An allergist / immunologist (commonly referred to as an allergist) is a physician specially trained to diagnose, treat and manage allergies, asthma and immunologic disorders including primary immunodeficiency disorders. These conditions range from the very common to the very rare, spanning all ages and encompassing various organ systems. In the United States, becoming an allergist / immunologist requires at least an additional nine years of training beyond a bachelor’s degree.
After completing medical school and graduating with a medical degree, physicians undergo three years of training in internal medicine or pediatrics and pass the exam of either the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) or the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP). Internists and pediatricians interested in becoming an allergist / immunologist have at least an additional two years of study, called a fellowship, in an allergy / immunology training program.
Allergist / immunologists listed as ABAI-certified have successfully passed the certifying examination of the American Board of Allergy and Immunology (ABAI). Many of these individuals have achieved the rank of Fellow within the AAAAI. When you see “FAAAAI” alongside the designation of “MD or DO” you know that your allergist / immunologist has met many of the highest standards in the field.