Health Care Providers: Allergists/Immunologists
What Is Allergy/Immunology?
Allergy (AL-ur-jee) and immunology (im-yuh-NAHL-uh-jee) is the medical specialty that diagnoses and treats allergies, immune system problems, and asthma.
What Is an Allergist?
An allergist (AL-ur-jist)/immunologist (im-yuh-NAHL-uh-jist) is a doctor who diagnoses and treats asthma, allergies, or immune system conditions.
Why Would Someone Need One?
Allergy/immunology doctors diagnose and treat problems such as:
- food, medicine, or plant allergies
- eosinophilic esophagitis
- immune system problems that lead to frequent infections
They do medical tests and procedures such as:
- checking to see how well the immune system is working
- skin testing and blood testing for allergies
- intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG-antibodies given through an IV)
- chest X-rays
- blood tests
What Is Their Training?
Allergist/immunologist training usually includes:
- 4 years of pre-medical education at a college or university
- 4 years of medical school — a medical degree (MD) or doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO) degree
- 3–4 years of training in a pediatric, internal medicine, or med-peds (combined pediatric and internal medicine) residency program
- 2 years in an allergy-immunology fellowship program. A “fellow” is a doctor who had more specialty training after completing medical school and a residency.
Good to Know
Allergists/immunologists often work closely with:
- otolaryngologists (ENTs, or ear, nose, and throat doctors)
- pulmonologists (lung and breathing doctors)
- gastroenterologists (digestive system doctors)
Date reviewed: September 2022