Allergists are medical doctors who specialize in allergies, asthma and immunologic disorders such as primary immunodeficiency. They diagnose and treat patients of all ages. These doctors are found in a variety of settings including hospitals, clinics and private practices. They often work alongside otolaryngologists.
Allergies occur when the body’s immune system misidentifies harmless substances as dangerous invaders. This leads to the release of inflammatory chemicals that cause unpleasant and even life-threatening symptoms. The best way to find relief from these symptoms is to visit an allergist. These professionals can conduct tests to pinpoint the culprits and prescribe medications that will relieve these symptoms.
To become an allergist, you must first complete a four year medical school program where you will learn the bulk of your basic medical knowledge. Following medical school, you must complete a three year internal medicine or pediatrics residency to gain advanced hands on skills. Once you’ve completed these programs, you can apply for an allergy and immunology fellowship.
The average yearly salary for an allergist depends on the location of employment and work experience. Allergists who have completed a fellowship can expect to earn upward of $250,000 a year. Some of the benefits that allergy specialists receive include malpractice and liability insurance, 401(k) plans, paid vacations, sick days, health care and life insurance. These professionals can also choose to pursue board certification which will increase their earning potential even further. This can be accomplished by completing an exam and becoming a fellow of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.