How do I Become a Pediatric Allergist?

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  • Written By: D. Jeffress
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 20 April 2019
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A pediatric allergist is a licensed medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of allergies in children and adolescents. A doctor has expert knowledge of developing immune systems and the factors that influence asthma and allergic reactions. An individual who wants to become a pediatric allergist is usually required to attend medical school, participate in about six years of residency training, and pass a national certification exam. After completing educational and training requirements, a doctor can become a pediatric allergist at a hospital, specialty clinic, or private practice.

An individual can begin the path to become a pediatric allergist by enrolling in a bachelor's degree program at an accredited university. Most hopeful doctors major in health or biology with a focus on premedical studies. An undergraduate usually takes several courses in anatomy, physiology, and organic chemistry to gain a fundamental understanding of the human body. Near the end of a bachelor's degree program, a student can take a standardized medical college admissions test and begin applying to accredited four-year medical schools.


Competition for admission into medical school can be very fierce, and programs are likely to accept students who have the strongest grades, test scores, and recommendation letters. Once a person is accepted, he or she meets with professors and advisers to create a specialized degree plan. A student who wants to become an immunologist usually spends the first two years of medical school in classrooms and laboratories to gain a detailed understanding of medicine. The second half of a program involves independent study and a practical internship at a hospital.

After graduation, a new doctor usually joins a primary care pediatric residency program at a general hospital or clinic to gain experience working with young patients. A residency program typically lasts for three years, during which time a doctor has the chance to practice under the supervision of established doctors. At the end of a successful residency, a doctor who wants to become a pediatric allergist can apply for a fellowship position in an immunology program.

As a fellow, an individual gets to work alongside experienced pediatric allergists to gain a detailed understanding of the profession. He or she is allowed to make diagnoses, recommend treatment, conduct research, and write reports. A fellowship program usually takes about three years to complete. Following a fellowship, a doctor can take a written licensing exam to officially become a pediatric allergist. Gaining certification from a national governing board, such as the American Board of Allergy and Immunology in the United States, qualifies a doctor to work independently in any health-care setting.



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