Immunology is a clinical and laboratory profession that deals with the study, diagnosing and managing patients with diseases from disordered immune systems and conditions where immunological treatments play an important part of therapy and prevention.
What is immunology
An immunologist is a scientist that focuses on conducting research, either in academia or private industry like pharmaceuticals about autoimmune and allergies. Clinical immunologists are doctors who treat patients with genetically or acquired failures of the immune systems that lead to infections, autoimmune complications, diseases and vasculitis.
Immunologists can sometimes work in pediatrics and could support patients with infectious diseases, such as human immunodeficiency virus and tuberculosis. Immunology is important to all medical breakthroughs, like manipulating the immune system to treat cancer and develop vaccines for pathogens such as Ebola.
Sometimes the triggering reaction overreacts to allergen such as food, dust and pollen. They could be a result from something you’ve inhaled, ingested or touched and symptoms might include sneezing, itchy throat, coughing or watery eyes. These symptoms could easily be resolved with the correct treatment, but they could also turn serious or even deadly.
So immunologists will conduct research and tests to understand why your immune system isn’t behaving properly and counsel patients on what they should avoid or be careful of in their daily lives. Some of the tests one’s might have to undergone when at an immunologist clinic are:
- Skin prick tests: placing potential allergic specimen under the surface layer of the skin to identify specific immediate allergies
- Patch test: classify substances that may triggers allergic skin reactions
- Antibody tests: the lack of antibodies level in the blood might be the reason for the immunodeficiency conditions and allergies
- T cell tests: measuring the number of specialized immune cells in the blood. This could also be used to evaluate a person’s T cell activity
Qualities of a immunologist
To become a good immunologist you’ll need to have excellent communication to work with colleagues from a variety of specialties and will need to explain complex treatment plans to patients. Additionally, they need to have the ability to organize the workload, since the number of patients and time needed to be spent in clinics, doing laboratory work could be overwhelming, so they need to know how to handle everything. Of course, when it comes to knowledge, they always have to be analytical and logical, interpreting data and immunological research.
Most immunologists usually go to more in-depth fields, but normally, they would be found in hospitals, either children’s, community, private offices or university medical centers. They usually work in labs with machines ready for tests.
How to become an immunologist
Becoming an immunologist isn’t simple, you’ll have to earn a degree as an undergraduate at medical school and then enter an internship program. After that, they’ll go through a Core Medical Training (CMT) and choose to specialize in a field and receive specialty training in medical immunology.
Doctors with ABAI certification will have a deeper knowledge in the immune system, immunochemistry and immunobiology. They are professionals in diagnosing and treating autoinflammatory and inflammatory disorders.
Immunologist career prospect
According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, immunologists will see a projected job increase of 4% between 2019 and 2029. Also, be noted that per year, on average, an immunologist makes about $200,890, significantly higher than other medical professions.
Immunology is defined as the study of an organisms’ defence and immune systems. There are always harmful organisms like bacteria and viruses trying to access the body and if successful, could lead to serious diseases, so immunologists aren’t just important for knowing what diets could trigger your allergies, they are vital when it comes to diseases, like finding cure to the Covid-19 that has severely affected us.