Monday, January 31, 2011

What is an Allergist?

1. An allergist is a physician specially trained, skilled, and experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of allergies, asthma, and related immunologic diseases - for example, hay fever, hives, and eczema.
2. The effective treatment of allergic disorders must be solidly based on advanced training. The training of an allergist involves at least 9 years of intense study - 4 years of medical school, followed by 3 years of training in internal medicine or pediatrics, plus 2 more years of specialized training in allergy and immunology. The specialty of allergy and immunology is recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties.
3. To be a board certified as an allergist, a physician must be first be certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine or the American Board of Pediatrics and then certified again by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology, which requires both passing an 8-hour written examination on the anatomy, physiology, pathology, biochemistry, diagnosis, and treatment of allergic and immunologic disorders plus completion of a program named Maintenance of Certification.
4. Continuing medical education (CME) is required by South Carolina state law for a minimum of 25 hours per year of studying approved material. Every state has a a similar requirement for physicians to maintain their license to practice medicine.
The Allergy Dude has been a board certified allergist continuously since 1993, the first year I was eligible to take the qualifying exam.

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