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How To Become an Immunologist

How To Become an Immunologist. There are a variety of specialties available when you decide to pursue a career as a doctor, allowing you to home in on a medical field that interests you. Immunologists are experts at identifying and treating people with illnesses linked to a compromised immune system. You can create a plan to accomplish your professional objectives by learning more about immunologists and the requirements of their jobs.

In order to assist you decide whether you want to pursue immunology as a career, we have defined immunologists, highlighted the duties of immunologists, listed how to become one, and provided extra information regarding pay expectations and job outlook for immunologists.

What is an immunologist?

An immunologist, often known as an allergist, is a type of medical professional who focuses on identifying, managing, and conducting research on illnesses that are brought on by immune system problems. This covers autoimmune illnesses, dietary allergies, and other ailments.

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What do immunologists do?

To determine a diagnosis and course of action for an autoimmune-related illness, immunologists evaluate patients. Here are a few more examples of the kinds of tasks that immunologists conduct on the job:

  • Diagnosing people with autoimmune disorders such as lupus, asthma, allergies, and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Educating people on their illnesses’ etiology, symptoms, available treatments, and life expectancy rates
  • Prescribing drugs or equipment to patients so they can live normal, healthy lives
  • Showing clients how to utilize inhalers, epipens, and other medical gear if they have allergic reactions at home.
  • Pulmonary exams, ultrasounds, blood testing, and biopsies for their patients in order to confirm a diagnosis based on those patients’ symptoms.
  • Reviewing lab test results from patients to look for antibodies to various autoimmune diseases or allergies.
  • Independently researching immune system issues and how they affect the human body to better comprehend them.
  • Reviewing a patient’s medical record to look for past illnesses or complaints about their health that might be indicators of a disease.
  • Reassuring patients and their loved ones of a diagnosis and providing them with extra instructions on how to manage a patient’s needs at home
  • To keep appointments, seeing numerous patients during the workday is necessary.
  • Taking a patient’s vital signs, such as their heartbeat and breathing, blood pressure, height, and weight, for their medical records and to help with diagnoses.

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How to become an immunologist

You must have the requisite training and work experience to be eligible to work as an immunologist. How to become an immunologist is as follows:

1. Acquire a bachelor’s degree 

The first step to becoming an immunologist is to enroll in and complete a four-year bachelor’s degree program in a related field. Pre-medicine, biology, public health, nursing, or biochemistry are degree options that are advantageous to aspiring immunologists.

2. Enroll in a medical school

You can begin applying to medical schools during your final two years of a bachelor’s degree program if those schools meet your financial requirements and academic preferences. You must take and pass the MCAT exam in order to get admitted to medical school. You normally spend two years in class after entering medical school, followed by two years of clinical rotations in a range of healthcare facilities.

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3. Successfully complete the USMLE, or United States Medical Licensing Examination

The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) must be taken and passed before a medical student can graduate. A component on psychology, a segment on critical analysis, and a section on biology and chemistry make up this three-part multiple-choice test. By passing this exam, candidates can become board certified in a certain branch of medicine. Obtaining board certification from the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) is one illustration of this. With this board certification, aspiring immunologists are able to finish a residency program and learn how to identify and treat internal diseases or illnesses.

Additional examples of board certification specializations that people attain prior to pursuing a residency program are as follows

  • Pregnancy care and gynecology
  • Pediatrics
  • Psychiatry Neurology
  • Surgery in general
  • Family practice
  • Radiology for diagnosis
  • Aesthetic medicine
  • Anesthesiology

4. Be a resident in a program.

Medical school graduates help doctors, surgeons, and other senior medical professionals with patient diagnosis and treatment during a three- to four-year residency program. Participants can improve their clinical abilities and learn about many branches of medicine to aid in their speciality during this period. Before pursuing an immunology fellowship, immunologists can finish their clinical training in a residency program.

5. Take part in a fellowship in immunology

Fellowships in the fields of allergy and immunology typically last two years. Candidates collaborate with competent immunologists to complete patient appointments in a clinical setting throughout the first year of the fellowship. In order to advance their expertise in one or more areas of immunology during the second year of the fellowship, candidates often blend clinical practice with research efforts.

6. Become certified to practice by the ABAI

You are eligible for board certification through the American Board of Allergy and Immunology after completing an immunology fellowship. You might need to submit your medical school transcripts and reference letters from doctors or other competent medical professionals you worked with throughout your residency and fellowship programs in order to be considered for certification. To qualify, you might also need to provide proof of your ABIM or pediatrics board certification.

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Salary expectations for immunologists

Prospective immunologists may earn an income that is comparable to the national average for rheumatologists, a profession that is similar to that of an immunologist. That compensation is $258,652 annually. However, other elements, such as an immunologist’s level of expertise, their company, and the place where they work, can affect pay.

Job outlook for immunologists

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that the need for physicians and surgeons will grow by 4% between 2019 and 2029. Therefore, the employment forecast for immunologists is probably in line with the increase rate for doctors and surgeons.

FAQs How to Become an Immunologist

What qualifications do you need to study immunology?

For STP positions in the life sciences (which include clinical immunology), the most commonly accepted degrees will be in biomedical sciences, biology, microbiology, genetics or biochemistry.

How long do immunologists study?

It should be noted that becoming an immunologist takes more time than some other specialties because it requires successful completion of a two-year fellowship program. In total, becoming an immunologist takes nine to ten years of education beyond a bachelor's degree.

What qualities do immunologist have?

Read and understand work-related materials.
Understand spoken information.
Understand written information.
Speak clearly so listeners can understand.
Listen to others and ask questions.
Write clearly so other people can understand.

What are the subjects in immunology?

immunology: immune system and infectious diseases.
immunology: immune failures and cancer immunology.
immunology: autoimmunity, allergy, and transplants.
immunology: adaptive immune system.
immunology: innate immune system.
immunology: the immune system and its failures.

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