An allergist is a medical professional, similar to that of an immunologist, who works on conditions to do with allergies. This is a speciality that requires specialist training but there can sometimes be overlaps with other medical training concerned with organs, such as respiratory medicine. The position of an allergist is very similar to that of an immunologist in terms of laboratory work, but they would not have the same authority position as an immunologist in terms of the workings of a clinical setting.

Patient conditions that an allergist would need to diagnose and treat include asthma, eczema and problems to do with the immune system. Allergies are becoming more common in this day and age, which makes the position of an allergist all the more important, particularly because there are no known cures to treat allergies, only manage them. With a rise in positions available and more to follow, the career of an allergist is an appealing one.

Work activities

Typical work activities an allergist would need to carry out include:

  • Carry out lab testing with a variety of tools and apparatus.
  • Use computers to carry out testing and collate data.
  • Follow strict testing guidelines in order to ensure analysis is not affected.
  • Carry out blood tests, allergy testing and patient examinations.
  • Treat patients face-to-face.
  • Work alongside other medical professionals.
  • Working hours can sometimes be long but this is likely to change the more work you do.
  • The need to be on call is minimal.
  • Continuing to study throughout your career is a necessity in order to keep up-to-date with any new methods of testing and treating patients.
  • Analyse any patients records you are given and ensure that they are updated according to any diagnoses or treatment made.

Essential skills

  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Excellent analytical skills.
  • Organised and professional manner.
  • Able to work as an individual and as part of a medical team.
  • Receptive of other medical professionals’ opinions and able to give your own insight.
  • Attention to detail when carrying out lab tests and treating patients face-to-face.
  • Ability to work under stressful conditions.
  • Good computer skills.
  • A real desire to help people cope with and treat their allergies.
  • Motivated to continue studying throughout your career in order to remain up-to-date with any new medical treatments and testing methods.