An allergist/immunologist is a physician who has specialized training and accreditation to evaluate, diagnose, and treat individuals with allergies, asthma, and other disorders of the immune system.


After four years of medical school, an allergist must complete three years of residency training in either internal medicine (adult medicine) or pediatrics. A future allergist then needs to pass board examinations in internal medicine or pediatrics before undertaking an additional 2-3 years of fellowship training in the specialty of allergy/immunology. An allergist becomes board certified by passing a rigorous examination that covers both immunology and clinical science. A board certified allergist is trained in the evaluation and management of both adult and pediatric patients.


Common medical conditions that allergists manage include environmental allergies (hay fever), asthma, immunodeficiency, urticaria (hives), atopic dermatitis (eczema), drug allergies, chronic cough, food allergies, insect allergies, and eosinophilic esophagitis. A board certified allergist/immunologist can dramatically improve the quality of life for patients with these conditions, resulting in decreased emergency room visits, acute doctor office visits, and days missed from school or work.

Tests & Treatments Provided

An allergist/immunologist will combine an in-depth interview, environmental exposure history, and physical examination together with specific laboratory tests to help arrive at a diagnosis. Common tests performed in an allergist's office include allergen skin testing and spirometry, which is a test to measure lung function. A board certified allergist will provide individualized treatment plans focusing on environmental avoidance measures and prevention, in addition to medical treatment. Allergists are especially recognized for being the expert providers of allergen immunotherapy (allergy shots and sublingual drops). Allergen immunotherapy is the only active intervention that can alleviate allergy or asthma symptoms without the use of medications.