Health Service Categories and Careers


Immunology and Allergy (Clinical) is a branch of the medical and biological sciences which focuses on the immune system and its role in both health and disease. It looks at immune system function, including innate and acquired immunity, vaccine immunity, and immunopathology. It seeks to diagnose and treat (or manage) health conditions which involve the immune system. These include allergic disorders, immune deficiency disorders, and autoimmune diseases. Care of patients with these conditions might involve other specialists – such as Rheumatologists or Infectious Disease Physicians - or might involve treatment of an acute condition which then requires further investigation or management of an immunological disorder, which can be lifelong. There is a growing demand for specialists, teaching, and research in this field.

Immunology and Allergy subspecialties include: Immunopathology – which focuses on diagnostic testing of tissue and blood samples in the laboratory and interpretation of results; and Paediatric Clinical Immunology and Allergy – which focuses on childhood allergy and has overlapping referral for autoimmune disease with Paediatric Rheumatologists.

Immunology and Allergy Jobs

Clinical Immunology/Allergy Specialists, also known as Immunologists and Allergists, are specialist doctors (physicians or consultants) who have completed advanced training in Clinical Immunology and Allergy (with optional further laboratory training in Immunopathology). They work with patients who are suffering from autoimmune diseases, such as Coeliac and Hashimoto’s disease, immune deficiencies, such as primary immunodeficiency (PID) disorders, or allergic reactions, such as hives, rashes, wheezing, anaphylaxis, and hay fever. They review their patient's medical history, determine what tests are required and what treatments can help alleviate any discomfort. They help prevent further allergic reactions and seek to improve their patient's immunity and well being by creating management and treatment plans and educating their patients about their condition. To become a clinical Immunology/Allergy Specialist, Doctors undertake advanced training in Clinical Immunology and Allergy, which is a 3-year program leading to Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (FRACP), or alternatively the 4-year training program which includes immunopathology and leads to dual Fellowship - FRACP and FRCPA (Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia). They can then apply for Specialist Registration with the Australian Medical Board (AHPRA). These specialists work in community and private practices, hospitals, research institutions, and/or diagnostic pathology laboratories.