Allergies can cause a lot of frustration, but also some more serious health issues. A lot of people are experiencing different types of allergies that can be influenced by food, spices, insects, plants, dust, and more.
There are also types that could affect our lives even more, and prevent us from enjoying certain types of food, such as nut allergy, lactose intolerance, and more. You can read more about lactose intolerance and cow’s milk allergy here.
The only person who can help you when you are experiencing an allergy is the Allergist. It is a professional who knows how to recognize symptoms and provide the right type of medication for recovery and prevention of bigger side effects.
According to the statistics, there are over 50 million people in the US who are suffering from some form of allergy. Therefore, choosing to specialize in this area after medical school can be a good solution. In this article, we will provide more details about the process of becoming an allergy specialist.
What Is the Role of An Allergist?
First of all, you should learn more about the complexity of different allergies, main causes, and side-effects. The allergen represents a substance that your body reacts to. In some cases, it can only lead to mild symptoms that won’t last long.
On the other hand, certain types that are more aggressive could lead to serious consequences that can cause swelling, breathing difficulty, or even choking. Therefore, waiting for symptoms to disappear without taking any action is never a good approach.
That is where the allergist has a key role. This expert will use different steps to recognize the exact type of health issue, and then provide the proper medication that will eliminate the side-effects.
What is even more important is the fact that you will know about the main cause, and start avoiding that particular type of allergen to avoid the same symptoms in the future.
The essential steps that these professionals are using are:
- Testing for allergies from different sources like food, drinks, mold, pets, pollen, and more
- Physical examination
- Providing accurate diagnose
- Analyzing lab results
- Prescribing the right medication
As you can see, finding out the main reason for an allergy is complicated, and it requires professional knowledge and experience.
Becoming a Specialist in this Area
The first thing that you must know is that this is not a straightforward process, but a complex one that requires an advanced level of education. Also, your previous education is essential for further development.
The first step is to get a degree in medical school. Like with all other types of medical specialists, the exact field of medicine is chosen after getting a bachelor’s degree. During this time, you will learn more about a wide range of areas related to medicine, such as pharmacy, pathology, anatomy, physiology, and more.
The next step is to start working as an intern. In most cases, this period will last for another 3 years. The pediatrics residency is the most common choice of most students. Once you complete the residency, you can apply for a license as a doctor.
Once you reach an official title of doctor, you can start with your further specialization as an allergist. It will require at least 2 years of practice in this field where you will learn a lot mostly from real-life examples.
Keep in mind that getting a certificate does not mean that you are done with further development. That is one of the key features of medicine overall since it is constantly advancing due to new discoveries and innovation.
Therefore, you must be prepared to expand your knowledge, apply new methods of diagnostics, and implement new theories and discoveries.
Stay in Touch With Other Professionals
One of the easiest and most efficient ways to keep up with the news and innovations in this area is to become a part of some group of doctors, and meet with them from time to time.
Conferences are quite common, and these events are popular since doctors from prestigious hospitals are attending them and sharing the most efficient new methods for treatments and diagnostics.
That is also the best approach to building a career. You will start from the bottom, as an assitant. Also, you cannot expect to get over some step, especially in the first couple of years. You must gain a lot of experience before you are able to approach the patient and become the main responsible for the treatment.
How Popular Is This Specialization?
We can notice a significant increase in popularity in recent years. While it may not be as popular as plastic chirurgy, around 10% of all doctors are working in this area.
However, keep in mind that the number of available places for this position is often very limited. Therefore, having a backup solution is always the best approach so that you won’t waste your time.
What About the Salary?
As with any other field of medicine, you cannot expect to get a very high salary right from the start. Still, after spending a few years in the field and get the right level of knowledge and experience, your career will also become profitable.
The average annual salary of allergy specialists is around $300,000. We can say that it is an average amount of money when compared to other areas. For example, you will earn more than people working in fields of endocrinology, infections, pediatrics, or internal medicine.
On the other hand, salaries of experts in fields like neurological surgery and plastic surgery are still far away, with over $500,000 per year on average.
The whole process of becoming an expert in this area of medicine will require passion, determination, and ability to develop and adjust to changes all the time. When it comes to the accurate time required to become an allergist, this period won’t be shorter than 13 years since you will have to get a standard medical degree first.
Overall, completing a license will surely ensure a profitable career considering the amount of people with various allergy issues.