Allergists, also known as "immunologists," are doctors who specify in the field of immunology, which focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of allergic diseases which are usually caused by exterior irritants that trigger immune responses in the body. While most people address their common allergies with regular physicians, they can only be provided medication for allergies of which the physician is aware. Allergists, on the other hand, are specifically responsible for identifying these allergens and working to discover what triggers these symptoms in certain people. As such, they are often visited when patients do not know the causes of their allergic reactions, while immunologists are specifically responsible for researching and developing methods which aim to treat allergies by way of immunization.
Common work-days for those in this position involve seeing patients, much like a general practitioner, to provide treatments specific to their allergies; this may also involve performing clinical tests to identify new allergies. In addition to patient care, allergists and immunologists may also provide consultation for hospitals, and they are often in charge of maintaining operations at their facilities, including financial processing and ordering necessary equipment.
Allergists and immunologists generally work in private practice or hospitals during regular working hours, though some who work for hospitals may need to be available during evenings. Applicants are expected to have completed four years of medical school followed by two years of studying in their specialized field, as well as certification from the American Board of Allergy and Immunology.
Document all patient data and interactions.
Prescribe medications and interventions to reduce or prevent symptoms.
Create guidelines and care plans to reduce effects of conditions.
Interview patients to identify, prevent, and manage conditions like allergies, asthma, and immunodeficiency.