Should I Become a Immunologist?
|Education Required||Medical Degree|
|Key Skills||Problem Solving Skills, Communication Skills, Dexterity, Patience, Organization Skills and Leadership Skills.|
|Annual Mean Salary (2019)||$203,450 (Physicians and Surgeons, All Others)|
|Job Outlook (2018-28)||7% (Physicians and Surgeons, All Others)|
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics
Immunology is part of the medical field and like all other specializations, this requires determination as well. Immunologists make sure that their patients live a quality life with good health. These professionals perform multiple duties. Some immunologists prefer to practice, while others choose to remain in an academic setting.
As per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, physicians and surgeons are enjoying a good growth rate as compared to other professions. They are projected to experience a growth of 7% from 2018-2028. Growing and ageing population will be accessing these services more often which will increase the demand. As the population grows older, chronic illnesses will increase and latest technologies will be used to conduct tests which will facilitate physicians in treating more patients.
Steps to Become a Immunologist
- Get a Bachelor’s Degree
- Take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT)
- Get a Medical Degree
- Finish a Residency Program
- Complete a Fellowship
To begin the journey of becoming an immunologist, students have to pursue a 4-year undergraduate program. There are no specific major requirements, so they can choose any program. However, they are required to focus on science and math related courses.
As the second step, aspiring immunologists will be taking the standardized MCAT. The test will evaluate students’ knowledge through Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs). It will also assess their critical thinking, analytical abilities and verbal reasoning.
In order to earn the Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree, students have to obtain a 4-year medical degree. During this program, they study courses like psychology, pharmacology and anatomy, etc. In the initial two years, students focus on classroom learning. While in the last two years, they are allowed to work with patients under expert supervision.
Completing the residency program allows students to practice what they learnt. During this process they gain a lot of exposure and learn various skills. It involves rotations which gives residents the chance to experience multiple specialties. However, the most common career path for immunologist is internal medicine. At this point, students can take the American Board of Internal Medicine’s exam to obtain medical licensure.
After completing the residency program, these professionals participate in a fellowship program. During this program they gain intense knowledge and experience. These professionals get to work with patients who are suffering from immune-based diseases. They also spend time in specialized areas like allergies or auto-immune disorders.
- Get Certified
Immunologists have to get certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) or the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP). Once they get these certificates and complete their fellowship, they become eligible to get certified by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology (ABAI). However, they have to pass the ABAI exam.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Immunologist?
Aspiring immunologist have to complete the education requirement that will take 8 years including, a 4-year undergraduate and a 4-year graduate program at a medical school. They also have to complete their medical residency followed by a fellowship program.
What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Immunologist in the US
Following are the requirements to become an immunologist:
- Earn an undergraduate degree
- Take the MCAT and earn then complete a medical degree
- Complete the medical residency and fellowship program
- Obtain certification
How Much Can I Make After Becoming a Immunologist?
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, physicians, surgeons and other related occupations were earning an annual mean salary of $203,450 in 2019.