We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.
Roles

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

What Does an Immunology Specialist Do?

A.E. Freeman
By
Updated: Mar 03, 2024

An immunology specialist is a type of doctor that diagnoses and treats conditions that impact the immune system, such as allergies and auto-immune disorders. Doctors who wish to work in this field usually need additional training and certification beyond medical school or a fellowship in internal medicine or pediatrics. In some cases, an immunology specialist may work in a research laboratory or in an academic setting, investigating the causes of allergies or other immune responses, rather than treating patients.

Usually, an immunology specialist is certified in her field. The process of becoming an immunologist usually takes more than 10 years. Such a physician needs to complete a four-year undergraduate degree, then a medical degree. After earning the medical degree, she is usually expected to perform a residency in pediatric or internal medicine.

Once that initial residency is complete, she can begin a fellowship in immunology. After completing this phase of training, she needs to pass an examination to become a board-certified immunology specialist. To maintain the specialization, the doctor is expected to take continuing education courses throughout her career.

Immunology specialists diagnose allergies in patients. A physician can perform tests, such as a skin test or breathing test, to evaluate a patient's response to an allergen. Immunologists also diagnose allergic reactions on the skin, such as eczema or hives. Once a diagnosis is made, an immunology specialist develops a treatment plan to prevent the allergic reaction from occurring, or to treat it if it does occur.

Allergies are not the only condition that concern immunologists, however. They also evaluate and treat conditions of the immune system, such as auto-immune disorders. These occur when the immune cells attack healthy cells in the body. Examples of auto-immune disorders include lupus and multiple sclerosis. When a person has one of these diseases, her immune system attacks the organs and tissues of her body, leading to inflammation. To treat such auto-immune disorders, a physician may prescribe corticosteroids or drugs that suppress the immune system to alleviate the condition.

Some of these specialists treat patients with immune system deficiencies. A deficient immune system can be an inherited condition or caused by a virus. Usually, an immunologist will perform a blood test to diagnose an immunodeficiency. Treatments may include antibiotics to fight infections and therapy to improve the immune system's response.

An immunology specialist may choose to work in an academic setting instead of a clinical one. This type of doctor will conduct lab tests to develop new treatment methods or diagnostic tests. She may write papers detailing the results of her tests for publication in medical journals. In some cases, she may present her data at conferences.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
A.E. Freeman
By A.E. Freeman
Amy Freeman, a freelance copywriter and content creator, makes engaging copy that drives customer acquisition and retention. With a background in the arts, she combines her writing prowess with best practices to deliver compelling content across various domains and effectively connect with target audiences.
Discussion Comments
A.E. Freeman
A.E. Freeman
Amy Freeman, a freelance copywriter and content creator, makes engaging copy that drives customer acquisition and...
Learn more
Share
Practical Adult Insights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Practical Adult Insights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.