify as an allergist and immunologist include:
- An accredited allergy and immunology educational program
- American Board of Allergy and Immunology (ABAI) certification
- Four-year bachelor’s degree in Allergy and Immunology
- Residency training in Internal Medicine, Pediatrics or Med-Peds
- Pass one or both ABP and ABIM certification exams
- Four-year undergraduate degree
- Four-year medical degree
- Three-year residency in Pediatrics or Internal Medicine
- Two to three-year Allergy and Immunology Fellowship
Whether employed or in private practice, being an allergist and immunologist can have financial rewards. This table shows the median annual wages for different levels of the occupation:
Source: U.S. National average
You will be expected to work from 9 to 5 , Monday through Friday, although you may begin your day earlier and end later. Saturday hours may be necessary to accommodate your patients’ schedules. You can carry out hospital consults. The risk of being deemed culpable for medical malpractice is present, but you can enroll for a relatively affordable malpractice insurance to cover costs associated with such cases.
The employment of allergists and immunologists is projected to grow by 35% by 2020 because of the increasing global prevalence of allergies and asthma. Life after fellowship can be easier if you study and learn the business aspect of medical practice. Plenty of opportunities will arise in private offices, teaching hospitals, medical schools, government or industry.
Now that you have found one of the most interesting career choices in the field of medicine, why don’t you get down to getting the required qualifications?