Allergy | Immunology
Allergy / immunology represents a vibrant, challenging career path for physicians and allied health professionals interested in working with patients of all ages with a wide range of allergic and immunologic diseases.
Specialists in allergy and immunology have a range of opportunities within research, education and clinical practice. An allergist / immunologist may manage pediatric and adult patients with a variety of medical problems including:
- Diseases of the respiratory tract such as allergic rhinitis, sinusitis, asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis and occupational lung diseases
- Allergic diseases of the eye including allergic conjunctivitis
- Allergic conditions of the skin including atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, acute/chronic urticaria or angioedema
- Adverse reactions to foods, drugs, vaccines, stinging insects and other agents
- Diseases associated with autoimmune responses to self-antigens, or auto-inflammatory syndromes
- Diseases of the immune system including primary immune deficiencies such as severe combined immune deficiency syndromes, antibody deficiencies, complement deficiency, phagocytic cell abnormalities, or other impairments in innate immunity and acquired immune deficiency related to HIV infection or drug-induced immune suppression.
- Stem cell, bone marrow and/or organ transplantation
- Gastrointestinal disorders caused by immune responses to foods including eosinophilic esophagitis or gastroenteritis, food protein-induced enteropathies
- Systemic diseases including anaphylaxis and systemic diseases involving mast cells or eosinophils
The subspecialty offers the opportunity to work with patients with common diseases such as allergic rhinitis, asthma, atopic dermatitis, and immune-mediated food hypersensitivities.
The field of immunology is rapidly advancing, and the subspecialty provides opportunities to work with patients with rare and potentially life-threatening disorders of the immune system, as well as managing more complex issues related to diagnosis and treatment.
In the United States, an allergist / immunologist is a physician certified first in either internal medicine, pediatrics or both who has completed an additional two years of fellowship training in an ACGME accredited allergy / immunology training program. Allergist / immunologists receive their subspecialty certification from the American Board of Allergy & Immunology (ABAI), which is a conjoint board of the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) and the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM).